More free schools unveiled by Hinds

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has approved 22 applications to create a new free school, delivering 19,000 extra pupil places.

Eighteen of the new schools will open in local authorities identified by the Department for Education as having the lowest educational performance and insufficient capacity to improve – as well as areas that have not yet participated in the free schools programme. Successful applications include:

• BOA Stage and Screen Production – an exciting new 16-19 specialist college in central Birmingham, set up by the Birmingham Ormiston Academy, offering a range of vocational and high level technical qualifications for students wishing to enter TV, Film or Theatre professions.

• Callerton Academy – a 11-16 mixed secondary school in Newcastle- Upon- Tyne, led by Gosforth Federated

Academies trust, which since 2010 has run the popular and over-subscribed Gosforth Academy, rated outstanding by Ofsted. Callerton Academy will bring the benefits of this existing offer to the Callerton area of the city.

• The Shireland CBSO Music School – a new specialist music school, serving the Black Country and West Midlands – the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust are working in collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to provide young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to achieve musically at an elite level.

• Michaela Community School Stevenage- a mixed, non-faith secondary providing 1260 school places for 11-18 year old pupils and will be part of a newly formed multi-academy trust, including Michaela Community School in Brent, judged outstanding by Ofsted in 2017. Hinds’ announcement includes

confirmation that two new maths schools will proceed to the next stage of development to tap into the expertise of the country’s top universities to increase the number of young people studying maths, giving them opportunities to secure good jobs and helping to boost the UK economy.

Research by the Price Bailey accountancy firm disclosed to the Guardian reveals that 31 out of 40 UTCs with published accounts owe money to the DfE’s education and skills funding agency (ESFA), including 25 schools owing a total of £8.6m after educating fewer pupils than they received funding for through their general annual grant.

“Eight UTCs have already closed and two further closures are imminent, so unless UTCs can boost pupil numbers and performance, more will follow,” said Gary Miller, head of education at Price Bailey.

Sir Vince Cable tops out Richmond upon Thames College

The contractor ISG recently celebrated reaching the highest point in the construction of the new campus building at Richmond upon Thames College by hosting a topping out ceremony where Liberal Democrat Party leader and MP for Twickenham, Sir Vince Cable, tightened the final bolt on the steel frame. Addressing the attendees, Sir Vince Cable said: “This outstanding building will turn this college into place of distinction for vocational and educational training and apprenticeships in the region, and I’m really


proud to be associated with the project. “We have to make sure the further education sector in the UK is properly supported. Post-school education is not just about universities and having a successful further education sector is absolutely critical to the future of the country. I am delighted that the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is hosting such a forward- thinking project fruition.”

The building is due for completion early next year.

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