Manchester marks £146m investment in new academies and schools

•Manchester Communication Academy in Harpurhey – a newly established £30m school specialising in digital communication, languages, drama, speaking and listening opens Thursday, 9th Sept.
•The East Manchester Academy in Beswick – a newly established  £31.5m school specialising in the built environment and performing arts opens Monday, 6th Sept.
•The Co-operative Academy of Manchester in Higher Blackley – a £21.7m school specialising in finance and business opens Monday, 6th Sept and is replacing Plant Hill Arts College.
•The Manchester Health Academy in Wythenshawe – a £19m school specialising in everything relating to health including the medical, clinical, nursing and technical health services. It opened last year in the former Brookway High School premises, but moves to a brand new building Wednesday, 8th Sept.
•Manchester Enterprise Academy in Wythenshawe – a £19m school specialising in enterprise. It opened last year in the former Parklands High School premises, but moves to a brand new building Wednesday, 8th Sept.

Burnage Media and Arts College and Park View Community School in Miles Platting will also be opening in brand new buildings this term.

The academies offer new ways of educating young people with a focus on business skills. They form part of a combined Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and Academies Programme with an unprecedented £500 million investment to rebuild or refurbish all 33 of the city’s high schools, transforming learning to improve education outcomes.

Recent GCSE results already show a general improvement in results across many BSF school and academies.

Each academy has a lead sponsor that reflects a future growth industry for the city and is supported by co-sponsors. The Academy sponsors share their expertise, knowledge and skills with teachers and students to ensure young people develop exactly the right skills and qualifications they need to succeed in Manchester’s growing jobs market.

The Manchester academies programme differs from others across the UK in that Manchester City Council is a co-sponsor of each academy. The academies will work collaboratively with other schools across the city.

At the academies, sponsors work alongside teachers to design learning and assessment materials. All students have personal mentors as well as round the clock access to materials and support to encourage ‘anytime, anywhere learning.’

All the academies are benefiting from considerable investment in the latest IT developments and boast technology including palmtop computers, plasma screens, pocket PC’s, netbooks, Wi-Fi, iMacs, iBooks and a cashless biometric thumb print activated lunch payment system.

As well as benefiting students, the technology will also allow parents to monitor their child’s progress

The academies will have extended opening hours, becoming central to communities and giving parents, families and the whole community the opportunity to benefit from the facilities.

Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, says: "The opening of these five academy buildings is a tremendous achievement for Manchester and something we are all justifiably proud of. It is the start of a totally new way of educating children to ensure real transformational learning. 

"Academies will provide an education that is linked to employers and business ensuring we equip students with exactly the right skills and qualifications they need to take advantage of the city’s growing jobs market."

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