New Sponsor For The James Brindley Academy

NHS Stoke-on-Trent has stepped down as lead sponsor for the proposed James Brindley Academy and is to be replaced by the Ormiston Trust.

Following the publication of the Department of Health White Paper which proposes to abolish Primary Care Trusts by April 2013 Stoke-on-Trent Primary Care Trust (NHS Stoke-on-Trent) has decided to step down as lead sponsor on the proposed James Brindley Academy project in Stoke-on-Trent.

NHS Stoke-on-Trent made this difficult decision to ensure the project can continue forward without any doubts about the sponsorship and so that business could continue as normal for everyone involved.

The Department for Education has agreed that the Ormiston Trust already the sponsor of the Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy which replaced Blurton High School this September, can become the lead sponsor. Ormiston Trust will work with NHS Stoke-on-Trent and Keele University as strategic partners to deliver the new academy to the current timescales.

A non-profit organisation, Ormiston Trust first sponsored Gateway Academy in Thurrock in 2006, and now sponsors eleven academies across the UK, four of which opened this September in East Anglia, Stoke-on-Trent and Cheshire.

Ormiston Trust’s Managing Director Joyce Hodgetts commented: “We are delighted to become the sponsor of the proposed James Brindley Academy. Ormiston is committed to improving the life chances of young people as demonstrated by the excellent recent results of our 7 existing academies. We are very proud of the sustained success of the work we do and look forward to the staff, students and parents being a part of this.”

Chris Dawes, Chairman of NHS Stoke-on-Trent, stated: “Despite the change in status following the Health White Paper everybody at NHS Stoke-on-Trent remains committed to the vision of the new academy at James Brindley and are eager to work with Ormiston Trust and Keele University to make the vision a reality.”

The Academy will continue to have Science and Health as specialisms, and Clive Rigby will continue to be Principal Designate.

In addition, the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding for the new academy was secured last month and the work to translate the education vision into an early design has been progressing throughout the summer.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for children and youing people’s services, Cllr. Debra Gratton, said: “Obviously we’re disappointed the NHS Stoke-on-Trent won’t be able to continue as the lead sponsor but they will still have involvement with the new academy and we’re delighted that Ormiston Trust have agreed to take over. I would like to assure pupils, staff and the local community that this will in no way affect the timetable for the building of the new academy.”

Building work on the new academy is due to begin in September 2011 with pupils moving into the new school two years later. However, the Academy is still on course to open in existing buildings in September 2011.

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