Community Backs UTC Plans
Plans for Newhaven University Technical College have received the thumbs up from the local community and teachers in a public consultation.
The proposed college will give young people aged 14 – 19 the chance study subjects such as Maths, English and Sciences while gaining skills in engineering in a curriculum shaped by major employers. The Foundation will be one of the sponsors alongside the University of Brighton, Lewes District Council and Veolia Environmental Services Plc. The UTC will focus on the skills in demand by the growing marine engineering and environmental technology sectors in the region.
The sponsors launched a public consultation last November across the catchment area, which takes in Worthing, Brighton, Lewes, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Haywards Heath. Parents, students, school and college teachers, representative bodies and community group leaders were asked for their views on the proposal to open in September 2015.
The report summarising the findings reveals that there is very strong support for the UTC. 85% of all respondents consider it to be a good or a really good idea.There is also a strong belief that the UTC will help to increase attainment and achievement amongst young people (94% overall supported this statement) and an overwhelming belief that the UTC will be different from what's available at other schools and colleges locally.
GCSE results show that the Aldridge Foundation is improving outcomes for disadvantaged students
The 2013 GCSE exam results for the Aldridge Foundation sponsored academy schools demonstrate how effectively our entrepreneurial education is tackling a history of underachievement for disadvantaged young people in the communities they serve.
In the cohort who sat their exams in 2013 all of our schools had more students eligable for Pupil Premium (the standard indicator of disadvantage) than the national average. This reflects our conviction that, in the words of Sir Rod "Everyone has the right to expect an exciting, engaging and relevant education, regardless of who they are, or where they live."
Nationally the gap between the performance of disadvantaged pupils and the rest of the cohort is still large. The achievement of those eligable for Pupil Premium is 26.9% below their peers.
All of our sponsored academies recorded a smaller gap than this in 2013, most notably at our first school, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, where there was no gap in performance at all between the two groups. At Brighton Aldridge Community Academy the measure of progress between leaving primary school and GCSEs (Value Added Score) for disadvantaged students is 1011, well above the national average of 983, showing that our students are consistently making well above average progress, irrespective of their start in life.
Chief Executive Honor Wilson-Fletcher said: "We want all of our students to do outstandingly well, but it is a measure of the commitment and skill of our staff that those young people who have traditionally done least well, do better than average at our schools."