Duchess of Cambridge To Open Kensington Aldridge Academy
Today (Monday 19 January) Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the new Kensington Aldridge Academy.
Her Royal Highness toured the academy, met Principal David Benson, students and staff, and sat in on a geography and an R.E. lesson. The Duchess then enjoyed a short presentation from students in the theatre before unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit.
Principal David Benson said: ""Students, staff and parents were thrilled that Her Royal Highness was able to visit us today and officially open the school. We are providing much needed new secondary school places to our community, and are proud of the start we have made. Over 600 applications for next year, reflecting our growing reputation. Today was an important and exciting chapter in our history"
Her Royal Highness spoke to year 7 students in the library during a reading session. Student Mehdi Abid said: "I've been looking forward to her visit all week and so I was really happy that she came into the library." Fellow student Lana Harouki added "I have improved my reading because we have half an hour of reading out loud everyday, and the Duchess told me she used to love reading out loud too."
Chyna Mealin added: "She seemed really happy to be at our school and meet students in the library and speak about their reading. She said my book looked really interesting and asked me to read a fact from it."
Sir Rod Aldridge, founder of the academy's lead sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, said: "We had a rare opportunity to work with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to create a new, exceptional academy to join our and the Council's respective families of schools. We planned for an academy that would deliver the highest standards of attainment, building on success already achieved in the neighbouring primary schools. I am confident that the academy will make a real difference to our students and to the local community it serves."
"The Duchess, together with Prince William, opened our first academy in Darwen (Lancashire) in 2011, in what was one of the last official engagements they carried out before their wedding. We are thrilled that Her Royal Highness could open this wonderful new school in Kensington today."
PM Announces Sir Rod To Chair National College for Digital Skills
On the 8th December the Prime Minister announced the launch of the National College for Digital Skills, an industry-led institution that will address a growing demand for higher level digital skills in the UK. The college will begin to deliver training in 2015 and will open to full time students in 2016 offering students a range of qualifications and apprenticeships.
Sir Rod Aldridge, who is the Founding Chair of the National College, said:"There is a growing demand for higher level digital skills, particularly programming, combined with the broader skillsets that students need to thrive in the modern workplace. The National College for Digital Skills will play a pivotal role in supplying this need by providing courses that are tailored to the diverse needs of the digital economy."