• Aldridge Cricket Academy Student Selected For Sussex Tour

    Date: February 12th 2018

    Aldridge Cricket Academy student Will Sheffield has been selected by Sussex Cricket to join their professional squad on their pre-season tour to South Africa next month.

    Will will travel with the players to Cape Town for the two-week trip and have the opportunity to train and play with the first team alongside the likes of Jofra Archer, Luke Wells and Luke Wright and develop a relationship with Sussex’s new Head Coach, Jason Gillespie.

    Sussex Cricket’s Academy Director, Carl Hopkinson, said: “Joining the squad’s pre-season tour will be an invaluable experience for Will.”

    “The trip to South Africa will give him a further taste of the demands on a professional cricketer and an indication of where he is in comparison to our first team squad.”

    Will became the first boy from the Aldridge Cricket Academy to join the Sussex Boys’ Academy when he was included in this year’s intake. A left-arm swing bowler and useful lower-order batsman, Will combines his sixth form studies with a dedicated cricket programme at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA).


    Will Sheffield said: “I am very pleased to be selected for this tour. It will be a great experience for me and I am really looking forward to the challenge of training and playing at a higher level of cricket.”

  • Oxford University Offers For Kensington Students

    Date: January 20th 2018

    Three students from Kensington Aldridge Academy have received offers from Oxford University Colleges this term. Kai Sirleaf, was offered a place to read Spanish and Linguistics at Oriel College, Oxford. Titilayo Maathai was offered a place at Magdalen College Oxford to read English Literature, and Abdullahi Maathai was offered a place to read French and Russian at Christ Church, Oxford. This is a fantastic result from in our first year of university applications by the academy’s “founder cohort” of sixth form students.

  • David Benson Named In “Most Influential Londoners” List

    Date: October 20th 2017

    The Evening Standard newspaper has named Kensington Aldridge Academy Principal David Benson in its list of educationalists amongst the most influential people in London 2017.

    David Benson, Principal of Kensington Aldridge AcademyThe Progress 1000 accolade states: “Head of the school at the foot of Grenfell Tower, Benson was on the scene of the fire and kept the school running after the tragedy. He had to explain the events to pupils, arranged for them to sit their exams elsewhere and organised therapeutic support and counselling. He has praised the resilience shown by his pupils throughout the ordeal, saying he is proud and inspired by them and described them as “brilliant, lovely and sparky”.

  • National Award For Construction Academy

    Date: July 12th 2017

    On Thursday 6th July the Aldridge KSD Construction Academy received the ‘Academy Partnership Award’ at the Education Business Awards.

    The Aldridge KSD Construction Academy, a specialist course at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, is a unique collaboration between education and industry that provides a technical training centre for post-16 students pursuing careers in construction.

  • PACA Scoops Youth In Action Awards

    Date: July 3rd 2017

    Portslade Aldridge Community Academy was recognised as Most Improved School of the Year at the Brighton Argus Youth In Action Awards yesterday. The Academy had a double celebration as Head of PSHCE & Student Leadership Dean Flynn was selected for the Teacher of the Year award.

    The Argus said; “The school in Portslade has gone from special measures before it became an academy in 2011 to being rated good across the board by Ofsted in a few short years.”

    The Awards come after hundreds of nominations were sent in by the public to The Argus before winners were chosen by votes from sponsors for the event. Director of Study for Art and Design, Sharon Durham, joined Dean in collecting the Most Improved School award on behalf of the academy.

  • KAA Footballers Make Final

    Date: May 20th 2017

    Congratulations to Kensington Aldridge Academy under 13 girls team on making the Schools League Final. The game, staged at Queens Park Rangers’ Loftus Road Stadium was the team’s first final experience.

  • Incredible AfriDACA Trip For Darwen Students

    Date: April 5th 2017


  • Partner Special Recognition Award For Foundation

    Date: March 30th 2017

    Future Foundations, an independent training organisation with a mission is to inspire young people to achieve their full potential and become leaders in their lives and within society, named  the Aldridge Foundation as winners of their Partner Special Recognition Award at their Annual Awards ceremony on March 25th.

    Future Foundations and the Wellington Leadership Institute are committed to supporting and celebrating young people who are working on innovative social action projects across the globe. The award recognised our work  with Future Foundations to build collaborative programmes and sustainable community projects to embed their Global Social Leadership programme in Aldridge academies.

    Also at the Awards Brighton Aldridge Community Academy students Caspian Armani, Keeley Wade and Rebecca Farley won the ‘National Citizens Service (NCS) Award’ for their Community Hub and Café project and UTC@harbourside student Callum Beers won the Individual Impact Award open to members of Global Social Leaders Societies the Future Foundation has established. The award was assessed on criteria including measurable impact to date on the community, the student’s personal growth, learning/knowledge and skills gained, and creating a sustainable social action project involving other people and/organisations.

  • ACA show off their skills whilst playing three matches in Dubai

    Date: February 24th 2017

    Students from the Aldridge Cricket Academy have returned from a tour of Dubai that gave them a unique insight into life and playing in in the United Arab Emirates.

    The fifteen BACA and PACA students were accompanied by Academy Cricket Director Alexia Walker, Strength and Conditioning Coach Rob Chave, and former Sussex player John Spencer, who acted as the Tour Ambassador. As well as playing three matches the squad visited the Zayed Grand Mosque, the Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Centre and took in a Pakistan Super League Twenty20 fixture. Here are the match reports from those matches:

    Match 1 v Reigate GS at ‘Sevens’ ground in Dubai: 35 over match ACA  140-7 in 32 overs (A Gent 33, A Malik  32).    Reigate 141-8 (W Sheffield 3-30, A O’Brien 2-23, F Thomson 1-13) Reigate won by 2 wickets.

    There was much excitement, anticipation and apprehension as we arrived at the very well resourced ‘Sevens’ ground in Dubai. The pitch looked good, the outfield lush and the weather cloudy with the threat of rain…..not what we expected while playing cricket in the desert! A steady start saw us reach 39-1 in 10 overs, very promising as it was our first bat on grass for at least five months. The next 10 overs produced just 32 runs as the batters struggled to ,find their timing against tight bowling and keen fielding. Just as the runs started to flow we went off for a rain break and an early lunch. The match was reduced to 32 overs (which was to our disadvantage; an observation, clearly not an excuse!) and we did very well to add 51 in the last 7 overs. Awais Malik scored a solid 32 and Alfie Gent a quick-fire 33. 140-7 was a competitive total. The bowlers acquitted themselves well. They were backed up by some keen fielding and, after 20 overs Reigate were 65-3; 75 to win in 12 overs, so the game was delicately poised. Finn Thomson (1-13 in 6 overs) bowled beautifully, to stem their flow of runs in the middle overs, and Louis Grahame bowled a good spell and claimed a crucial wicket. The game seemed to be slipping from our grasp when Will Sheffield came back and took 3 wickets. 11 to win in 2 overs; 6 required off the last over; 3 off the last ball….we couldn’t have written a better script! Will bowled a near perfect swinging yorker only to see it squirt off an inside edge to an unprotected boundary. So we lost by two wickets off the last ball….but what an opening game.

    Match 2: v Zayed Academy at the Zayed Stadium nursery ground, Abu Dhabi: 40 over match Zayed Academy 174 (C Hepburn 3-3, A O’Brien 2-23, F Thomson 2-33).  ACA 175-9 (W Sheffield 47 not out, A Gent 27, R Barnes 25, F Thomson 15). ACA won by 1wicket.

    The Zayed Stadium nursery ground is adjacent to the impressive Test Match ground. It provided another hard and well grassed wicket with lush grass on the sandy outfield. It was more a game of ‘four quarters’ than ‘two halves’ with ACA dominant at the crucial parts of the match. Zayed got off to a very solid start, accumulating 77-2 in the first 20 overs. Their progress was slowed down by a lovely spell of left spin by Adam O’Brien and we never allowed them to regain the initiative. We didn’t help ourselves by dropping far too many catches; however, we caught three ‘blinders’, two at slip by Redding Barnes and one in the deep by Liam O’Brien. Charley Hepburn took 3-3 to polish off their innings, which ensured that the target stayed within reach. In reply, we got off to a poor start; at 26-5 our position could have described as ‘dire’ – at best, as ‘not being in the driving seat!’ Redding Barnes and Alfie Gent added 57 to give our innings an air of respectability; more important was that they created momentum and played the spinners with ease. Finn Thomson and Will Sheffield maintained this momentum, but when Louis Grahame joined Will with 9 wickets down we still needed 36 to win. Displaying great temperament, they knock the runs off with intelligence and calmness; two old pros could not have done it better! My man-of-the-match, Will Sheffield scored 47 not out and played with such style that it made a mockery of the ‘no 11 tag’ he came with in September.

    Match 3: v GM Academy, Sharjah at The University of Light ground, Sharjah. 30 over match. ACA 118-8 (S Dobson 27, F Thomson 22, L O’Brien 13)  GM Academy 119-4 (W Sheffield 3-28) GM Academy won by 4 wickets.

    It was early breakfast for a prompt departure for the 9:00 start in Sharjah. We weaved our way through heavy traffic in time to get properly loose and warmed up for 9:00 but there was no sign of ground staff or opposition until nearly 10:00! Apart from a few who regretted an hour of unnecessarily lost sleep, we were all pretty relaxed about the delay. The wicket was rolled mud, the type we had been expecting in the UAE, but the covers had leaked leaving a series of saturated patches just short of a length. Nonetheless we elected to bat and the wicket played beautifully. Sam Dobson and Finn Thomson played extremely well against some tight opening bowlers and a very good spin bowler. At 58-1 in the 13th over we were looking good. The turning point was Sam Dobson’s run out, and the innings subsided in a fashion that has become too frequent for English teams on slow flat turners! Liam O’Brien hit the shot of the tour – a huge six over Long off – but he then ran himself out in the same over. Will Sheffield looked good again with a chirpy 10 not out. Defending 118, we needed to be in top form with the ball and in the field; a maiden from Will Sheffield looked promising but it was a false dawn as they climbed into our bowling with an indecent amount of relish. Their no 3, fresh from a 20 ball 45 against the full senior Scotland team, hit 4 sixes in his first 8 balls, all classically executed. The team will have learned a lot from playing against a strong side in same conditions in which the England, Australian, New Zealand and South African Test teams struggle. For a while we looked comfortable, definitely in control; the key is to keep the momentum going for you let the opposition back in the game at your peril….ask the England Test, ODI and T20 teams!

  • Sussex Coaching Roles For Aldridge Cricket Academy Stars

    Date: February 24th 2017

    As Sussex Cricket announced its new coaching team for women’s cricket in the county the Aldridge Cricket Academy was well represented.

    ACA Director of Cricket Alexia Walker has been named as one of the Assistant Coaches to new Head Coach Jimmy Anyon for the Senior and Under 19/21 squads. She will also be Head coach of the Under 17s.

    England U19 bowler and former ACA student Tara Norris was also named Assistant Coach of the Sussex Under 12s.

  • DACA Students Make National Tycoon in Schools Final

    Date: February 13th 2017

    A team of budding entrepreneurs from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy have made it to the finals of the nationwide enterprise competition, Tycoon in Schools, developed by BBCT TV “Dragon’s Den” star Peter Jones.

    The three year 8 students are one of just eight teams who will attend Buckingham Palace for the awards ceremony on Monday 6th March. They officially launched their business idea, Community Kids, to market in October, producing calendars to celebrate the beauty of Blackburn and Darwen and at the same time raise money for a memorial garden for their friend who sadly died last year.

    More information.

  • Former DACA Student, Declan Grimshaw, 17, receives British Education Award

    Date: February 6th 2017

    We are delighted to announce that a former Darwen Aldridge Community Academy student, Declan Grimshaw, 17, won a Special Achievement Award at the 2017 British Education Awards. The ceremony took place event at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on the 30th of January and was hosted by BBC news presenter Sophie Long.

    Awards for Special Achievement were presented to three candidates that the BEA awarding panel adjudged to have overcome exceptionally difficult circumstances to progress in their studies and achieve success. Declan, who is autistic and also registered blind, picked up the special achievement award for overcoming his difficulties and passing all of his GCSEs last summer.

    Declan Grimshaw and his family at the British Education Awards 2017

    David Cane, Interim Principal at DACA, said “We are incredibly proud of Declan. Despite numerous difficulties, Declan has achieved a great deal academically and has grown into a very independent and resilient young adult who is a credit to us and his family.”

    Declan’s mother, Jennifer Sumner, commented “It was amazing to celebrate and see our Declan receive an award for his efforts in education…Thank you so very much to the huge team of people that have worked with Declan through the years and have contributed to the amazing young man he has become. We are eternally thankful and proud parents and grandparents and he continues to make us proud every day. We are so lucky to have such amazing schools in Darwen and that’s because the teachers are so wonderful. Education is the key to success.”

    Read the full summary of the evening here.

    (Top Photo L-R Angela Frain (Declan’s Learning Support Assistant) Declan Grimshaw and Rachel Lewis (Assistant Principal, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy)

  • BACA Achieves First Ofsted GOOD!

    Date: January 12th 2017

    Ofsted Inspectors visited the Academy at the end of November and confirmed in their report, published today, that they had found BACA to be a Good school in all aspects of what it does, including for teaching, student behaviour and welfare, and the results students achieve. This represents a significant achievement for the academy, which had previously been rated as requiring improvement.

    This now means that every Aldridge academy that has been inspected since converting to academy status has been rated Good by Ofsted.

    More information.

  • PACA Celebrates Ofsted Good Rating

    Date: December 6th 2016

    Ofsted Inspectors visited the Academy in November and confirmed in their report published today that they had found PACA to be a Good school in all aspects of what it does. This represents a significant achievement for the academy, which had previously been rated as requiring improvement.

    More information.

  • Kensington Celebrates Academy’s Most Successful Charity Week

    Date: November 28th 2016

    In the third week of November Kensington Aldridge Academy was jam packed with Charity Week activities as students across the four houses raised money for Crisis at Christmas, Cancer Research UK, Multiple Sclerosis Trust and West London Action for Children. Each house was allocated one day to raise money at school during break times and enrichment. It was a wonderful opportunity for our Year 12s to work with students in Year 7, 8 and 9 – with the whole school community working together great causes. You can read the full story on the KAA website.

  • DACA Wins British Council Award

    Date: November 17th 2016

    Darwen Aldridge Community Academy has been recognised with a British Council International School Award recognising its “outstanding development of the international dimension in the curriculum” at the academy. Aldridge Education Chief Executive Chris Tweedale collected the award on behalf of the academy from Sir Ciaran Devane at a ceremony in London on Monday 14th November.

    More information about the awards can be found here.

  • Foundation Celebrates 10th Anniversary

    Date: November 11th 2016

    On November 8th the Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary at an event attended by over 100 guests and supporters. Guest of honour Sir David Carter, the National Schools Commissioner, thanked Sir Rod for his “immense contribution to the academy movement in this country” and, in recognising Rod’s passion for helping the communities that he grew up in and has worked in, said “that’s exactly what we should be doing in the public sector”.

    The event also featured a presentation of the highlights of the Foundation’s first 10 years interspersed with some stunning student artwork.

  • Tara Qualifies As Level 2 Coach

    Date: August 16th 2016

    Aldridge Cricket Academy student Tara Norris has become an ECB Level 2 coach. The English Cricket Board course is one of the qualifications ACA students can study for alongside their academic studies and cricket skills development. Tara has graduated from the Academy this summer and is an already established member of the Sussex Women’s team and has played for England Under 19’s.

    Tara, who joined the Aldridge Cricket Academy in 2014, and studied at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy was named by Sussex County Cricket Club in their 2016 Academy intake.


  • National Award For Brighton Digital Media Initiative

    Date: July 15th 2016

    On Wednesday 13 July Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies’ joint Digital Media Academy, BDMA, won the Academy Partnership Award at the National Education Business Awards in London.  This acknowledges the innovative partnership the Academy has created with digital media companies and the bespoke curriculum provision and opportunities it offers students.

    Over 200 people attended the ceremony at the Grange Hotel, St Paul’s, London and the award was sponsored by Ward-Hendry creative design and photography.

  • UTC@harbourside Design Scoops Sussex Heritage Award

    Date: July 12th 2016

    UTC@harbourside’s riverside campus has won a Sussex Heritage Trust Award for the quality and excellence of its design. The Public and Community Building award was presented by the Rt Hon Lord Egremont, DL, President of Sussex Heritage Trust at the trust’s annual awards luncheon at Pangdean Old Barn, Pyecombe on Thursday (7 July).

    Award judges praised UTC@harbourside in Newhaven, East Sussex, for  ‘providing an inspiring and impressively equipped environment for a school’. The judges noted this as “an outstanding regeneration project of high architectural quality and local historical significance.” Sussex Heritage Awards seek to recognise and reward high quality conservation, restoration and good design of newly built projects and encourage the use of traditional skills and crafts.