Proposal to develop an Academy for Corby by nyut545e2



    Expression of Interest

    Proposal to develop an Academy for Corby

                                   Agreed Final Version

    This Academy for Corby Expression of lntercsf was jointly prepared by BWCTC, CCC and NCC   Page 1 of 9

    Proposal to develop an Academy for Corby

    Why pursue an Academy for Corby?
    Building on the groundwork of the Corby Education Action Zone in recent years,
    Brooke Weston City Technology College, Corby Community College and
    Northamptonshire County Council have worked closely over the last six months to
    identify the most effective strategy for improving educational standards in Corby and
    effecting the next major improvement in the performance of Corby Community
    College. This work has gone hand in hand with Northamptonshire County Council’s
    strategic review of secondary education in Corby.

    The Northamptonshire review highlights the transformation of Corby Community
    College into a new Academy partnered by Brooke Weston College as a key
    development target. The creation of an Academy is filly integrated with other
    priorities identified within the review and supports the LEA’S strategic proposals for
    improving secondary education across the town.’ This Academy proposal is therefore
    designed to meet the needs of Corby Community College and to contribute to the
    implementation of a wider school improvement initiative within Corby as all five
    secondary schools increase levels of collaboration.2

    Discussions have been held during the last six months between sponsors, members
    and officers of the LEA, Brooke Weston City Technology College and Corby
    Community College to establish whether the potential exists for a new Academy in
    Corby which will contribute to raising standards across the town. There is consensus
    that such potential exists and this document outlines the proposals for a new Academy
    in the town.

    The Corby Academy will replace the existing Community College. It is envisaged
    that a new building will be constructed for the Academy and will open on the 1’‘
    September 2006.

    Secondary education provision in Corby has been the subject of a review in 2003 by
    Northamptonshire County Council. Demographic projections suggest that the
    Academy should cater for an intake each year of 200 students: 1250 in total, including
    250 in the sixth form. The Academy will specialise in Business and Enterprise
    complementing the existing or proposed specialisms of the other schools in the town.

    Corby Community College currently makes special provision for approximately 70
    students with a range of disabilities; from profound and multiple to more moderate
    learning and physical difficulties. The designated special provision (DSP)for these
    students comprises a blend of discrete and integrated teaching arrangements.
    Continuing high quality provision for these students forms a part of the new Academy
    proposals. In this way the work of the Academy is filly inclusive and integrated with
    the special educational needs provision of Northamptonshire County Council.

        See Appendix 1 ‘Secondary Education in Corby: A Strategic Plan’.

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The development of the Academy has the support of the LEA, County and Borough
Councillors, the Trustees and Governors of Brooke Weston City Technology College
and the Governors of Corby Community College. It is sponsored by the Weston
Foundation, BeeBee Developments and Brooke Weston City Technology College.

Corby as a whole presents a very challenging education environment. The town has
not yet recovered fiom the closure of the Steel Works, and there remain high levels of
resentment about the ensuing economic misfortune, which has affected most aspects
of Corby life. For example, local employment is mostly in the poorly paid sectors. An
extremely low proportion of adults received post-compulsory education. Statistics for
health, crime, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse are the worst in the County, and
amongst the worst in the East Midlands. A particularly telling statistic is that the
percentage of adults in Corby with experience of higher education is the lowest in

There are centres of excellence, some of which bear comparison with the best in the
world, such as the Pen Green Early Years Centre, Brooke Weston CTC, Rockingham
Speedway, RS Components and the remaining steel tube fabrication works. Corby lies
in very beautiful surrounding countryside, which includes many attractive villages.

Under the auspices of Catalyst Corby, the first of the Urban Regeneration Companies
set up following the launch of the Government’s Urban White Paper and the
establishment of four growth areas for the South East, Corby is set to be transformed.
Population growth f o 53,000 to in excess of 100,000 will create a rebalanced socio-
economic profile and economic growth will underpin the transformation of the town.
Benefiting the Community College’s existing students, the Academy will be a
flagship initiative signalling a commitment to developing the high quality
infrastructure and public services demanded by this scale of expansion.

The establishment of a new Academy will deliver the next major enhancement in the
quality of educational experience for students currently attending Corby Community
College. This is the primary objective of the proposal. Nevertheless, the provision
made by the Academy will not only replace that of the Corby Community College,
but, depending on its location, will also provide high quality educational provision to
the east of the town, supporting and attracting further private development.

The expansion of Corby will eventually require an increase in provision of education
at all levels, however the demographic analysis indicates that there is no immediate
need for significant numbers of new places in secondary

Corby Community College
Corby Community College is a school in challenging circumstances. Formed in 2000
by the amalgamation of two secondary schools in special measures, it is housed in the
part-rehrbished buildings of one of the original schools. The College has 24% of
students eligible for free school meals and 55% of students with prior attainment at

    Source: Census 200 I
    See Appendix 1 ‘Secondary Education in Corby: A Strategic Plan’, Section 2: Demographic Analysis

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    Year 7 below level 4 in two or more of English, Mathematics and Science.
    Approximately 70% of students are on the SEN register and 12% have statements of
    special educational needs. Of these 70 (including 8 in the Sixth form) attend the
    Designated Special Provision, (DSP) Unit, which caters for students with MLD, SLD,
    PMLD, EBD including autistic spectrum, and pupils who also have loss of hearing
    and vision.

    The Community College has worked hard to overcome a legacy of poor achievement
    and low expectations. The substantial progress made so far has recently been
    recognised by OfSTED which stated “ The school has made great improvements over
    the past year from the situation reported in OfSTED’s ongoing monitoring. The
    teaching and learning and the pupils’ attitudes and values have all improved

    Replacing the school with an Academy will allow for more rapid improvement in the
    quality of education provided for the students. Close collaboration between Brooke
    Weston City Technology College and Corby Community College will be established
    during the development phase of the Academy and will continue thereafter, forming
    an integral part of the Academy’s operation. This will ensure that in 2004 the
    proportion of students achieving five or more GCSE grades at A*-C will be at least
    20% with the expectation that results will rise to the national average in 2007.

    The Sponsors
    The project has three sponsors:

    The Weston Foundation
    Founded with the aim of providing support for a broad range of activities in the field
    of religion, education, the environment, the arts, health (including research) and other
    areas of general benefit to the community in the UK the Weston Foundation makes
    generous donations to a wide range of organisations.each year. In Corby, Brooke
    Weston City Technology College and Lodge Park Technology College have both
    benefited from generous grants from the Foundation. The Foundation is a major
    sponsor of the Academy.

    BeeBee Developments
    BeeBee Developments is a property development company with an international
    portfolio. BeeBee Developments’ proposals for developing the east side of Corby are
    a key dimension of the long term urban regeneration plans of ‘Catalyst Corby’. The
    owner of BeeBee, Mr Alfred Drummond, is familiar with the work of Brooke Weston
    College and is committed to supporting the development of a new Academy based on
    similar principles of educational management.

    Brooke Weston City Technology College
    Opened in 199I Brooke Weston City Technology College has developed into a high
    achieving secondary school. With a comprehensive intake the College is regularly
    one of the top perforniing schools in England. The success of Corby CTC Trading,

        OfSTED Inspection Report January 2003.

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the commercial arm of the College, enables it to make a significant contribution as a
sponsor of the Academy.

Tbe Location
Two options for the location of the Academy are currently under consideration. One
option is the redevelopment of the existing Corby Community College site; the other
is the development of a site to the east of the town forming an element of the Priors
Hall development.

Option 1
One option is for the Academy to be built on the playing fields of the existing Corby
Community College; it is anticipated that if this option is adopted the majority of the
current buildings would then be levelled for playing fields.

Option 2
The second option is for the Academy to be located on a brown field site to the east of
the town on the edge of the Priors Hall development. Work on Priors Hall is planned
in the first phase of Catalyst Corby’s plans for regenerating the town. Catalyst Corby
is an Urban Regeneration Project within the Sustainable Communities strategy
overseen by the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. This location caters both for the
population of the existing Community College and provides a focus for the
developing community at Priors Hall. The new Academy would benefit fi-om a 20
acre site was generously donated by BeeBee Developments, allowing ample space for
a state of the art building and for excellent playing fields. This location has been
chosen to mesh with the regeneration proposals for Corby and the Academy forms an
integral part of the scheme. It is anticipated that any monies raised from the sale of
the present Community College site will be used to support the development of the

Should either option be adopted, detailed conversations are already underway about
alternative educational uses for the existing Community College buildings. FOT
example, by redeploying the most recently refurbished parts of the Community
College site as special school accommodation.

Tbe Consultation Process
Positive and extensive discussions about the Academy proposal have taken place
       the sponsors of the Academy
       the local MP, Mr Phi1 Hope
       the leader of the County Council and other local councillors
       the Chief Executive of Corby Borough Council
       all Corby secondary headteachers and representative primary headteachers
       the governing body of Corby Community College
       the governors and trustees of Brooke Weston City Technology College
       Catalyst Corby
       staff at Corby Community College and Brooke Weston City Technology
       officers of the County Council

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        0   the board of the Local Strategic Partnership
        0   the Director of Corby Education Action Zone

    Indications are that there is great enthusiasm and support for the project from the local
    community. Further consultation with all stakeholders will be undertaken as part of
    the development phase of the Academy.

    The Proposed Specialism
    It is intended that the Academy will specialise in Business and Enterprise with the
    development of a range of vocational courses at the heart of the cumculum. Other
    schools in Corby have already identified specialisms: Lodge Park is a Technology
    College with an emphasis on training, The Kingswood School has applied for an Arts
    and Drama specialism and Our Lady and Pope John is considering specialising in
    Science; the new Academy will complement this provision.

    Admissions Criteria
    The success of the Academy will not be determined by its intake alone. The
    admission arrangements for the Academy will be developed with due regard for their
    potential impact on other schools in the town. A proactive investigation of admissions
    models for Corby is already underway with a townwide research phase planned for
    t h s Autumn as schools explore the potential impact of unified admissions
    arrangements based on a fair banding model. This research exercise has the support of
    the LEA and all secondary headteachers in Corby.

    Whatever the outcome of the current investigation, the admissions criteria to be used
    will be consistent with the Admission Law for Maintained Schools and the
    Department for Education and Employment Codes of Practice. A fully detailed
    Admissions Policy will be submitted as part of the final submission to the Secretary of
    State. This will allow all members of the Academy Partnership (including sponsors
    and the LEA) to be involved in drawing up the policy as well as allowing for
    consultation with other stakeholders.

    Those to be consulted with include the Admissions Forum for Northamptonshire
    LEA, along with other schools and Admissions Authorities and local parents. The
    final admission arrangements will be subject to the Secretary of State’s approval.

    Principles and Ethos
    The Academy will aspire to the same ethos and levels of academic success as Brooke
    Weston City Technology College. The Academy will have high expectations of all
    students; it will build on individual student aspirations their and implement high
    levels of personal accountability promoted through a belief that all students can
    succeed. Students will be managed through a culture based upon a non-adversarial
    and supportive approach to student management.

    The Academy will be inclusive and will continue to make provision for those students
    with special needs who are served by the DSP unit. The new building will be
    constructed to provide the necessary specialist accommodation for such students and
    to ensure opportunities exist for easy access to the mainstream curriculum when
    appropriate. This imaginative dimension of the Academy’s service to the community

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will enrich the learning community within the Academy and extend the innovative
scope of the national Academies’ programme.

The day to day organisation and operation of the Academy will draw heavily upon the
Brooke Weston City Technology College model. A longer working day, a five term
year and high levels of stafflstudent contact will underpin a culture of high
expectations. Easy access to the most up-to-date Information and Communication
Technology will be used to facilitate independent learning and support the
development of imaginative teaching programmes. It has been the experience of
Brooke Weston that there are a number of advantages to the five term year model,

    0    avoids lengthy periods of no schooling
    0    establishes individual and institutional routines of learning
    0    supports short term, regular target setting and reporting
    0    effectively assists students in developing as independent learners
         ameliorates some causes of boys’ underachievement
    0    promotes high quality curriculum planning

There is enthusiastic support from the town’s headteachers and the director of the
Corby education action zone for adoption of the five term year by the new Academy.

The curriculum will be designed and differentiated in order to match provision to the
needs of the individual student. The Academy will offer a range of vocational courses
at all levels to meet the needs of students of all abilities; the development and
dissemination of these programmes will allow the Academy to contribute to the
national transformation agenda. The business and enterprise specialism will be
reflected throughout the curriculum.

ICT will be used extensively to support effective administration and to reduce teacher
workload. High quality assessment information will be collected and used to set
targets towards which students will work. This practice is well established at Brooke
Weston and Corby Community College has begun to make progress in developing
such a methodology. Together with other measures this information will inforni the
evaluation of provision in the new Academy, which will enable a service of the
highest quality to be delivered.

During the transition period, collaboration between the two schools will allow for
cumculum resources and expertise to be deployed in such a way as to gain the
maximum educational benefit.

The inclusive differentiated framework of the Academy cumculum will deliver high
quality and appropriate provision for students of all abilities, including those with
special needs which are less acute than the requirements of students in the DSP.

The Academy will extend its influence into the local community by offering a broad
and inclusive programme tailored to meet the learning and recreational needs of
Corby. For example, it will provide fornially accredited vocational and professional

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     courses covering a spectrum of interests, foundation level courses across a range of
     important skills areas including adult literacy and numeracy, and a much-needed
     modem sporting and leisure facility. A strong feature of the Academy’s community
     education programme will be the effective use of ICT to deliver courses and ensure all
     learners have ready access to the necessary resources to pursue their interests.

     The Academy will be innovative and will embrace all of the following features:
        0  specific contractual conditions for teachers
           up to 35 hour taught week for students
        0  a modular constructed curriculum
        0  5 reports to parents each year to support the modular curriculum
        0  ambitious but achievable individualised targets for students
        0  entire cumculum available online
           maximum class sizes of 25
        0  strong commitment to specialist subjects and vocational courses
           out of hours learning
           learning to learn programmes
           purpose-built accommodation designed to support an innovative cumculum
           and raise attendance through its relevance and capacity to engage students

     Governance and management
     The Academy and Brooke Weston will work closely together. It is anticipated that the
     two institutions will co-operate in matters that enable more efficient operation and the
     provision of the best service possible to students.

     The Academy will be a separate independent school with its own headteacher and
     governing body. All members of the Academy governing body will be appointed on
     the basis of the contribution that they will make to the Academy.

     To maximise the educational benefits to be derived fiom the two schools working
     together, the two governing bodies will hold joint meetings to discuss matters of
     common interest whilst retaining direct accountability for their respective institutions.

     The robust partnership between the two schools will be reflected in a close working
     relationship between the senior management teams in both institutions, coupled with
     the provision of common services where appropriate and efficient.

     Transition arrangements
     The synchronous closure of the present Corby Community College and the opening of
     the Academy is likely to take place before the building programme for the new
     Academy accommodation is complete. Steps will be taken to ease the transition from
     the Community College to the Academy: the development of specialist courses, the
     establishment of a work ethic and moves towards the new pattern of the working day
     will begin before the Community College is closed and will, as far as possible, be
     implemented in full before transition to the new buildings.

     All parties to this Expression of Interest recognise the importance of a well-managed
     transition process and are committed to maximising the potential of the pre-transition

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period to further reinforce and promote the aspirations of students currently attending
Corby Community College.

The partnership with Brooke Weston City Technology College has already begun and
will continue to develop and strengthen.

Time frame
It is proposed that Corby Academy opens in September 2006.

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