Big business backs new Studio Schools

Published on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 16:16
Posted by Scott Buckler

Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced he had approved the opening of 15 new Studio Schools – backed by big employers including Hilton Hotels, Michelin and Aston Villa Football Club

The new schools are due to open in 2013 and 2014. By September 2013 we expect 30 Studio Schools to be open.

Studio Schools are set up with the backing of employers, and are a key part of the Government's drive to ensure the education system gives school leavers the skills that business needs to grow and prosper.

They offer academic and vocational qualifications but teach them in a practical way. Study is combined with work placements with local and national employers involved in the school.

Along with University Technical Colleges, Studio Schools will increase choice for parents and pupils in communities across the country, help raise standards in vocational education and ensure young people have the skills that employers demand.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

Studio Schools benefit both business and young people – they are a brilliant way for employers to become involved in helping give young people what they need to get good jobs. They are aimed at children who learn in more practical ways and offer good qualifications alongside the kind of skills employers want.

Studio Schools teach a rigorous academic and vocational curriculum in a practical way. They equip young people with the qualifications and skills to help companies prosper, and offer paid work experience.

It is fantastic that so many successful employers are getting behind the Studio School movement.

The projects approved today include:

  • The Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio in Blackburn, where Darwen will specialise in business administration, retail, ICT and leisure. It is led by the Aldridge Foundation, sponsors of existing academies, who will work with employers including Capita, Crown Paints, Twin Valley Homes and European Electronique to deliver a curriculum focused on entrepreneurship and tailored to local skills needs.
  • The Southampton Studio School, proposed by Southampton City College, will specialise in Marine and Cruise industries, a major local employer. The school will offer students the opportunity to follow a range of pathways including apprenticeships and HE targeted at local skills gaps via a project based curriculum and work placements developed with the involvement of employers and other local partners, including Business Solent, Meacher's Global Logistics, Royal Yachting Association and Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust.
  • The Kajan Hospitality and Catering Studio, which has been proposed by Kajan Women's Enterprise, a social enterprise that works with adults, children and young people in the Birmingham area. The school will specialise in cuisine and culinary skills with a focus on Caribbean catering. Partner employers include Aston Villa Football Club, Hilton Hotels and National Express.

David Frost CBE, chair of the Studio Schools trust and former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

I am delighted that the Government has approved another 15 Studio Schools, and that interest is continuing to grow as we expand our network of Studio Schools across England.

Studio Schools are playing a vital role in equipping young people with the skills and experience that they need to succeed in a competitive jobs market, through combining mainstream qualifications with real experience of the world of work.

Employers are keen to help prepare young people for the workplace, and Studio Schools allow them to get involved in all aspects of school life – from designing the curriculum and delivering masterclasses, to providing paid work placements and mentoring students.

With enterprise and entrepreneurialism at the core, many Studio Schools will run their own social enterprises, and students will run their own businesses, therefore helping to strengthen the economy and community in their local area.

I look forward to working with the 15 new Studio Schools as they prepare to open.

Source: ©DFE

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