Pupils begin new school term at Portland Academy

Students Emily Chalk, William Whitby and Katie Smith at Portland Academy on the Royal Manor campus

Students Emily Chalk, William Whitby and Katie Smith at Portland Academy on the Royal Manor campus

First published in News by

CHILDREN returning to school on Portland made history as they started the term at a new academy.

Beginning an ‘exciting year’ for students and staff, pupils began school as normal but under the umbrella of the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy.

The establishment, which was given the green light to open from the government earlier this year as part of national efforts to improve schools and education, opened at the sites of its four founding schools – The Grove , Brackenbury and Underhill , Southwell and Royal Manor.

The big changes will come in September 2013 when youngsters and staff move into a £15 million campus in refurbished buildings at Southwell Business Park plus a £8m campus at the Chesil Cove Federation School, Osprey Quay .

When works are completed, the academy will boast a 200-seat theatre, swimming pool, sports, arts and music facilities and professional kitchens.

The academy is a joint project with education charity the Aldridge Foundation as lead sponsor, Dorset County Council as co-sponsor and learning guru Professor Stephen Heppell as patron.

Principal designate Alison Appleyard said: “After years of planning, this is a tremendous time for the academy and for our students.

“It has been a superb effort by a great number of people since our Funding Agreement was announced in April to get to opening day.

“Now, however, is just the start of what will be an exciting journey. The welfare and education of our students is the overriding priority for me, our heads of campus and staff at all times and changes in this transition year will be phased in carefully.”

While heralding significant change for Portland with its aim to raise standards, transform learning and modernise facilities, the academy has not been without its share of controversy with concerns raised over the locations of sites, cost of uniforms, transport issues, and the fact that it has been downgraded with less funding.

Concerns about the academy prompted St George’s Primary School to elect not to be part of the scheme, although it will be working closely with the academy and pupils will be able to apply to enter the academy at year 7.

Parent Nicola Rowlands, one of Dorset County Council’s representatives on the governing board, added: “It is my hope that the academy will provide the building blocks and inspiration to enable the students to have the desire, ambition and enthusiasm to achieve.”

Comments (10)

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2:14pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Laadeeda says...

A new school term marked by the noticeable amount of litter, (cans and sandwich wrappers), strewn in the road and gardens between Tesco's and the Academy or Campus!!!!!
A new school term marked by the noticeable amount of litter, (cans and sandwich wrappers), strewn in the road and gardens between Tesco's and the Academy or Campus!!!!! Laadeeda
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Mon 10 Sep 12

portland rebel says...

such a shame the other schools on portland didnt have the same insight as st georges,
it would also help if this paper reported that the majority of parents have and are still fighting AGAINST this farce.
such a shame the other schools on portland didnt have the same insight as st georges, it would also help if this paper reported that the majority of parents have and are still fighting AGAINST this farce. portland rebel
  • Score: 0

3:06pm Mon 10 Sep 12

steve37 says...

How come they quoted that "The big changes will come in September 2013 when youngsters and staff move into a £15 million campus in refurbished buildings at Southwell Business Park" They have no planning permission yet and i can't see how they will get it with the amount against it!!
How come they quoted that "The big changes will come in September 2013 when youngsters and staff move into a £15 million campus in refurbished buildings at Southwell Business Park" They have no planning permission yet and i can't see how they will get it with the amount against it!! steve37
  • Score: 0

3:07pm Mon 10 Sep 12

shop worker says...

The big changes will come in September 2013 when youngsters and staff move into a £15 million campus in refurbished buildings at Southwell Business Park plus a £8m campus.

Get your facts right at the moment they do not have planning and a lot of people will be objecting, so they may not get it.
The big changes will come in September 2013 when youngsters and staff move into a £15 million campus in refurbished buildings at Southwell Business Park plus a £8m campus. Get your facts right at the moment they do not have planning and a lot of people will be objecting, so they may not get it. shop worker
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Wintabrew says...

I hate to think it but planning permission is a minor detail, this is a done deal years ago whether we like it or not. I am on the NOT side as are most of the island, what does it matter what we want? We only have to live with this farce..............
I hate to think it but planning permission is a minor detail, this is a done deal years ago whether we like it or not. I am on the NOT side as are most of the island, what does it matter what we want? We only have to live with this farce.............. Wintabrew
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Mon 10 Sep 12

strawberryblonde says...

Planning permission for the refurb at the business park hasn't been confirmed yet!!!!
Planning permission for the refurb at the business park hasn't been confirmed yet!!!! strawberryblonde
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Mon 10 Sep 12

strawberryblonde says...

Also what about all the asbestos in the walls, will that be dealt with before our children move there!!!!????
Also what about all the asbestos in the walls, will that be dealt with before our children move there!!!!???? strawberryblonde
  • Score: 0

11:36am Wed 12 Sep 12

portland rebel says...

as the proposed site is a business park and the local plan states this is a designated business area if planning is permitted the council will be breaking their own planning regulaltions, and the local plan will be worthless.
as the proposed site is a business park and the local plan states this is a designated business area if planning is permitted the council will be breaking their own planning regulaltions, and the local plan will be worthless. portland rebel
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Wed 12 Sep 12

biggestoaf says...

But the Conservative policy on academies is forcing schools to become businesses, and to become market-led. So planning permission shouldn't be a problem.
But the Conservative policy on academies is forcing schools to become businesses, and to become market-led. So planning permission shouldn't be a problem. biggestoaf
  • Score: 0

7:45pm Wed 12 Sep 12

portland rebel says...

biggestoaf wrote:
But the Conservative policy on academies is forcing schools to become businesses, and to become market-led. So planning permission shouldn't be a problem.
the goverment also states that academies are to complement the cuurent schools, and offer parents more choice which isnt the case when they have taken over every school on the island, the goverment also states that industrial and business parks are not the place for schools.
[quote][p][bold]biggestoaf[/bold] wrote: But the Conservative policy on academies is forcing schools to become businesses, and to become market-led. So planning permission shouldn't be a problem.[/p][/quote]the goverment also states that academies are to complement the cuurent schools, and offer parents more choice which isnt the case when they have taken over every school on the island, the goverment also states that industrial and business parks are not the place for schools. portland rebel
  • Score: 0

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