Go-ahead for Burlington Danes Academy

Local school set to become a city academy

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Burlington Danes School is set to become a city academy after the borough's School Organisation Committee (SOC) approved the proposal on Monday 12th June.

The new Burlington Danes Academy, which already has the backing of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, will undergo a £15 million redevelopment - including a major refurbishment of the existing buildings and the creation of a new sports centre and performing arts centre. Work is due to take place in 2008-9.

The academy, which is sponsored by the educational charity Ark, will be organised as a set of 'schools within a school'. While headteacher Spokey Wheeler will provide leadership across the academy, each small school will have its own teaching and social space and its own head. The aim is for each child to learn in a close-knit environment and for teachers to really get to know their students well.


Details have yet to be finalised but it is envisaged that there will be two small schools for students aged 11 to 14 and a further two for students aged 14 to 19, as the academy hopes to open a sixth form next year. Some specialist teaching areas, as well as the arts and sports centres, are likely to be shared by all the 'small schools'.

The new academy, which is due to established in September this year, will continue to have a comprehensive intake of local boys and girls from a wide range of backgrounds and will remain a Church of England school.


A full range of secondary subjects will be taught at the school and teaching will be structured to ensure that all students get a good grounding in English and maths.

Headteacher Spokey Wheeler said "Academy status will mean we can offer our students and staff a really high quality environment in which to learn and teach, as well as first-class facilities for sport and the arts. Ofsted has already recognised the significant improvements taking place at Burlington Danes and we are now well on our way to fulfilling this school's enormous promise."

Other plans for the new academy include establishing specialisms in science as well as visual and performing arts. The aim would be to share resources, facilities and expertise with other local schools and the community.

Cllr Alexandra Robson, cabinet member for education, said "The plan to establish a city academy at Burlington Danes offers a great opportunity to build on the tremendous progress already made by the school. The council's new administration is committed to working with and supporting the new Burlington Danes Academy in their quest to improve exam results significantly."

 

June 13, 2006