New free school to take in struggling students
A NEW free school for struggling students is to be launched in the Midlands.
Solihull Academy, which opens on April 16, will cater for pupils for whom “mainstream education is not working”and will be the first free school in the borough.
However, it will not be a “pupil referral unit or a special school”, claims its head teacher.
The Academy, in Cranmore Avenue, Shirley, will initially take in 30 Year 9 pupils, with up to 110 students from Years 9 to 11 when it opens fully in September.
Principal Stephen Steinhaus said: “Solihull needs an additional, alternative solution for a number of students for whom mainstream education is simply not working for a range of reasons. Put bluntly, Solihull Academy will be a game-changer for pupils in the borough who really need the game to change.
“With a balanced mix of academic and pastoral intervention, challenge and rigour, we are creating a structured, therapeutic environment to give some of our students in the borough a chance to truly succeed.
“We are creating a community that can and will change the educational futures and life chances for every student who comes to us and, thereby, change what education looks like in Solihull.”
Mr Steinhaus added: “The Academy is not being built as a short-stay provision to intervene and then send students back to mainstream schools. That type of intervention and respite may be a small part of our provision but, in the main, we will be a destination school, not a stopping-off point.”