New free school to take in strug­gling stu­dents

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

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.”

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