We were delighted to welcome Rt. Hon. Lord Baker of Dorking C.H. to the academy yesterday. He took a tour, met with staff and students, and learned about the changes and improvements that have taken place since the school converted to an academy in January last year.
During his visit Lord Baker engaged in a lively discussion about politics with a group of A level students, as well as talking about his own achievements and, importantly, the future plans for the academy. He also visited the English department and took part in a question and answer session with some of the Year 7 students.
Lord Baker is a member of Bright Tribe’s Education Advisory Board, providing advice and strategic direction to Bright Tribe schools and the central education team. He is co-founder of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust which was set up to develop and promote the concept of university technical colleges (UTCs).
Lord Baker’s visit was arranged as part of the launch of the academy’s new curriculum which will be fully rolled out in September this year. The curriculum, which is UTC and Career Colleges complementary, will deliver improved pathways for our students from age 14 to 18, offering academic and vocational subjects and qualifications or a mix of both, with extra-curricular activities to improve employability and life skills – a complete package to provide students with the skills that employers say they need.
Partners include local and national employers, outstanding apprenticeship providers, further and higher education institutions – giving students unrivalled opportunities for work experience, further education and careers advice and guidance.
One of these partners is GEN2 and we are working in collaboration with GEN2 to develop and deliver a range of high quality education and training programmes in engineering and manufacturing on site here at the academy. This collaboration brings together two partners with a shared ambition of delivering high quality education and training and meeting the skills needs of employers.
Gary Kelly, Bright Tribe Regional Director, commented: “We were immensely proud to show Lord Baker around the academy today and share with him the achievements of our students. We are excited to be launching this innovative and bold new curriculum and confident that it will provide our students with relevant pathways to further and higher education, apprenticeships and jobs, giving them choices about their future.”