We have in recent years become involved in a major educational initiative as part of its drive to contribute to the improvement of standards in schools in London.
Queen Mary is co-sponsoring the Drapers' Academy with the Drapers' Company, a major City Livery Company with which the College has a long-standing partnership and from which it has received significant support. The Academy is located on Harold Hill in the London Borough of Havering and forms a key part of the Harold Hill Learning Village, a major educational initiative by Havering to regenerate an area of the Borough that has experienced high levels of worklessness and poor progression to further and higher education. The project has received much support from the Borough. As with most other Academies, it will conform to the admissions policy of the Local Authority. The specialisms of the Drapers' Academy will be Mathematics and Science and the intention is that these will link to and be supported by Queen Mary. The College has already begun work with the Academy's predecessor school through contact with academic departments and with student mentoring and tutoring. A Sixth Form will open at the Academy in 2012. One of the benefits of the Drapers' Academy is an unusually large and attractive site on the edge of the Green Belt. This will be complemented by specially designed new buildings, currently at design stage. The plans and animations showing the building can be seen at www.avrlondon.com/drapers-academy.html.
The Governing Body of the Drapers' Academy will be chaired by Adrian Lyons of the Drapers' Company. Queen Mary representatives will be Professor Morag Shiach, who is Vice-Chair and has led on the development of the education vision for the academy and Dr Mike Watkinson, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. The new Academy will be at the heart of the local community, offering families an excellent education, new opportunities, and facilities that are available to everyone. The Sponsor’s aim is for the Academy to be recognised as a centre of excellence where learning is fun and high standards are achieved, by:
- Providing a stimulating, safe and purposeful environment within which each pupil is valued and motivated to strive for excellence in both academic achievement and personal development
- Providing a diverse and balanced curriculum with a quality of teaching that fosters an enjoyment of learning and develops skills for life
- Delivering a personalised approach to learning to promote enjoyment and achievement
- Including and developing all pupils and providing equal opportunities for all
- Developing successful leadership at all levels and from all parts of the Academy community
- Working in close partnership with parents, governors and the wider community
A Principal-designate for the Academy has been appointed: Matthew Slater, who has significant experience of improving academic results in schools and is an experienced educator having worked in North London and Hertfordshire, at a senior level, for over twelve years. He oversaw a new school build in Borehamwood before joining the Drapers' Academy.
Drapers' Academy website: www.drapersacademy.com