The Mossbourne Community Academy opens
On Monday 13th September, 2004, a new type of all-ability secondary school, the Mossbourne Community Academy (MCA), opens its doors to its first intake of 210, Year 7 Hackney children. This £25 million project is funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the MCA’s sponsor Hackney-born businessman Clive Bourne who has contributed in excess of £2 million and named the Academy after his father. The MCA building has been designed by the renowned architectural practice, the Richard Rogers Partnership.
Headmaster Sir Michael Wilshaw, knighted for his services to education, comments, “The opening day will see the start of Mossbourne’s contribution to the raising of educational standards in inner-city London. I am proud to be part of this project which has confounded all the doubters to be built, from start to finish, in just over two years. This will certainly mark a turning point in the Borough’s educational track record.”
A Labour government initiative, City Academies are a new type of publicly-funded secondary school, providing a free education for pupils of all abilities. Academies are designed to raise overall standards and work in partnership with the wider community. They are part-funded by sponsorship from business, faith groups and individuals.
The MCA will eventually have places for up to 1000 boys and girls aged 11-16. Each September it will enrol a new Year 7 group to reach its planned full capacity in September 2008. Places are allocated to local pupils, with 25 per cent of places given to children with special needs.
MCA is set to be the blueprint for future education. To date there are 12 academies open in the UK. In September 2004, five academies will open: the Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney and others in Lambeth, Hillingdon, Barnet, and Northampton, bringing the UK total to 17. Currently there are plans for 200 Academies in total to be built throughout the UK by the year 2010.
The architecture of the building responds to the needs of one of England’s most deprived boroughs, offering accessibility, openness and social inclusion.
The triangular site for the Academy bordered on two sides by busy railway tracks, but overlooks the green expanse of Hackney Downs. In response, the 8,312 sq.m., three-storey building - one of the largest timber frame buildings in the UK - is conceived as a broad "V", its back to the railway track, its focus the external space to the north. The various faculties for year groups are accommodated in sections of the building configured as terraced houses, with access from a broad covered cloister.
Ivan Harbour, Senior Director at Richard Rogers Partnership stated: “This project is all about putting pride back into a community. It is about ownership, equality and heart. It is about genuine approaches to sustainability through environmental design and material choices.”
MCA will specialise in ICT (Information Communication and Technology), and it is the first academy to have this specialism. It is different from other schools in a number of ways: high profile chefs will create the menus for the school, and there will be out of hours brasserie-style restaurant and cyber-cafe created for both the school and wider community’s use. An organic kitchen garden will supply the school kitchen and local restaurants in order that the school is used to its full capacity.
For further press information contact:
Alison Poole or Rosie Cade at LUCHFORD APM Telephone; 020 7631 1000 Email; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
For more information on how to sponsor the Academy, call 020 7224 3405
For information on MCA and the Learning Trust, see www.learningtrust.co.uk/schools/
Information on Academies www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/academies
Notes for editors:
Academies are a new type of school. They bring a distinctive approach to school leadership drawing on the skills of sponsors and other supporters. They give Principals and staff new opportunities to develop educational strategies to raise standards and contribute to diversity in areas of disadvantage.
Academies are all ability schools established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups working in highly innovative partnerships with central Government and local education partners. Sponsors and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) provide the capital costs for the Academy. Running costs are met in full by the DfES.
The Academies programme aims to challenge the culture of educational underattainment and to deliver real improvements in standards. All Academies are located in areas of disadvantage. They either replace one or more existing schools facing challenging circumstances or are established where there is a need for additional school places. The Department expects Local Education Authorities (LEAs) to consider the scope for the establishment of Academies as part of their strategic plans to increase diversity in secondary provision and improve educational opportunities.
Each Academy will provide an excellent environment for teaching and learning that is comparable with the best available in the maintained sector. It will offer a broad and balanced curriculum to pupils of all abilities focusing especially on one or more subject areas. As the Academy becomes successfully established it will share its expertise and facilities with other schools and the wider community.
As well as providing the best opportunities for their pupils, Academies have a key part to play in the regeneration of communities. A new Academy will be a significant focus for learning for its pupils, their families and other local people. Academies will help break the cycle of underachievement in areas of social and economic deprivation whether in inner cities, suburban or rural areas.
Each Academy will offer local solutions for local needs. Each will be different, drawing on the expertise of its sponsors to help develop its own distinctive ethos and mission. Whether they involve new buildings, refurbishment, or both, Academies will be innovative in design and built to high environmental standards.
Mossbourne Community Academy is supported by sponsorship from Clive Bourne, President of Seabourne World Express who is contributing in excess of £2 million pounds towards the capital costs of the new school. Bourne is working in partnership with the Department for Education & Skills (DfES) and the Learning Trust.
Clive Bourne’s parents and his wife’s parents were born in Hackney. He has had a successful career in the transport industry for forty years and has now retired. He is a JP in Newham, a trustee of the Museum in Docklands – Clive was one of the main instigators of the project, a trustee of Transaid and the Chair of the Prostate Cancer Charitable Trust.
Bourne is sponsoring the Mossbourne Community Academy as he wants to put something back into the community where he started his life.
Sir Michael Wilshaw
Sir Michael Wilshaw is one of the country’s top headteachers, and has been appointed to lead Mossbourne Community Academy, the first independent state-funded secondary school in East London. He was knighted for his services to education in January 2000.
Sir Michael won accolades from OFSTED inspectors in November 2000 at his previous school, St Bonaventure’s in Newham, where he was praised for his ‘remarkable leadership’. St Bonaventure’s is acknowledged as one of the most improved schools in England and Wales and its work with Afro-Caribbean boys was highlighted as a model of good practice. The inspectors concluded that Sir Michael “has a clear vision, drive and high expectations”. The school was described as “outstandingly effective” and teaching across the school identified as “very good”.
Sir Michael is occasionally used by the DfES to support failing schools and five years ago was seconded to one of the toughest schools in Canning Town to improve its performance. At the end of his year as headteacher, OFSTED commented “that the school had significantly improved and that Sir Michael’s appointment had been central to its improvement”.
The Richard Rogers Partnership
The design team aims to create a building that expresses accessibility, openness and a sense of inclusion whilst providing a sense of place, security and belonging and positively enhancing the profile and use of Hackney Downs, a key green space in North London.
Ivan Harbour is the head architect for The Mossbourne Academy. Ivan was Director in charge of the building of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the Law Courts in Bordeaux; he is currently project director for the Antwerp Law Courts. He has been involved in the design of a number of prestigious projects including Lloyd’s of London, Madrid Airport and the Millennium Dome, as well as Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.
Ivan has also contributed to the design of a number of major masterplanning projects: he was director in charge of the proposed redevelopment of the South Bank Centre in London and is director in charge of the ParcBIT scheme in Mallorca, a mixed use development for a high-tech business centre on the outskirts of Palma. Ivan was also director in charge of the Tel Aviv Peninsula masterplan – a proposal for the redevelopment of a section of the city’s seafront, addressing a wide range of environmental issues, with energy-efficient buildings and an ecologically sound landscape creating a more sustainable community. Over a period of ten years Ivan also designed and built his own house in Hackney, East London.
Don Black, OBE
Sir Michael Caine, CBE
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE
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