“Discovery Studio School” Approved

Successful Skills School bid to help City young people into technical careers

A new Studio School has been given the green light to open in Stoke-on-Trent next September.

The Discovery Studio School has won approval from the Government, and will be one of 12 new Studio Schools to open around the UK in 2012. The Studio School will be based at the new £11.4 million Centre of Refurbishment Excellence centre, in Longton and at the Discovery Academy, Bentilee.

Working closely with local employers Studio Schools will combine studying towards mainstream qualifications, including GCSEs in English Maths and Science, with work based projects led by employers. Students will also take part in work placements linked directly to employment opportunities in the local area, and will gain a broad range of employability and life skills through the unique CREATE skills framework.

The Discovery Studio School will focus on technology, construction and the built environment and provide a pathway into a future career in these sectors. Young people will be able to enrol at the age of 14, and the school will feel more like a workplace than a school, with a 9am-5pm working day and year round opening.

The bid to the Department for Education has been led by Stoke on Trent College in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Sarah Robinson, College Principal, said: “A studio school will greatly enhance the variety of education provision available for young people aged 14 to 19 in Stoke-on-Trent.

“The school will open in September 2012 and around 300 students will enrol within three years.

“It is one of the first of a brand new kind of school in the UK, focused on delivering high quality construction and technology education alongside practical activities and projects led by employers.  Our students will spend a significant amount of time in the workplace working on projects with major employers, including paid work placements.”

Councillor Debra Gratton, Stoke-on-Trent City Council Cabinet member for children’s services and life skills, said:  “This is a fantastic opportunity for leading employers to support our young people into future careers.”

David Nicoll, Chief Executive of the Studio Schools Trust, commented: ”We are delighted that Discovery Studio School has been approved by the Department of Education – one of 12 new Studio Schools to open in 2012 – and we very much look forward to working with them in the future. This new school is a ground breaking way in which to deliver education, combining mainstream qualifications with real experience of the world of work, and the development of key employability skills. The Studio School will play an important role in shaping the future workforce across the region. Six Studio Schools are already open and over fifty are in the pipeline, and we look forward to improving the employment prospects and life chances of young people across the West Midlands.”

Open events will be held in January to recruit the first group of students to the Studio School.

ENDS

For more information visit www.stokecoll.ac.uk/discoverystudioschool, join us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/StokeonTrentCollege

For media queries contact Joanne Hine (jo@plinkfizz.co.uk) or Nigel Howle (Nigel@plinkfizz.co.uk) at Plinkfizz on 01782 284616.

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