THE OCKENDON Academy has successfully made the next step on its journey from Ofsted ‘outstanding ‘ to its ambition for excellence, having received the green light to open a Studio School from Lord Hill, Under Secretary of State for Schools. ‘The Ockendon Studio School’ will be one of just 12 new Studio Schools to open nationally in September 2012, in addition to six which are already in existence.
Studio Schools are a new concept in education and designed for 14-19 year olds of all abilities. These small schools designed for 300 students look and feel more like a workplace than a school with a 9am-5pm working day and year-round opening. This unique approach to learning and working combines the benefits of academic study with the development of employability skills. Working closely with local employers, our Studio School will offer a range of academic and vocational qualifications including GCSEs in English, Maths and Science.
In addition there will be paid work placements linked directly to employment opportunities in the local area. The seven competencies recognised by the CBI are built in to all the activities so that young people develop vital employability skills in a real and applied way using the CREATE skills framework developed by the Studio Schools Trust.
The Ockendon Studio School has a range of employers involved who recognise the unique approach of combining real work and project based academic study so that young people are ’work ready’. These employers are also keen to play a greater role in developing their local workforce for the future.
Dawn Sims, HR Manager at Vopak Terminals UK, says “As an International Employer with local employment opportunities we are pleased and proud to support the concept of a Studio School to ensure our young people become skilled, work ready employees of the future”.
The Principal of The Academy, Mrs Barbara King, stated “I’m delighted that we have been approved to open a Studio School, which will help transform the lives of many young people by giving them the skills and qualifications that they require to succeed. Thurrock’s regeneration agenda will require more people who are able to take full advantage of future opportunities in apprenticeships, further and higher education, and leadership and management roles. We truly believe that The Ockendon Studio School will play a vital role in making this a reality.”
David Nicoll, Chief Executive of the Studio Schools Trust, commented “We are delighted that The Ockendon Studio School has been approved by the Department of Education, 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 London and Eastern region.”