Press Release by CEA@Islington 20/6/05

Islington Green Academy to proceed with new sponsor

The DFES, CEA@Islington, Islington Council and and ARK Education (ARK) today confirmed that plans for the borough’s second Academy project have been revised. The new Academy will now be an 11-18 school rather than the 3-18 school originally envisaged.

The four organisations have been working in partnership to develop proposals for an Academy based around Islington Green School and Moreland Primary School. The feasibility study has underlined concerns that the all-through split site project is too complex, in addition the distance between the schools too great to proceed with confidence. It is now felt therefore that the best chance of success for re-building Islington Green School is to create a new 11-18 Academy on the Islington Green site (co-located as originally planned with Richard Cloudesley special school).

ARK are committed to building an all through school(serving children from 3-18) and have therefore decided to switch their interest to other projects. Paul Dunning, co-chairman of ARK Education, said: "This was a difficult decision but it became clear that the exciting original proposals weren’t going to be feasible. We’re sorry not to have the opportunity to work with the three schools but wish the new academy every success. We hope that we’ll have an opportunity to work with Islington in the future." Work continues on the other ARK academy projects including an all age Academy in Southwark which is currently in feasibility.

Islington Council and DfES remain fully committed to a second academy and, are talking to an alternative sponsor.

A DfES spokesman said: "We are committed to providing a second new Academy for Islington, and are confident that a new 11-18 project will prove to the advantage of Islington parents. ARK is an excellent sponsor and will continue to sponsor a number of other Academies in London.

"Expansion of the Academies programme is on course and we are pressing ahead with the target of 200 Academies open or in the pipeline by 2010. There are 17 existing Academies, 10 more are set to open in September 2005 and a further 36 are in development. We are in discussion with potential sponsors about more than 100 other projects."

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