University of Wolverhampton launches secondary academy

Ace AcademyThe Ace Academy, in Alexandra Road, Tipton opened last year following a £24 million pound Building Schools of the Future re-build, and is the first secondary school to be sponsored by Education Central Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), within the University of Wolverhampton.

The ACE Academy, formerly Alexandra College of Business and Enterprise, was officially opened by HRH Earl of Wessex in a ceremony which was part of a programme of events taking place to celebrate the transition to academy status.

This is the third school to join the Multi-Academy Trust.

The University has a track record of raising standards within schools in the region, firstly through the Black Country Children’s Service Improvement Partnership (BCCSIP) which ran successfully for more than 10 years, including leading the Black Country Challenge.

BCCSIP has since become Education Central, a not-for-profit social enterprise set up to raise standards through working in partnership with schools.

As part of its work Education Central was approved by the Department for Education as a sponsor of academies in April this year.

Further primary and secondary schools in the region are due to join up in the next six months with a view to create a family of around 20-25 schools.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “Education Central was set up as part of the University’s vision for regional regeneration through education, to help raise standards and aspirations of young people in the area.

“This vision now extends to sponsorship or working in partnership with schools across the West Midlands. We believe with our expertise and excellent pedigree in supporting schools we can bring a unique offering to the table.

“As a University we strive to create opportunities for a wide range of students and are committed to lifelong learning with a view to improving people’s individual life chances.

“We want to work in collaboration with schools not to impose. We see the Multi-Academy Trust acting like a network to share success and best practice while retaining individuality, particularly where schools are already achieving in certain areas.

“Today’s launch is a real milestone and we look forward to successfully working with the schools and their communities in the future.”

Ian Binnie, Principal of The ACE Academy said: “We were pleased to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to open the school, following the re-build and our becoming The ACE Academy..

"Working with our academy sponsors, we will look to be a focal point for the community and to give our children the very best possible educational experiences and opportunities we can, and that they deserve.

“We are sure that the links with the University of Wolverhampton will further improve our pupils and families aspirations for their future and build on the recent successes the school has enjoyed.”

ENDS

For media inquiries please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003

Picture: HRH Earl of Wessex meets pupils at The ACE Academy.

Date Issued: Thursday 21 March 2013

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