The Schools Minister visited Wolverhampton’s first
Academy to find out how the community is benefiting from the
Diana Johnson visited South Wolverhampton and Bilston
Academy on Monday September 7, and was accompanied by Pat
McFadden MP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills and the
MP for Wolverhampton South East.
The Minister toured the former Parkfield High School to view the
investment in the new Academy, where building improvements have
been made through refurbished classrooms, new social areas and the
upgrading of students’ facilities.
The Academy is sponsored by City of Wolverhampton
College, the University of Wolverhampton and Wolverhampton City Council,
whose support and expertise gives the Academy the opportunity to
become a centre of excellence in teaching.
The Academy’s specialisms in Engineering and Science reflect the
strengths which are found within both the College and University.
The strong links with both will also lead to greater opportunities
for sixth form students.
Interim Academy Principal Rob Rossides said: “This Academy has
taken just three months to come to fruition – which is testament to
the hard work and commitment of a range of partners, including both
the three main sponsors and staff from the predecessor school.”
Councillor Gillian Fellows, Wolverhampton Council’s Lead Member
for Schools, said: “This is an exciting development for the
communities in Bilston and south Wolverhampton. The opening of the
Academy paves the way for a significant transformation in teaching
and learning as well as substantial investment in new facilities.
The Academy has the potential to enhance the life chances of all
young people attending the Academy.”
City of Wolverhampton College Principal Ian Millard said: “We
were delighted to welcome MP Diana Johnson to South Wolverhampton
and Bilston Academy and show her the great strides we are making to
ensure young people in Wolverhampton gain a first class
University Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline Gipps said: “The
new Academy will be uniquely positioned to be able to offer
enhanced opportunities for progression to further and higher
education. We are very pleased to be one of the sponsors and look
forward to working in partnership with the Principal and her
Support from the £28 million Black Country
Challenge programme has also been provided to the school in its
journey towards Academy status. The Chief Adviser for the
Challenge, Sir Geoff Hampton said he was: “Delighted to note that
Parkfields has seen a dramatic increase in the percentage of pupils
achieving five or more GCSEs including English and Maths. This
provides an excellent platform for the future development of the
The South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy will relocate to a
brand new state-of-the-art school in Bilston by September 2012.
South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy was established on 1
The Academy is part of the City of Wolverhampton Academy Trust,
a partnership between the City Council, the University of
Wolverhampton and City of Wolverhampton College.
South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy was formerly Parkfield
High School. The most recent results have seen the proportion of
pupils gaining 5 GCSEs grades A* - C (including English and Maths)
improve to 27%.
The University of Wolverhampton has around 23,000 students,
including a growing number from Europe and overseas.
Academic quality and standards were highly commended earlier
this year following an official inspection by the Quality Assurance
Agency (QAA), which assesses higher education institutions.
The University promotes innovation and enterprise and has a
successful focus on employability, with excellent business links
and collaborative working.
For further information please contact the Marketing Team from
City of Wolverhampton College on 01902 317580 or the University
Media Relations team on 01902 322003.
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