Primary school set to become an academy
A NEW primary-level academy is to be created by Mayflower Community Primary School and Plymouth University.
The Mayflower Academy will open its doors in September 2013, after the Department for Education formally approved Plymouth University as the school's academy sponsor. The council-backed move means the university, which already works with the school, will play an active role in its future management.
Sue Matheron, chair of the board of governors at Mayflower, said: "The children, staff and governors have made great improvements since the school was formed. This move towards academy status is the next step."
The 400-pupil school was founded in 2009 when the South Trelawny and North Prospect primaries merged, moving onto a new £7.5million campus.
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Headteacher Marian Bartlett said: "We welcome the support of Plymouth University and look forward to working with them as we take Mayflower forward on the next stage of its evolution. One of our key priorities is to raise aspiration levels and promote social inclusion in our community."
Dave Sammels, deputy headteacher, added: "We're very excited to strengthen the strong link we have already. We hope to build aspirations and outcomes for children and families.
"It's a positive move with two large education establishments having a seamless link through to higher education. I think North Prospect is an area of major regeneration and by working with families and investing in the area can only be a good thing."
The partnership deepens the university's engagement with the academy sector, following its sponsorship of Marine Academy Plymouth and its role in the city's successful bid for a University Technical College.
Professor Wendy Purcell, vice-chancellor at the university, said she hoped the link would help "advance social inclusion" and "raise aspirations" in the city.
Will McBurnie, head of the university's school of education, added: "I'm very excited. The university is committed to transforming lives and raising aspirations. The atmosphere is fantastic in the school."
Under the agreement, the university will establish a Trust from September next year, which will work with the school to assess its current position and develop an action plan for driving improvement.