As the education sector begins to reflect on the Schools White Paper published by the department for education in May, which sets out ambitious plans to move schools into strong academy trusts.
Great Academies Education Trust has embarked on a £1.5 million investment across its four schools this summer, to improve the overall environment for its students.
The Multi-academy Trust is investing funds to expand the library provision at Great Academy Ashton which includes a new two-floored library within the heart of the school with a “reading” themed aspect on the ground floor and a “study research” themed aspect on the second floor.
In support of the Department for Education’s positive Behaviour Culture and Good Health agendas, secondary schools in Ashton, Stalybridge and Middleton are seeing improvements to their outdoor environments with the construction of specialist canopies to provide covered lessons, recreation and assembly spaces no matter what the weather.
Great Academies has committed an extra £60,000 to invest in the ICT Local Area Network at Copley Academy, as part of a £300,000 digital excellence programme to enhance the learning environment within its schools. Investment is being made in both hardware and software to support Reading and Maths, high-specification equipment to support Graphic Design, Art, and Music, and student experiences with the use of Virtual Reality headsets.
The Multi-Academy Trust has also committed over £100,000 to convert space at Middleton Technology School, formerly occupied by a private day nursery, into a new special educational needs and disability (SEND) and inclusion centre.
This will bring the total investment in estate across its four schools to around £4.5 million over the last three years.
Brendan Loughran, CEO at Great Academies Education Trust said:
“We’ve invested in these academies because we want to give our learners every opportunity to learn in facilities fit for the 21st Century. The canopies replicate what is seen in many schools across continental Europe, although in the northwest of England it may be more about shelter from the rain than protection from the sun! These canopies provide new spaces for outdoor learning, shelter for recreation and sporting activities and also lend themselves to outdoor assemblies, an occasional necessity in the era of Covid”
“As part of our Trust, we ensure that all of our academies are supported not just with educational and business matters but with infrastructure too, enabling teachers and support staff to focus on teaching and learning”.