Aston University. Engineering Academy Birmingham

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1 Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham

2 Foreword As the sponsor for the proposed Aston University Engineering Academy I am delighted to have this opportunity to share our plans with you and look forward to receiving your feedback. Professor Alison Halstead, Pro Vice Chancellor Learning & Teaching Innovation, Aston University This Academy, one of eight in Birmingham City Council's plans to transform education, will have a unique focus on engineering, technology and business enterprise that we will enhance through our strong links with local and national industrial partners. Working in partnership will enable us to gain sponsorship and work based experience for all our students as well as a pool of mentors and role models to support and enhance the academic curriculum. Its content will inspire and motivate young people to plan for jobs and careers in engineering whilst opening up clear progression routes into further and higher education. Our ambition for the Engineering Academy is that it provides a creative and innovative local centre of excellence that can act as a hub for other secondary schools in Birmingham to share resources and developments that motivate and interest students in studying engineering and business. The Academy will be located next to Birmingham Science Park, Aston. The intended opening date is September In the interim, Aston University is seeking proactive and innovative partners who have the vision to take responsibility for the design, development and implementation of an engineering curriculum that can meet the needs of young people and industry. We look forward to working with you in the forthcoming months and years to make this Academy a vibrant place to learn and work.

3 The Proposal Aston University, supported by Birmingham City Council, is proposing to create a brand new Academy for 600 students aged in the centre of Birmingham, specialising in engineering. Under the national Academies programme, this new Academy will offer students apprenticeships and diploma courses in engineering and related disciplines in addition to the full National Curriculum entitlement for students aged It will provide leading edge opportunities to students with a strong interest in a vocationally oriented programme in engineering and technology, responding to the regional economic needs as well as those of local employers. Birmingham City Council is committed to the Academies programme and is seeking to establish at least 8 Academies across the city with 6 replacing existing schools and two focussing on a particular vocational specialism. The Council has granted the land to develop the new Academy and is actively involved in developing the proposals for the planned opening in An Academy for all abilities The Academy will pride itself on being inclusive: there will be a wide range of abilities and talents among its students and the Academy will develop learning, teaching and additional support programmes to enable every student to succeed. During the Feasibility phase, the team will work with Birmingham City Council to consult on an Admissions Policy that serves a broad area, taking account of a reasonable journey time to the Academy and the impact on other schools. The Academy will follow the SEN Code of Practice and reflect Birmingham City Council's SEN policy and guidelines, ensuring high levels of valueadded progress for all students through careful nurturing and challenging and coherent Individual Education Plans. The particular needs of the Gifted and Talented will be similarly supported. As a manufacturer myself, I am extremely excited by this project. The proposed Academy will be an imaginative, innovative and dynamic addition to Birmingham's educational landscape. Science and engineering is the bedrock upon which this city's wealth was created from the industrial revolution onwards and they remain vital to the future of Britain's economy. I am delighted that the 'city of a thousand trades' is leading the way in developing the high calibre engineers of the future. The Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham will serve as a template for similar centres across the country. Its unique focus on engineering and manufacturing with a strong emphasis on business enterprise will provide clear routes to further study and careers in an area where there is a recognised skill shortage both locally and nationally. I believe the Academy will once again put Birmingham at the forefront of skills and innovation and help power our future economy. Cllr Mike Whitby, Council Leader. Tomorrow's challenges need tomorrow's solutions and the Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham has all the promise and every prospect of being exactly that! It offers young people - and the future - the experience of a specialised vocational focus, amplified with a broad based, demanding general curriculum, connected to the real world of work and with a respected university of stature, with real choices and great chances. This is the opportunity they deserve and we need. Dame Ruth Silver, Chair of the new Learning and Skills Improvement Service. Aston is the first of the new University Technical Colleges. These will give young people life enhancing opportunities and better jobs, ranging from technicians to graduate engineers and business managers. UTCs will help to get Britain back to work. The Rt Hon Kenneth Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking

4 Education Vision & Ethos Our vision for the Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham is to create a world class centre of excellence for Birmingham that will offer students aged with an interest and enthusiasm for engineering the opportunity to reach their full potential. The sponsor, Aston University, is committed to developing an Academy that: will meet the needs of Birmingham's varied and vibrant communities; contribute to the regeneration of the City; and ensure that Birmingham remains a world class centre for engineering, manufacturing and design. Students at the Academy will be highly motivated young people and proud to be ambassadors of their Academy and the city of Birmingham. Engineering and Technology in the Academy will be practical and applied. Aston University students and staff and partners will inspire and enable young people to solve industrial and work-based problems, and will act as tutors and mentors to the Academy's students. Curriculum Specialist Subjects for the 21st Century Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham will be, and will feel, different. The curriculum will provide exciting and stretching opportunities for every student, supported by excellent ICT and extensive extra curricular and out of Academy activities as well as the full National Curriculum entitlement for students aged The Academy will offer a wide range of nationally recognised qualifications and awards and will, with its partners, seek to develop new forms of accreditation where necessary to support its innovative learning and teaching. All students will follow a curriculum that will ensure that their personal development is enhanced. In addition there will be an emphasis on a wide range of enrichment activities at all levels so that students experience a broader curriculum. GCSEs, A levels, Diplomas and a wide range of accreditation, matched to the learner, will be used up to the age of 19 and beyond. Engineering and Technology in the Academy will be cutting edge. These subject areas have been chosen in order that Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham is able to prepare its students to take their place in a vibrant and developing local community and succeed in the national and global context.

5 Robust routes into employment, training and education The Academy will provide a blend of new and traditional routes in academic and vocational courses, offering a curriculum that specifically serves the needs of its learners and provides them with the necessary skills and qualifications that will ensure that, as from age 14, the learners can see clear progression routes into university, colleges of further education or, through apprenticeships, to employment and training. It will work collaboratively with other providers in Birmingham, engineering specialist schools and in particular, with the consortium in the Pathways programme. Aston University has well established links with a number of industrial partners (such as e.on, National Grid, Veolia, Hexagon, Scottish & Southern, Severn Trent, Rolls Royce, Tata Motors and the MOD). It will develop new links with other local industrial partners and will use these links to ensure that the Academy has an employer-led and employer-supported curriculum. Top Quality Teaching and Support Staff All staff at the Academy, and particularly the teaching staff, will be high quality, committed professionals and each one will be valued and respected. There will be a focus on Continuous Professional Development and all teaching staff will be supported through regular performance review. The sharing of good practice will be second nature as will collaboration within and across departments as well as between other Academies and schools within the City of Birmingham and beyond. The Academy will take the lead in supporting Teacher Training in Engineering and Technology. This will include staff of the University working closely with staff at the Academy to broaden their knowledge and experience, including the provision of accredited Teacher Training for those new to teaching. We will explore opportunities that will enable our industrial partners to input passion, excitement and relevance into the curriculum, into assessment and into staff development. The development of the curriculum, courses and learning & teaching strategies will involve staff at the University, the Academy and our wide range of industrial partners. We will also seek to make links with new industrial partners whether they are small, medium or large organisations. The Academy will seek to develop an Engineering Accord with Aston University for transition into Higher Education (HE) and will seek to secure bursaries and other support for Academy students moving into HE.

6 At the heart of its community The Academy will be a local and national centre of excellence as well as a hub for local secondary schools engaged in delivering the Engineering diploma. The additional skills, expertise and resources of Aston University and local and national business partners will be harnessed to build a strong community of learners with a passion for learning, endeavour and engagement. Whilst the learner will be at the heart of all that the Academy does, the Academy will also be outward facing and embrace the needs of the communities it serves. The Academy will offer learners, parents and the community an environment where they will feel safe and secure. Students and adults will be able to learn together in adult education programmes, family learning events and at additional classes held during the day or evening. Academy students will feel 'cared for' and will be encouraged to work with and within the community, increasing confidence and social awareness. It will be a place where students can be happy, feel part of a community and will enjoy their learning so that they can thrive and achieve success.

7 How to get involved The Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham is currently in its 'Feasibility' phase. The project team is undertaking a number of activities including formulating the vision and ethos and identifying the curriculum and staffing structures. All proposals for the Academy are subject to the approval of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). From left to right: Councillor Les Lawrence; Councillor Mike Whitby; Lord Baker; Professor Alison Halstead, viewing the proposed site from the Science Park Your feedback in helping the team develop its ideas is valuable. If you would like to contribute to the proposals, please contact Julia Hayes, Senior Consultant, Place Group, 35 St Paul s Square, Birmingham, B3 1QX / / During the autumn we will be consulting stakeholders about the proposals for the new Academy. Your views and contributions will be fully considered before a decision is made by the DCSF whether to proceed. The dates for any consultation events will be made available via the Academy website - Once the Academy is through the Feasibility phase, the team will be looking for partners to help with the delivery of the plans. If you would like to stay in touch with the Academy's progress, keep visiting the website where you can find the latest news. Or if you would like to talk to someone about how you could work with the Academy, contact Julia Hayes via the contact details above.

8 Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham Aston University Aston Triangle Birmingham B4 7ET Tel:

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