School buildings prepare for opening

The first new secondary schools in more than 25 years will open in Manchester this September, following an investment of £146m in new academies and schools for the city.

The five new academies opening this month include:

  • Manchester Communication Academy in Harpurhey – a newly established £30m school opening on Thursday 9 September. The academy includes sports and leisure facilities, with six new sports pitches including a flood-lit all weather surface, a large sports hall and a drama studio. The lead sponsor of the academy is British Telecom
  • The East Manchester Academy in Beswick – a newly established £31.5m school opening on Monday 6 September. The school will have a theatre, recording studio, science laboratories, open plan art studios and a sports hall with facilities for range of sports including basketball, badminton and table tennis. There will also be separate studios for dance and drama. The lead sponsors of East Manchester Academy are Laing O'Rourke and Bovis Lend Lease
  • The Co-operative Academy of Manchester in Higher Blackley – a £21.7m school opening on Monday 6 September which is replacing Plant Hill Arts College. Boardrooms and lecture theatres have been created to give an office environment feel in some parts of the academy. The Co-operative Financial Services is the academy lead sponsor
  • The Manchester Health Academy in Wythenshawe – a £19m school which opened last year in the former Brookway High School premises, but moves to a new building on Wednesday 8 September. Part of the new complex will be home to a new community library that will open during the day, evenings and on Saturdays offering a homework club, serving not only the academy students, but also local primary school pupils. The lead sponsor is Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester Enterprise Academy in Wythenshawe – a £19m school which opened last year in the former Parklands High School premises, but moves to a new building on Wednesday 8 September. The lead sponsor is Manchester Airport with Willow Park Housing Trust and as co-sponsors

Manchester City Council and The Manchester College are co-sponsors of all of the academies.

The council said that the academies aim to offer new ways of educating young people with a focus on business skills.

The academies form part of the Governement's combined Building Schools for the Future and Academies programme with a £500m investment to rebuild or refurbish all 33 of the Manchester's high schools.

The council said each academy has a lead sponsor that will share expertise, knowledge and skills with teachers and students to ensure young people develop exactly the right skills and qualifications they need to succeed in Manchester's jobs market.

The council added that the Manchester academies programme differs from others across the UK in that Manchester City Council is a co-sponsor of each academy. The academies will work collaboratively with other schools across the city.

All the academies are benefiting from considerable investment in the latest information technology developments including new computers and plasma screens being fitted.

Cllr Sheila Newman, executive member children's services at Manchester City Council, said: "The opening of these five academy buildings is a tremendous achievement for Manchester and something we are all justifiably proud of. It is the start of a totally new way of educating children to ensure real transformational learning."

Burnage Media and Arts College and Park View Community School in Miles Platting will also be opening in brand new buildings this term.

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