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Gaynor Cheshire, Principal of BOA, with students

BOA plans new digital academy to celebrate 5th birthday

BOA Digital will create a new academy for 900 students aged 11-18

Posted by Stephanie Broad | October 20, 2016 | Facilities & buildings

Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) celebrated its fifth birthday this week, announcing plans to launch a second regional academy in Birmingham’s Eastside to specialise in digital technologies.

Since opening in 2011 in a £25 million state-of-the-art building next to Millennium Point, BOA has welcomed 3,500 students through its doors, providing a specialist curriculum in the creative, digital and performing arts. An independent state school, BOA is the top performing 14-19 school in the UK and in the top 10 per cent of schools in Birmingham.

In February 2014, BOA successfully tendered for and acquired the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham, the first purpose built repertory theatre in the UK, allowing students to develop their skills in performance, administration and technical theatre and providing opportunities to showcase their talent.

Alongside its founding partners Maverick Television and The BRIT School, BOA has forged links in the UK and internationally for students looking to gain employment in the creative sector. It was awarded the British Council International School Award in January 2016 in recognition of its international projects and ambition to promote learning in a global context. 

With a planned opening date of September 2018, BOA Digital will be an 11-18 academy, specialising in digital technologies, and the second academy to be formed under the BOA Group.

I’m incredibly proud of their achievements, and our record exam results this summer are testament to the strength of our approach - Gaynor Cheshire, Principal

Speaking about the announcement, BOA’s Principal, Gaynor Cheshire said:

“The past five years have consistently demonstrated the demand for specialist learning in the creative sector, both from students and industry. BOA has been oversubscribed year on year, and alongside those that go onto further education, 15 per cent of our students go straight into employment at 18, undertaking a diverse range of roles. I’m incredibly proud of their achievements, and our record exam results this summer are testament to the strength of our approach.

“Based in the heart of Eastside, BOA Digital will build on this success by creating a new academy for 900 students aged 11-18. The digital sector is the fastest growing in the UK, accounting for 1.56 million jobs and growing 2.8 times faster than the rest of the workforce. Our aim is to help bridge the skills gap and provide real opportunities for young people looking to secure a career in the digital industry.”

Jonnie Turpie, digital director at Maverick Television and founder trustee at BOA, said: “From web design and app development to online retail, game design, TV and radio production, Birmingham has forged a reputation as a leading digital city. It is the top 5 employer of digital talent in the UK, with over 130,000 jobs needing to be filled each year.

“It’s clear that to maintain this growth and keep our competitive advantage, Greater Birmingham needs to be developing and retaining the skills to drive our digital sector forward. BOA Digital will spearhead this talent generation.”

The BOA Group was supported through the application process to the Department of Education by national education charity, New Schools Network.

To find out more about BOA Digital or to register interest, visit

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