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Jack Dromey MP opens new academy in Birmingham

A school in Birmingham has become an academy and begins a new chapter in its 98-year history

Posted by Stephanie Broad | October 18, 2016 | School life

Kingsbury School and Sports College has become Erdington Academy after it joined Fairfax Multi Academy Trust last month.

At a special opening ceremony to celebrate the milestone moment, Erdington MP Jack Dromey unveiled a plaque while pupils released 40 balloons into the air – one balloon being released by a pupil from each tutor group in the Academy.

Mr Dromey said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to celebrate a great school being reborn.

“We are also celebrating the triumph of excellence over mediocrity. Youngsters only have one start in life and we have the sacred duty to ensure they get the best start. This was a school that was failing, but now the right and necessary steps have been taken to turn it around.”

I now see pupils at Erdington Academy who are bright-eyed and planning for a future thanks to their new confidence that their school is a success - Jack Dromey, Erdington MP

“I now see pupils at Erdington Academy who are bright-eyed and planning for a future thanks to their new confidence that their school is a success,

“My praise to the work of Head of Academy Mark Rhatigan, whose efforts have seen this school grow from strength to strength. What he has achieved means that the school’s pupils can look forward to the best opportunities in life, which I thank him for on behalf of all the people of Erdington.”

Head Boy Ramkel Wakow and Head Girl Andie Milliken

The school first opened in 1918 as Ryland Road Council Secondary School and moved to its existing site in Kingsbury Road, Erdington, in 1923. Its former names also include Erdington Girls County Grammar School and Erdington Council Secondary School.

Mark Rhatigan, Head of Academy, was appointed in February 2015 and has been instrumental in seeing the school being removed from special measures by education watchdog Ofsted in November 2015. 

Ofsted inspectors conducted a monitoring visit in April 2016 and found the school was on course to be rated ‘Good’ after having made rapid progress and improvement.

Mr Rhatigan said: “We were pleased so many people joined us to show their support and help us celebrate as we marked this milestone occasion, which is an exciting step in our journey of transformation.

“Our school is steeped in history and our new name reflects our proud heritage.

“We are thrilled to join Fairfax Multi Academy Trust, which shares our passion for encouraging the development of traditional values in our students - teaching them about manners, courtesy and respect.

We believe these values will ensure our students grow into confident, responsible citizens who have an understanding of the world around them and will encourage them to make a positive contribution to the school, as well as their local communities, as we prepare them for life in modern Britain - Mark Rhatigan, Head of Academy

“We believe these values will ensure our students grow into confident, responsible citizens who have an understanding of the world around them and will encourage them to make a positive contribution to the school, as well as their local communities, as we prepare them for life in modern Britain.”

Head Girl Andie Milliken and Head Boy Ramkel Wakow also gave speeches, while local dignitaries, religious leaders and education chiefs also attended the ceremony.

Former pupil Nellie Murphy also attended the celebrations and enjoyed a trip down memory lane as she toured the school where she was a pupil from 1936 up until the school closed temporarily because of World War Two in 1939

“I have such wonderful memories of the school and I still feel very attached to it,” said the 92-year-old, of Erdington. “It’s a joy to come back and meet its current pupils, who are so warm, polite and welcoming.”

Fairfax Multi Academy Trust, which also runs Fairfax Academy in Sutton Coldfield and Bournville School in Bournville, has been providing school-to-school support to help transform Erdington Academy since February 2015 after being asked for assistance by Birmingham City Council.

The Trust is growing a reputation for helping struggling schools and is also currently providing school-to-school support to Smith’s Wood Sports College in Smith’s Wood. 

Andy Bird, CEO of Fairfax Multi Academy Trust, said:  “We are delighted that Erdington Academy has joined our growing family of schools as we continue to play a pivotal role in its transformation.

The children of Birmingham deserve an outstanding education and we feel it is our moral duty to assist schools and help them to provide the best opportunities in life - Andy Bird, CEO of Fairfax Multi Academy Trust

“The children of Birmingham deserve an outstanding education and we feel it is our moral duty to assist schools and help them to provide the best opportunities in life.

“We look forward to watching Erdington Academy as it continues to improve and develop, delivering a rich curriculum which will bring to life our five core values – excellence, dedication, ambition, integrity, and tradition.”

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