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Livingstone Academies will focus on a STEAM-based education

Games Workshop founder to open digital-focused free schools

A new wave of free schools have been approved as part of government's promised 500

Posted by Stephanie Broad | February 08, 2016 | People, policy, politics

One of the founders of Games Workshop, who helped revamp the computing curriculum, is to open two new free schools specialising in computer science, technology and the arts, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced as she revealed the latest batch of this Parliament’s 500 new schools.

Drawing on his experience as a videogame entrepreneur, Ian Livingstone will open the Livingstone Academies in Tower Hamlets and Bournemouth, which will provide over 3,000 children with a rigorous education rooted in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths). The schools, to be opened under the Aspirations Academy Trust, will use the founder’s extensive links to the creative industries to instil creative thinking and enterprise in their pupils, who will sit ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competitions and start up mock companies at the schools.

In 2010 Ian Livingstone was invited to review digital skills in England and concluded that poor-quality IT teaching in schools is an obstacle to growth. The review was influential in leading to an overhauling of IT teaching and the introduction of a new computer science curriculum. The two schools announced today will build on this by being exemplary institutions of computing and creative thinking. 

The arts and sciences should no longer be a question of either/or - Ian Livingstone

The two schools to be opened by Ian Livingstone join 20 others now approved - which will in total create more than 18,000 places across the country.

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “Free schools are offering a rigorous education in communities which have never before had the opportunity of a good local school. Parents are flocking to them in their droves - and today’s announcement means that over 18,000 more children can benefit from a place in a free school.”

Ian Livingstone CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Livingstone Foundation, said: “The arts and sciences should no longer be a question of either/or - and to further this I’m delighted to be opening two free schools to embed digital creativity in future generations of our society.

“It is the combination of computer programming skills and creativity by which today’s world-changing companies are built. I encourage other digital entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity offered by the free schools programme in helping to give children an authentic education for the jobs and opportunities of the digital world.”

Also announced today is Shireland High Tech Primary in Smethwick, Birmingham - a free school that will introduce an innovative method of schooling. Instead of the traditional model of lessons followed by homework, pupils will be expected to do the reverse in order to deepen their learning through facilitated discussions and project work in lessons.

Free schools approved:


Livingstone Academy, east London, Tower Hamlets

Green Spring New School, east and north-east London

Harris Aspire Sixth Form, Croydon

Sutton New School 2, Sutton

Hujjat Primary School, Harrow

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Borough Academy, Southwark

Wren Academy, Enfield

Lime Wood Free School, Bexley

East of England

Chiltern Academy, Luton

West Midlands

Shireland High Tech Primary, Birmingham

South West

Livingstone Academy Bournemouth, Bournemouth

The SGS (South Gloucestershire and Stroud) Free School, south Gloucestershire

Callywith College, Cornwall

South East

Hope Community School, Kent

University of Brighton Secondary School, Brighton and Hove

North East

Gosforth Great Park Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne

North West

Eden Girls’ School, Manchester

Eden Boys’ School, Manchester

Cheadle Hulme High 2, Stockport

Yorkshire and Humber

Dixons Trinity, Leeds

Roundhay Park Primary School, Leeds

East Midlands

Beauchamp 16-19 STEM, Leicestershire    

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