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News - 11 April 2013

More work-based 'studio schools' announced

Thirteen new "studio schools" are to be set up in England from September next year. This will bring to more than 40 the total number of this new breed of schools, which mix academic studies with work-based training.

The 13 new studio schools join 15 that are already preparing to open and 16 currently open.
About 14,000 students will go to them in total. All will offer GCSEs in English, maths and science, the government says, as well as A-levels and vocational qualifications, but will offer a "more practical way of learning".

Schools Minister Lord Nash said: "More employers are getting involved in studio schools, demonstrating their commitment to preparing young people - who will be their future employees - for the world of work.

The schools will offer GCSEs in English, maths and science, the government says, as well as A-levels and vocational qualifications, but will offer a "more practical way of learning".

But teaching unions have attacked them, saying they are adding unnecessary diversity to the education system and forcing children to make important life-decisions at too young an age.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“One of the new schools, Dorset Studio School in Dorchester, will focus on environmental and land-based studies and is backed by groups including the National Trust, RSPCA and the Royal Veterinary College.”

The other studio schools planned are:

  • Apollo Studio Academy in Durham, specialising in Stem (science and maths) subjects, health, care and early years and with the involvement of the NHS Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust.
  • De Salis Studio College in Hillingdon, which will specialise in business and finance and be supported by Accenture, PWC, and HMRC, among others.
  • Future Tech Studio in Warrington, specialising in ICT, with involvement of National Nuclear Laboratories, Barclays Global Technology Centre, and Talk Talk.
  • Island Studio School on the Isle of Wight, jointly proposed by Southampton City College and the Isle of Wight Council, specialising in marine manufacturing.
  • Knutsford Academy: The Studio in Cheshire East, specialising in digital technologies and "employability skills"; links with Barclays, Deloitte and Manchester Airport.
  • Manchester Creative Studio, led by the founder of the Collective Spirit Free School in Oldham which is due to open in September this year. It will specialise in the creative industries, particularly in design, interactive media and digital technology.
  • Studio West in Newcastle, proposed by Kenton Academy and with links to various local employers.
  • The Bath Studio School, proposed by a group of five schools; specialising in business, IT and administration.
  • The Digital Studio College in Derbyshire, proposed by Derby College and backed by local employers including Age UK.
  • Vision Studio School in Nottinghamshire, proposed by West Nottinghamshire College; specialising in health, care, engineering and transport and backed by employers including Sherwood Forest NHS Trust and Ilkeston football club.

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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