Academy trust is hugely beneficial to Gosport, says education secretary
SCHOOLS across the Solent region that have not taken on academy status should seriously consider doing so, says education secretary Damien Hinds.
The secretary of state was in Gosport earlier today for the launch of the Gosport Stem Centre, an initiative brought forward by the Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust (GFM).
Mr Hinds believes that academy status, and forming academy trusts with other schools, allows schools to share their resources and bring in better academic results – singling out the GFM for its strong focus on Stem – science, technology, engineering and maths – subjects.
The Gosport Stem Centre, at Bay House School’s sports complex, will be open to all schools in the town, giving pupils the chance to get hands-on with the world of science and engineering.
The academy trust is touting it as the only one of its kind in the country.
The education secretary said: ‘It’s fantastic to have this facility and for a number of different schools to come and use it. There’s programming and coding going on and engineering projects being run – it’s great to see.
‘Stem is a really important pert of the curriculum and to develop an excellence in Stem as schools have here in Gosport adds something special.
‘There are some advantages to moving to academy status and becoming part of an academy trust; it can make it easier to share resources, expertise and good practices – and I hope more schools will look at that route.’
Chief executive of the GFM and headteacher at Bay House School, Ian Potter, says he is ‘very proud’ of the new centre.
He said: ‘This centre shows what can be achieved when schools work together in collaboration with local employers.
‘This facility will help to prepare young people for the world of work, especially if they choose to live locally, where there are a number of Stem employment opportunities.
‘The Gosport Stem Centre would not be have happened without a multi-academy trust and I am pleased with how the GFM is making its mark in the town, improving the life chances of all young people studying here.'
BAE Systems will be the main sponsor of the centre – with managing director David Mitchard saying that their future employees could be taking their very first steps into the industry at the Stem centre.
He said: ‘To support the continued strength of our industry and the UK economy, it’s vital that pupils at schools are given a wider understanding of the potential career opportunities that will be available to them through studying Stem-related subjects.
‘That’s why we’re delighted to be the main sponsors of this fantastic new facility which is so key to inspiring the next generation of young scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians in the Gosport and Fareham area.’