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11.05.07
Cornwall proposes new education model

A unique education offer is being proposed, which has the potential to inject millions of pounds into communities in Cornwall. A unique partnership, comprising of Cornwall County Council, local secondary schools, Cornwall College and the University of Plymouth has come together to investigate the establishment of two 'next-generation' academies for Cornwall.

The two sites for consideration are Newquay and the areas of Camborne, Pool and Redruth (CPR).

This genuinely innovative proposal is in the early stages and the partnership has come together to progress feasibility studies for the two new style academy trusts. The partnership will be submitting an 'expression of interest' to the Department of Education and Skills (DfES) and expects to receive feasibility funding to undertake detailed planning for the project. The schools, the College and the University will continue to work closely with their communities and their governing bodies on the formulation of detailed proposals.

If the feasibility study concludes positively, then Cornwall will have a national lead on a new model of delivering education at the school, college and university level.

The twin aim of these 'next-generation' academies is to upgrade and develop the 11-18 educational resources in these areas of Cornwall and to significantly improve the opportunities for progression to further and higher education; this means new classrooms, new facilities and unrivalled opportunities for college and university study. This is an exciting, ground breaking Cornish model for education, where fully integrated schools, college and university provision will be developed on new, purpose built sites.

As well as providing the best opportunities for young people, this initiative will play a key role in regeneration projects. Each academy would offer world class learning facilities for students and their families and will provide a vital boost to the economic prospects of both communities through investment, academic achievement and the enhancement of the skills base.

Dean Ashton, Director of Services for Children, Young People & Families said: "This is an unmissable opportunity for Cornwall to investigate the possibility of forging a new model of education practice. The prospect of sealing the best possible deal for learners in Newquay and CPR is a goal that all partners are committed to. The schools' head teachers and their governing bodies deserve immense credit for taking this bold first step. This partnership gives the county the opportunity to lead policy in post 11 education on a national scale."

Mark Cleary, Acting Vice Chancellor of University of Plymouth explains: "The University of Plymouth has offered Higher Education opportunities in Cornwall for over 30 years. This proposed model of integrating our offer seamlessly with the work of our partners at Cornwall College and the schools is a ground breaking improvement to our offer to learners in Cornwall. The University of Plymouth has always demonstrated a commitment to the county of Cornwall and this proposal develops that commitment to a new level."

John Latham, Principal of Cornwall College said: "National evaluations from the National Audit Office (NAO) have shown that Academies are beginning to demonstrate real value for money. Our proposals for two next-generation Academies will provide an education offer aimed at maximising progression opportunities for learners and the best possible chance of academic success.

"This is the beginning of a journey that the partners will undertake together. The potential scale of the investment that our proposal could unlock would be genuinely transformational."

Malcolm Gillespie, South West Regional Director of the Learning and Skills Council said, "We welcome this initiative which brings a joined up approach to meeting the educational needs of young people in the South West to give them the best possible access to appropriate education and training."

Ian Tunbridge, Executive Director of Combined Universities in Cornwall said: "As CUC enters the next phase of its development, the partnership has recognised the opportunities of working more closely and collaboratively with schools. This proposal is a terrific platform for CUC to deliver on that ambition. This ground breaking initiative would make a wider range of high quality courses significantly more accessible to learners in Cornwall."

For further information please contact the Press Office at Cornwall College on 01726 226527.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Cornwall College and the University of Plymouth are partners of the CUC.

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Editor's notes:

Newquay Treviglas School, Newquay Tretherras School, Camborne School & Community College, Redruth School and Pool Business & Enterprise College have worked with Cornwall College over many years on a range of vocational pathways and with the University of Plymouth.

Cornwall College has been an accredited college of the University of Plymouth since the 1970s and the University's commitment to the county is long standing. All of the partners have a proud tradition of social inclusion and providing opportunity to the widest possible range of learners.

Newquay is the largest town on the north coast of Cornwall with a population of 19,562 and a higher proportion of young people than the county as a whole. The Indices for Deprivation for 2004 show that of the 14 Lower Super Output Areas (SOAs) in Newquay, three fall within the worst 20% of SOAs in England. Newquay Travel to Work Area (TTWA) currently contributes 3.9% of employment but only 3.5% of GVA in the County. Newquay sits in the Borough of Restormel where 31.7% of those aged 16-74 have no qualifications, compared with 21.9% nationally and only 12.3% of the same demographic hold higher level 4/5 qualifications against a national average of 19.8%. Restormel is placed in the most deprived quartile of all local authorities in England.

Camborne-Pool-Redruth (CPR) is the largest urban and industrial area in Cornwall. Once among the richest mining areas in the world, CPR has suffered a long period of industrial decline, which has led to a lack of investment and a spiral of low wages, poor employment opportunities and large areas of derelict land and empty buildings. The Indices of Deprivation 2004 show that the CPR area is among the 20% most deprived areas in the country. 15,000 people live in these deprived areas, accounting for a third of the population of the CPR conurbation. Median gross weekly earnings among full time workers in Kerrier were just £325 per week compared to the median of £348 for Cornwall and £398 for the South West region. Adult educational attainment is also poor in the area, with over 33% of the working age population with no qualifications.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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