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Friday, 18 January, 2002, 13:43 GMT
Church group to run state school
teacher with pupils
City acadmies aim to raise educational achievement
A Christian educational charity, which runs eight independent schools, has been given the go-ahead to sponsor a new state school in south London.

The non-profit-making group Church Schools Company will run the city academy school in Clapham, Lambeth, which will take in pupils aged 11 to 18 years.

The group, which hopes to sponsor a number of city academies, is committing 2m to the school which will open in September 2004.

The news of this the seventeenth city academy in England brings the government closer to its target of opening at least 20 by 2005.

Publicly funded

City academies are publicly funded independent secondary schools - receiving up to 10m of capital investment - with up to 20% of private and voluntary sponsorship.

The aim is to raise a educational achievement in inner cities by giving these schools greater freedom than is available to those in the maintained sector - for example, to depart from the national curriculum.

The government is currently working on legislation to introduce city academies for all age groups and to establish them in rural as well as urban areas.

Welcoming the new school in Lambeth the School Standards Minister, Stephen Timms, said it would improve the quality of education available to local children.

"City academies offer scope for radical innovation in some of the most challenging areas of the country.

"They will give added momentum to our drive to transform secondary education and create a truly diverse secondary system," he said.

'Delighted'

Chief executive of the Church Schools Company, Ewan Harper, said: "We are delighted to be working with the government on what we hope will be a group of Church Schools Company sponsored city academies."

"The government's city academies plan neatly coincides with the mission of our charity work in the area of greatest needs."

Mike Peters, executive director of Lambeth education, said the news was exciting and a "real boost" for young people in the borough.

"A city academy will provide desperately needed secondary places for children in the borough," he said.

"A new city academy presents us with fantastic opportunities for developing educational choice, raising standards further and continuing to strive for excellence in our community."

See also:

12 Oct 00 | Education
Church backs latest 'city academy'
15 Mar 00 | Correspondents
City academy, US-style
15 Mar 00 | Education
Anger at scheme for failing schools
15 Mar 00 | Education
Ex-superhead backs academies
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