Page last updated at 07:28 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 08:28 UK

Archbishop opens new city academy

A 15-year-old Zimbabwean refugee has welcomed the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to the official opening of the 25m Bradford Academy.

Victoria Mhembere, who joined the new school in February, delivered a welcome message in her native language.

Dr Sentamu then went on to lead an official ceremony in front of staff, students and special guests.

The school, which replaced the failed Bradford Cathedral Community College, opened its doors last September.

It is sponsored by the Diocese of Bradford and Toc H, a Christian international community action charity.

'Bright symbol'

The state-of-the-art building has risen from the ashes of the community college, where inspectors once labelled pupil behaviour as "the worst they had ever seen".

Between 2000 and 2004 it was put into special measures and closed for good at the end of the school year in 2007.

Dr Sentamu said: "This academy will be a bright symbol of the wider church's continuing contribution to educational services in a society of all faiths and none.

"The opening ceremony is a welcome reminder of the need for education and faith to be partners in the full development and flourishing of all those students who will grow in this place.

"The academy's ability to meet the education and training needs of the community of Bradford in the 21st Century is reflected in the impressive investment in this community which this building represents."

Academy principal Gareth Dawkins said: "Although we are now well-established, having come a long way in a relatively short time, we look forward to the official opening ceremony which will give staff and students an opportunity to demonstrate that we have everything in place to make the academy a resounding success."

Charity backs city academy
07 Jan 04 |  West Yorkshire

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