Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 14:17 UK

City's first academy set to open

Coventry's first academy school is preparing to open its doors to new pupils.

The Grace Academy in Wigston Road, which has replaced Woodway Park School, opens for the first time on Wednesday.

The new secondary school, which had a 2m cash boost from a business sponsor, will be run independently outside the city council's control.

The principal, Steve Allen said it will aim high, but critics say academies promote "social segregation".

'Pupils excited'

Mr Allen said: "We have a really broad and exciting brand new curriculum for our students and I know they are excited about coming and I can't wait for them to arrive tomorrow."

However, Alasdair Smith, from the Anti-Academies Alliance, said introducing such schools was divisive.

"If you have different sorts of schools you get social segregation and that's a long-term problem," he said.

The government's academy project aims to create several hundred academy schools.

The independent state schools - which are non-fee charging and non-selective - have outside partners, high levels of investment and greater autonomy.


SEE ALSO
Fire-hit school to become academy
05 Mar 08 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Government to consider JCB school
20 May 08 |  Staffordshire
Academies 'juggernaut' warning
25 Mar 08 |  Education
Academies 'popular with parents'
20 Jul 07 |  Education

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