BIRKENHEAD Academy Coming BIRKENHEAD will have two new academy schools by 2012 after Birkenhead-born businessman David Hughes stumped up £2m of his own cash.
The new single-sex boys academy and mixed academy were jointly announced in Birkenhead Park’s Visitor Centre on Friday, by MP Frank Field.
Mr Field told headteachers from Park High, Ridgeway and Rock Ferry High – all to be superceded by the new academies – and a selection of local youngsters: “I’ve been MP for 30 years now and the issue that troubles me most is our failure to provide every young person in Birkenhead with the sort of education which really ensures their skills are developed to the full”.
The former welfare minister was joined by David Hughes, who made his money through now defunct Allsports and property firm Millennium Estates, and representatives from the University of Chester, lead sponsors of the mixed academy.
David Hughes said he referred to the project as the “Birkenhead Beast” and hoped to involve the community by opening the school for 16 hours a day, with a restaurant so pupils can share breakfast with parents.
He said: “Mums and dads have a responsibility, it’s not just the school system.
“Mum and dads have a huge responsibility and if we can involve them in the school, we can make good progress.”
Mr Hughes also unveiled radical plans to incorporate ‘vertical teaching’, meaning no pupil will advance in years if they haven’t academically, and said the emphasis would be on sport.
He hoped students would have granny gurus and pensioner pals, or “older persons helping at every stage”, adding choir, dance and debate would be key elements.
The boys academy should be on Borough Road and open by September 2012, if plans come to fruition, Mr Hughes said. THE WIRRAL NEWS