One of the founders of Games Workshop, who helped revamp the computing curriculum, is to open 2 new free schools specialising in computer science, technology and the arts, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced on 5 February 2016 as she revealed the latest batch of this Parliament’s 500 new schools.
Drawing on his experience as a videogame entrepreneur, Ian Livingstone will open the Livingstone Academies in Tower Hamlets and Bournemouth, which will provide over 3,000 children with a rigorous education rooted in STEAM- science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. The schools, to be opened under the Aspirations Academy Trust, will use the founder’s extensive links to the creative industries to instil creative thinking and enterprise in their pupils, who will sit ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competitions and start up mock companies at the schools.
In 2010 Ian Livingstone was invited to review digital skills in England and concluded that poor-quality IT teaching in schools is an obstacle to growth. The review was influential in leading to an overhauling of IT teaching and the introduction of a new computer science curriculum. The 2 schools announced today will build on this by being exemplary institutions of computing and creative thinking.
The Education Secretary is also announcing plans to form a new body of experienced property specialists to help find sites for future free schools. An advisory group is being set up to inform development of the new body, and this will include:
- Michael Strong, former Executive Chairman of CBRE Europe, Middle East and Africa
- Philip Bell-Brown, Group Property Director at Dixons Carphone
- Ric Lewis, Chief Executive of Tristan Capital Partners
The 2 schools to be opened by Ian Livingstone join 20 others announced – which will in total create more than 18,000 places for parents across the country.
Find more information here.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
“Free schools are offering a rigorous education in communities which have never before had the opportunity of a good local school. Parents are flocking to them in their droves – and today’s announcement means that over 18,000 more children can benefit from a place in a free school.
“With leading entrepreneur Ian Livingstone stepping up to open 2 schools, the free schools programme is proving to be a vital outlet for our society’s most creative and innovative people to spread their excellence to future generations.”