Whitley Academy, a business and enterprise college in Coventry, is the first member of a new RSA Family of Academies that share best practice, work for school improvement and promote social justice in education.
HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RSA, officially opened Whitley Academy on Tuesday 13 March. The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit in front of invited guests including several RSA Trustees.
Rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted, Whitley Academy has been using the RSA's Opening Minds (OM) curriculum for four years and is training other schools that are interested in gaining OM accreditation.
Head-teacher Lorraine Allen, who has been involved in the development of the OM curriculum framework since its inception, said:
"We've had really good feedback from parents about how Opening Minds has helped students to settle into school life and develop their skills. We've also had verification from Ofsted about how exciting, challenging and engaging it is, and how well it prepares students for Key Stage Four."
"Having decided to convert to academy status, we were keen to have the RSA as a lead partner, as we have a common interest in promoting social justice and improving excellence in education. We look forward to sharing our expertise with other schools, locally and nationally."
Lorraine is a National Leader of Education with strong school improvement experience, and Whitley Academy will be at the heart of the RSA's school improvement ambitions. The RSA will continue to liaise with individual schools and the Department for Education to expand the family of RSA Academies.
The RSA's education team will continue to invite other 'outstanding' schools to become RSA Academies and encourage them to partner or sponsor struggling schools in their local area in order to drive up educational attainment.