A new free school for technical education is planning to open in Hackney in September 2013.
STEM Academy will teach science, technology, engineering and maths for 16 to19 year olds. The team behind establishing the school is currently looking for a principal and a specific location, with plans to open in the ‘Tech City’ area.
Committee members are planning for the school to have a strong focus on careers with the inclusion of work placements and the development of soft skills in an ‘Enterprise Hub’. Students will have the opportunity to run not-for-profit school enterprises.
The academy will initially have an intake of 216 pupils in the first year and will rise to 432 in the second. It will be state funded and 75% of students will need to have attained at least 5 A* – C GCSEs. Students without these grades will be offered a ‘Foundation for Progression’.
The school, run by the publicly funded Skills and Development Agency, will also teach English language at A-level and modern languages.
Dennis Quilter, the Chair of Governors said: “STEM Academy will be dedicated to creating positive life chances and life-long careers in STEM subjects for the young people of Hackney and in the wider London area.”
A spokesperson for the Skills and Development Agency spoke to Eastlondonlines about how the school will compare to other technical schools in the area, specifically the University Technical College, which opened this year in Shoreditch.
The spokesperson said: “STEM Academy’s focus and curriculum makes it distinctive from other available provisions in Hackney and across London. We are aware of UTC’s specialisms – however, STEM Academy will offer a much fuller range of STEM-related subjects.
“There is currently no local education provision which is dedicated to STEM specialist subjects.
“Crucially, STEM Academy is responding to the emerging needs of the imminent raising of the school leaving age. In 2013, the year STEM Academy will open, the statutory school participation age will increase from 16 to 17 and further to 18 in 2015. This will create the need for additional 16-19 places.”