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Public consultation opens on new school - the WMG Academy for Young Engineers

WMG Academy LogoA formal public consultation has opened on plans to develop a new school – the WMG Academy for Young Engineers. It plans to work closely with the University of Warwick, the existing Westwood Academy School and over 40 key local employers.

The people and organisations involved in the development of the new Academy want to hear views about their plans from local employers, potential parents and students, the local community and other interested parties.

The Academy will be part of a new and exciting “learning campus” catering for 14 to 19 year olds from Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull. It will focus on engineering, ICT and digital technologies.

It is planned that the new Academy will be created on land adjacent to the Westwood Academy school in Coventry. Westwood Academy and the new WMG Academy for Young Engineers will both remain independent, but with a very close working relationship, including the sharing of some facilities and resources.

The WMG Academy will make real, business focused, practical problems and challenges the centre of the curriculum. Students at the WMG Academy will learn by making things and creating things – just as engineering businesses do every day. Team working will be the norm.

The University of Warwick is working on the development of the new Academy with a range of over 40 key employers including Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, EEF, National Grid, SCC and Automotive Insulations as well as the Local Enterprise Partnership, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Westwood Academy and other key stakeholders.

The WMG Academy for Young Engineers will offer places to 640 students aged 14-19 years from the Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull areas and is scheduled to begin teaching in September 2014.

They are keen to encourage employers, potential students and parents and other key stakeholders to respond to the consultation. Meeting with a range of key stakeholders are planned and there will also be a public open evening on the 27th of November.

Details about the open evening and the consultation and a questionnaire can be found on our website, http://www.abetterwayoflearning.co.uk 

Westwood Academy Headteacher Roger Whittall said: "I am delighted that a special meeting of the Westwood Governors on 8 October agreed unanimously to proceed with plans to locate the new WMG Academy for Young Engineers on land owned by the Westwood Academy, adjacent to the Westwood Academy.

"The Westwood and WMG Academies will work together as independent institutions to create a ground breaking and creative 'learning campus' with strong links to the University of Warwick and to local employers. The Westwood Governors and staff want to work in partnership with the WMG Academy and its key stakeholders. They welcome the creative approaches proposed and see opportunities associated with the development of a 'learning campus' at Westwood and significant benefits to students and the local community."

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman, WMG said: “Sustaining our manufacturing excellence will determine whether or not the UK can compete in the global market place over the next 50 years and beyond. In order to stay ahead of our competitors we need to create jobs and put more value back in engineering and manufacturing. We have some of the best companies and supply chains in our local area, and they all desperately need new talent and skills to help them grow. That is why the WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick is so important. It will reach a younger generation, engaging them in an innovative new learning environment and exciting them from cradle to grave about the opportunities in engineering and the creation of the high value products of tomorrow.”

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor and President , Professor Nigel Thrift, added: “The WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick will provide an innovative new education opportunity for young people in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull. The University of Warwick provides high-tech support to the many international companies and small and medium sized companies in our region and this initiative will help us to share some of the excitement and intellectual challenge of that high technology knowledge transfer with our region’s young people.”

Notes to editors
For more information call Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Press and Communications Manager, University of Warwick, 02476 150868, 07824 540863, k.e.parkes@warwick.ac.uk. Visit the WMG Academy for Young Engineers website.