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HACKNEY WELCOMES NEW EDUCATION CHIEF - AND CITY ACADEMY

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Stephen Timms, standards minister, has ...
Stephen Timms, standards minister, has announcedthe appointment of Mike Tomlinson, currently chief inspector, OFSTED, as chair-designate of the body being established to deliver education services in Hackney.

The appointment was made following a joint recruitment and selection

exercise with Hackney LBC. Mr Tomlinson will take up his post on 1

August 2002, when the new body takes over responsibility for the education

services. Meanwhile, he will be kept informed of progress and will be

involved in key decisions leading up to the establishment of the new body.

Ian Peacock, chair of the education committee, said: 'I am delighted that it has been possible to make such a prestigious appointment.

'The new body focuses all our efforts and offers us a new start based on a clear assignment of responsibilities between it, the government and the council.

'The council maintains its strategic and democratic role and allows us to concentrate on raising standards in schools as opposed to maintaining bureaucratic structures'.

Alan Wood, chief executive of the new body welcomed the appointment of Mike Tomlinson saying: 'I believe it to be a clear and unequivocal sign of commitment from the DfES and the council to support our joint programme of improvement. We are moving forward in a very positive way and this is yet one more sign of the importance of our work.'

Mr Timms commented: 'We are supporting Hackney in establishing the new body and work on this is progressing to plan. We look forward to seeing the hard work being tackled by everyone involved, reflected in an improved education service. I am confident that Mike will provide the leadership and inspiration to make the substantial changes needed.'

City Academy promised for Hackney

Meanwhile, Mr Peacock has welcomed the news that Mr Timms has given approval for the establishment of a city academy in Hackney.

The new school is scheduled to open in 2004 and will provide up to 900 places for boys and girls aged 11-16. The brand new school will be built on the site of the Hackney Downs school and will boast state of the art design and facilities. The school will be established with specialisms in sport and technology backed by a strong community ethos.

Mr Peacock said: 'I am very pleased that we have received the go-ahead for a new secondary school in the borough. It is central to our plans to raise standards and broaden opportunities for Hackney's young people. The new school will provide much-needed additional mixed places, helping to meet parents' calls for more choice. We look forward also to the wider contribution the school will make, working in partnership with the existing family of schools in Hackney, to promote excellence, innovation and improved educational achievement.

'The new school is central to our strategy for educational excellencein Hackney. The addition of the school, within the wider family of schools, will help us offer the choice and diversity of provision parents have been calling for, as well as supporting our continued focus on improving standards. The school's strong community ethos will also help to ensure that its contribution is shared across other pupils and schools in the borough.'

Clive Bourne, chairman of Seabourne World Express Group, is providing£2m

capital funding for the school. Parents groups, such as the Hackney Parents' Secondary Schools Campaign, have also been involved in planning for the new school.

Notes

City academies are schools that are designed to raise standards and are able to offer more innovative approaches to education. They are publicly funded, supported by sponsorship. Sponsors can be businesses, faith-based groups and the voluntary sector. City academies are all-ability schools and are inclusive.

The new school in Hackney will be built on the site of the Hackney Downs school. The new school will be purpose-built with state-of-the-art facilities. It will specialise in sport and technology. It will provide 900 places for girls and boys aged 11-16 and will open in September 2004. Close links will be established with the new sixth form college at Brooke House, which is due to open this September, and with Stormont House special school which is close by. The new school will make a wider contribution to the family of secondary schools in the borough through sharing facilities and expertise

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