Academy boldly goes for space school plan

The school are having big changes - and pictured is Dr Fiona Hammonds, headteacher
The school are having big changes - and pictured is Dr Fiona Hammonds, headteacher

Banbury Aspirations Acadamy is to take a bold step towards becoming a pioneering centre for education under new plans unveiled this week.

The Academy, which was launched in September under the leadership of Aspirations Academies Trust, has placed a bid with the Department for Education to set up two revolutionary new schools and to incorporate more Banbury primary schools to provide an all-encompassing educational provision in the town for pupils aged three-18.

A new 14-18 school to be known as Space Studio will exploit Banbury School’s close links with the National Space Centre and the National Space Academy to offer 300 pupils aged 14-18 the chance to specialise in science, maths and technology with facilities including a space studio that could include simulators and zero-gravity machines and close links with local employers who specialise in satellite technologies.

A second bid has been lodged for a new Alternative Curriculum Free School at the Banbury School campus which would cater for pupils aged eight-16 who need extra educational support and would benefit from less conventional styles of tuition.

The Banbury District of the Aspirations Academy – which is currently made up of Banbury Academy, Dashwood Banbury Academy and will be joined by Harriers Banbury Academy as of tomorrow (Friday) – also hopes to recruit several more Banbury 
wPrimary schools by September 2014.

Dr Fiona Hammans, currently Principal of Banbury Academy, is set to take on the role of Executive Principal of the Banbury District and new headteachers will be appointed for the Dashwood and Banbury School Academies.

Dr Hammans said of the proposals, which could be in place by September 2014: “It’s about providing all of the different forms of education that any child in the area could need.

“ It’s not just about creating a massive chain of Aspirations Academies, it’s about making a real difference to the community.

“My children were educated locally, I’m excited about the new role as I will be able to use my contacts locally to really help ensure we are meeting the educational needs of the community.

“It’s about helping pupils from Banbury realise they can achieve their goals.”