Space School gets funding booster

Pictured - Fraizer Cochrane (15) and Natt Donaldson (15) with Space Studio Principal Mike Grocott ENGNNL00120130820171921
Pictured - Fraizer Cochrane (15) and Natt Donaldson (15) with Space Studio Principal Mike Grocott ENGNNL00120130820171921

Banbury pupils will be able to go boldly where none have gone before from September after funding was confirmed for the town’s new Space School.

The interstellar school – aimed at 14-18 year-olds who want to work in the space and high-tech industries – is set to open at Banbury Academy’s Ruskin Road site in September after School’s Minister Lord Nash signed the funding agreement last week.

Pupils will be able to scale new educational frontiers with cutting edge technology firms such as Intel, Rational Aviation, Comdev, Rutherford Appleton Laboratories and Imperative Space getting directly involved in lessons and curriculum planning.

Much of the development of the school’s science and maths-based GCSE and A’ Level exam courses has taken place in conjunction with the National Space Academy and lessons will be a mixture of small class teaching and major projects where companies are directly involved.

Mike Grocott, principal designate who previously ran a space school in Cornwall, said: “Our students will work with scientists and engineers at the cutting edge, as well as achieving top grades in GCSEs and A’ Levels.”

“Whether students go to university or into an apprenticeship, Space Studio Banbury will provide an excellent education for all careers based on science and maths.”

The final hurdle in the school’s establishment was overcome last week with the signing of the Funding Agreement by Department for Education Schools Minister, Lord Nash. Mr Grocott added: “We are a small school with big aspirations as we have only 75 places in each year group, from year ten to 13.

“This September we will open for year ten and year 12 and we still have a few places available if potential students are interested.”

The space-related sector is growing fast, with the UK leading the way internationally in satellite technologies.

Former fighter pilot and Space School chair of governors Captain Apos Katrantzis, added: “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people and I am thrilled to see the vision becoming a reality.”

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