Archbishop Opens Aspire Academy

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu will officially open Hull’s Aspire Academy on Monday 19th January 2015 at 11am with Andrew Chubb – the Executive Principal, Chris Mulqueen -Principal of Aspire Academy and Dr Andrew Milner – Chair of Governing Committee.

The £3.2m Aspire Academy is the first alternative provision academy school in Hull, and one of 16 in the UK, built in 2014 to cater for vulnerable pupils and those at risk of exclusion.

Andrew Chubb, who has pioneered the development of the new Academy, said: “Through combining the expertise we have at Archbishop Sentamu Academy with Aspire’s specialist facilities, I believe we have a winning combination that gives all our young people the chance to flourish. Aspire will give them fantastic opportunities to turn things around and reach their full potential.”

The ceremony will be opened with pupils who will present a handmade gift to the Archbishop of York at the opening ceremony.

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said: “It has been said you can judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable members and Aspire is an Academy that seeks to support those most in need in its learning community.  I am delighted to be officially opening Aspire and my prayer for students, staff, governors and friends of the Academy is that you will have the courage to Aspire and transform not only your lives, but the lives of all you meet, for the good of all. Go for it!”

Chris Mulqueen, Principal of Aspire Academy, commented: “Our teaching staff and specialist support nurtures an environment in which our students can thrive and really discover who they want to be.  We offer a broad and balanced curriculum at Key Stage 3, a range of GSCE’s and vocational qualifications at Key Stage 4.  Our flexible, modified and intense learning packages enable us to bring students progress and life ambitions back on track regardless of any previous performance.”

Dr Andrew Milner, Chair of Aspire’s Governing Committee, said: “This wonderful new facility, together with our talented and committed staff, will help us to ensure that our policy of being fully inclusive for all students in supporting their particular learning and educational needs is met. It is essential that we provide all our young people, whatever their ability or background, with the very best preparation for further education and employment and I believe that at the Aspire Academy we are well placed to achieve just that.”

The 150 place Academy is the first to be delivered by Hull Esteem Consortium following the completion of Hull’s Building Schools for the Future Programme, which saw the partnership deliver 21 new and improved educational facilities in Hull in 4 years on behalf of Hull City Council.

Richard King, Independent Chair of Hull Esteem Consortium, said: “In late 2013 partners gathered to discuss a vision for a bespoke education facility in East Hull. Just 14 months later that vision has become a reality. Public and private sector collaboration in Hull has again proved core to the delivery of Aspire Academy. We challenged ourselves to deliver the building faster and cheaper, without compromising on quality. By working together, we have achieved those goals for the benefit of the Hull community.”

The new Academy was built at just £1513 per square metre, which is the type of price tag associated with simpler developments such as industrial spaces and warehouses. The purpose built school houses 25 teaching spaces, including vocational learning areas such as a motor vehicle bay, hair and beauty salon and a construction skills space, along with a library resource centre.

Hull founded company Sewell Group was the principal contractor, who coordinated the design development and once on site, ensured the school was built in just 9 months, ready for the start of the new school term.

Steve Gibson, Construction Director said:

“Aspire Academy is another positive step for the city’s regeneration. We’re really pleased to be involved in another first for Hull.”

Alongside the construction programme, the firm sponsored and coordinated a £25,000 personal development programme for 12 pupils from Archbishop Sentamu Academy, working with young people’s charity Catzero. The programme included hands on trade experience and site events to develop the young people’s employability skills.

Councillor Rosie Nicola, Portfolio Holder for Learning & Skills, who attended a laying the first brick event with the Catzero pupils said:“We welcome the opening of Aspire Academy and it’s great to see what it looks like six months on from when I laid the first brick.”

“Hull City Council is wholly committed towards progressing the education of children and young people, and we want to ensure the best range of provision is available in the city, particularly for vulnerable youngsters who often benefit from targeted, specialist education with a focus on engaging them at school.”