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Revealed: £25m free school serving 1,600 pupils planned for Wolverhampton

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Education | Published: | Last Updated:

A new £25 million free school for 1,600 pupils could be built in Wolverhampton.

A new free school would be built in Wolverhampton under plans

The academy, which would have a heavy focus on performing arts and media studies, is being lined up for a site on Ettingshall Road.

An application for funding has been lodged with the Department of Education (DfE) and if successful a bid for planning permission will follow.

Officials behind the Magnus Institute of Performing Arts (MIPA) Academy say they want to open a “world-class centre, providing an exceptional education and training” for students aged 11 to 19.

They are hoping to get the green light from the DfE in May to proceed with the plans, with the aim of opening the school in three to four years’ time.

If the plans are given the nod it would continue the rise of free schools over recent years, which give leaders more flexibility and control over the curriculum.

As well as typical subjects such as maths and English, pupils would also have access to courses including media, broadcasting and graphic design.

MIPA would be set up in partnership with the Thinking Schools Academy, which has won praise from the Government for its secondary school performance.

Khadeem Duncan-Banerjee, a director of Amadeus Academies, which will run MIPA, said: "The MIPA Academy will offer students a broad and balanced curriculum like other state secondary schools, but our core focus and specialism will be in providing students with a first-class education and training in the performing arts, music, digital arts and broadcast media.

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“Of course, success in exams is important to us, but we feel the real importance is in offering students an education for life, via teaching our kids to be critical thinkers and leaders when they leave our doors, therefore transforming there life chances.

"With a school of this standing, the education and training will be outstanding. Our specialist pathways delivered in partnership with our industry partners, including our music scholarship programme, will offer students the opportunity to learn from leading industry practitioners, lead and take part in professional industry projects and perform in the country’s most premier performance venues. There won’t be anything like it in Wolverhampton or the Black Country, MIPA will have a real bespoke offer to students who want to study arts and creative subjects.

“It will be quite a big boom for the City of Wolverhampton.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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