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Future looking top class for Canford Heath college
THERE is a new name, new uniform, new school and the promise of exciting times for a Poole secondary that had been judged to be failing its pupils.
Ashdown Technology College at Canford Heath is to be reborn in September as an academy, after sponsor Aspirations Academies Trust was given the go-ahead by the Department for Education at the end of last year.
“We feel there is very real potential for the future,” said Steve Kenning, chief executive of AAT, who was visiting the school with wife and lead executive principal Paula Kenning, to hold meetings with governors and staff.
Bournemouth’s new primary school at Townsend, Jewell Academy Bournemouth which opens in September is joining the trust, which will have 10 schools in clusters in Banbury, Fareham and west London.
“It’s a perfect match for our philosophy,” said Mrs Kenning.
“It’s about raising aspirations of young people and individuals in a school community so they feel really good about themselves and can achieve their full potential.”
Former headteacher Mr Kenning said: “It’s a new start with new buildings in place we will be involved in developing.
“It’s a new image and school and a new curriculum.”
The 647-pupil secondary school for 12 to 18-year-olds is currently undergoing a £15million revamp in time for taking on another year group when the age of transfer changes this year.
It was put into special measures last February following an Ofsted inspection, and is said to be improving following its second monitoring inspection last year.
The school’s name will be changed to Magna Academy Poole from September.
Magna is Latin for great.
Mr Kenning said: “It’s a local name in the area. It’s an emphasis on the area and people and improving.”
With their educational expertise they are determined to raise academic standards quickly and made the academy not just a beacon of excellence nationally, but worldwide.
“In 12 months we expect to see much improvement. In three years we’re looking for outstanding in every respect,” said Mrs Kenning.
Chairman of governors Laura Dagnall said: “It was unanimous and we were all really excited about the philosophy and the future we can see for the school.”