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New Bristol Futures Academy announces location and governors

The location and governors for the new Bristol Futures Academy (BFA) have been announced.

The free school for pupils aged 14 to 16 will be situated in a refurbished former Victorian school building owned by Bristol City Council in Beam Street, Barton Hill.

The governors will be Ishmael Velasco, Paul Taylor, Sadia Anderson, Jacqui Ford, Caroline Down, Poku Pipem Osei and Jane Taylor.

Principal Designate Caroline Down said: “This building was originally built as a school in Victorian times, and most recently has been used by Bristol City Council’s Hospital Education Service, which provides teaching for pupils with medical needs that mean they are unable to attend school.

“It seems very appropriate that it will now be the setting for a new approach to learning for pupils who have been referred after finding it difficult to engage with the education system.”

Ishmael Velasco, BFA chair of governors said: “Every single child has immense potential’ but not every child can or needs to reach it walking the exact same route.

“I am honoured to be part of launching the BFA.  It will provide new routes for those for whom the standard school approach is not working. It will bring an outstanding team of professionals who will be able to think of each child individually and provide the support and innovation that helps them find ways to succeed educationally and as individuals.

“This is a unique opportunity for the community, for parents and above all, for the pupils who will experience it.”

BFA is part of the multi-academy trust, Inspirational Futures Trust, Jacqui Ford, CEO of the Trust, said: “The Inspirational Futures Trust believes that all students should have the opportunity to succeed, progress and meet future challenges by receiving high quality teaching and learning.

“We are very excited to be opening Bristol Futures Academy as an alternative provision in Beam Street, Barton Hill and we are looking forward to forging new partnerships with the local community and other education providers.”

BFA will open in September 2016, following a refurbishment that will take place between January and August 2016, which will create teaching space, workshops, administration areas, and a kitchen and dining room.

The Hospital Education Services team which presently works from Beam Street is to move to newly-refurbished premises

The Inspirational Futures Trust has worked with Bristol City Council and its recently-established City Learning Partnership to create an education model using an approach successfully pioneered by Weston College.

Specialist staff will work with pupils on an individual basis to develop personal programmes and strategies aimed at enabling them to re-engage with education.

In the first phase, BFA will have 30 pupils and this will rise to 100 pupils as the provision develops. All pupils will be referred to the school by the local authority or educational establishments, within some attending full-time and others on a part-time basis.

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Inspirational Futures Trust
Weston College Group