Plymouth School of Creative Arts is part of the New Schools Network (NSN), a charity that aims to improve the quality of education – particularly for the most deprived – by increasing the number of good schools within the state sector.
For the last five years, NSN has helped groups who want to set up free schools. As new, independent state-funded schools, free schools can be set up by charities, groups of teachers, existing schools and parents if they can prove that the school is needed and wanted by a community.
Delegates from schools within the network which are currently in the pre-opening stage visited Plymouth School of Creative Arts for a tour of the cutting-edge facilities, as well as the opportunity to speak with key figures who were instrumental in setting up the Plymouth-based free school, Headteacher Dave Strudwick and Principal of Plymouth College of Art Professor Andrew Brewerton.
A spokesperson from New Schools Network said, “This is one of many spotlight visits New Schools Network facilitates. These allow free school groups access to experienced leaders and an opportunity to share best practice and network with other free school leaders.
“The true value, though, is in each free school group seeing what is possible within the free school programme – providing an outstanding education, often in an area of high deprivation, so that every child can access a good school.
“We are incredibly grateful to Dave Strudwick and Professor Andrew Brewerton for hosting.”
Plymouth School of Creative Arts is sponsored by Plymouth College of Art. The vision for Plymouth School of Creative Arts grew out of the established art college's ethos and was a direct response to the erosion of the arts and creativity in schools. The school aims to support its students in discovering how knowledge, values, languages and identities are created with a wide range of taught skills from the English language to French cuisine.
There are now 680 free schools open or approved to open across the country. Once full, these schools will provide over 400,000 new school places, offering free access to quality learning for young people.