New Free Secondary School Approved For Middlesbrough

Central Middlesbrough will be getting its first new school after the Department for Education (DfE) approved an application for a new free school.

The application proposes an 11 to 16 academy, based in the Middlehaven area of Middlesbrough, which is due to open in September 2020. The academy will provide the local community with the benefits of a new state-of-the-art building.

The multi-academy trust behind the application, Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT), is a well-established education provider within the region already having been recently ranked as one of the highest performing trusts in the North East.

The Trust is already the sponsor of two of Middlesbrough schools; Outwood Academy Acklam and Outwood Academy Ormesby, both successful schools,  judged ‘good’ by Ofsted.

The new school is due to be called Outwood Academy Riverside, having been given the working title Outwood Academy Middlehaven. Under the application, the academy is due to open for 210 Year 7 students in its first year, providing good news for parents.

Within the Outwood structure, the academy will sit in the Trust’s Northern Region. With Hillsview Academy also set to join the Trust, the Northern Region will then consist of seven schools.

Alex Howe, an experienced principal, has been named as the Principal designate for the free school, working closely with Mark Hassack, Executive Principal for the Northern Region.

Both Alex and Mark have been previously praised by Ofsted for their leadership of Outwood Academy Ormesby. In its report following the most recent inspection of the school, Ofsted said: “The executive principal and associate principal have only one agenda and that is to transform the life chances of the pupils in their care. They are bringing about change and improvement successfully, and at remarkable speed.”

Mark said: “With the DfE approving our application, and the upcoming addition of Hillsview Academy to the Trust, it is a really exciting time for Outwood in the North East. We are looking forward to putting students first and working hard to achieve the same kind of success we have achieved at our other academies within the region.”

Martyn Oliver, Chief Executive of OGAT, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the news and we thank the Department for Education for approving our application.

“We look forward to moving forward and working with the local authority and local organisations and businesses to put the academy in place, providing much-needed additional school places in Middlesbrough.

“I am immensely proud that OGAT is one of the highest-performing trusts in the North East, and as part of the Outwood Family, Outwood Academy Riverside will operate our highly regarded systems, curriculum and quality first teaching. These are all designed to provide students with a successful and inclusive education.

“At OGAT we believe in putting students first, raising standards and transforming lives. I promise this vision will be instilled within all staff members at Outwood Academy Riverside from day one.”

Free schools are funded by the government but are not run by the local council and have more control over how they operate. They are run on a not-for-profit basis and can set their own pay and conditions for staff, change the length of school terms and the school day and do not have to follow the national curriculum.