Specialist Studio School to open in Stevenage

A SPECIALIST school which will help “lead the way” in providing job opportunities for young people will open in Stevenage next year.

The Da Vinci Studio School, sponsored by North Hertfordshire College (NHC), is one of 12 new Studio Schools announced by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, and will specialise in science and engineering.

Initially the Studio School, which offer mainstream qualifications delivered through enquiry based projects linked to the world of work, will cater for 40 pupils aged 14 and 50 pupils aged 16 from September 2012.

The school will eventually cater for 400 pupils aged 14-19, with employers such as AMCO FM, Astrium Ltd, MBDA, Monarch Airlines, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, Weldability-Sif and Wenta providing personal coaching.

Fintan Donohue, principal of NHC and chief executive of the sponsor organisation, said: “We are delighted that our proposal has been approved by the Department for Education. Our key partners in this project include local authorities, other educational bodies, a range of leading employers in the region and the Member of Parliament for Stevenage, Stephen McPartland. Their support will be vitally important to this initiative, aimed as it is to prepare young people to take their places in society through a highly personalised approach to teaching and learning.

“We now look forward to creating new momentum around science at the technical level across our County.”

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said: “I am proud that North Hertfordshire College has been successful in our bid for a new Studio School and I am delighted Stevenage is once again leading the way in helping our economy grow and provide job opportunities for young people locally.”

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Bob Graham, Astrium’s Stevenage site director added: “It’s great news that there will be a new Studio School on our doorstep. We already work closely with North Hertfordshire College – all our craft apprentices study there – and I am sure the new Da Vinci School will help encourage more young people to choose engineering and science, which is what we need for our satellite business.”