Welcoming Derby College’s Heanor Studio School bid

In Parliament yesterday I took the opportunity to support Derby College in its application to open a Studio School in Heanor during an Answers session with Edward Timpson, the Children’s Minister.

If the bid is successful, the Studio School will provide an extra option for local parents of children between the ages of fourteen and nineteen. This proposed studio school would be based at the Derby College (old Heanor Grammar School) site, solving the ongoing issues with the use of the listed building there.

A studio school is an innovative approach to education and involves the excellent standards of academic experience that a school should provide, while arming students with employability and enterprise skills, a “hands-on” approach to learning and real work experience and skills by partnering with local businesses. The education of a child is tailored; each student gets a personalised curriculum building on their strengths and supporting them where they need it.

I’ve been discussing this proposal with the College for some time and it is very exciting that they’re looking to base this in Heanor. There’s been a lot of talk about how we get young people ready for work, with the skills and knowledge they need, and this is a great way of doing that, while giving young people and excellent education. This won’t suit everyone but I hope t would be an attractive option for many parents and young people in the area.

Derby College is well-placed to open a Studio School in Heanor, since I’m confident that it can build on existing links with local businesses to support its project.

As part of its application, Derby College will need to choose a specialist area in which to become established. It is consulting on this, along with aiming to understand the views of those the Studio School may serve, through a survey. You can also view more information on the Studio School on its web site.

Below is an account of my exchange with Edward Timpson, Children’s Minister, yesterday:

Nigel Mills: “Does he agree that studio schools offer young people not only a great academic education, but real-world life experience, and will he therefore join me in welcoming Derby college’s bid to open a school in Heanor?”

Edward Timpson: “I completely agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of what studio schools bring to the offer for young people. I understand that this is the first time that Derby college has applied to open a new studio school. We are very much looking forward to receiving its proposal, which will no doubt be supported vigorously by my hon. Friend. Each application will be considered on its own merits and in comparison with others submitted.”