Friday, 30 March 2012


Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting the Excelsior Academy in Newcastle's West End. It's not often I visit schools outside my own constituency but it was fascinating to see the impact that this academy is having on the children in what is quite a deprived area of the city. Mrs Marshall (pictured) the Principal, does an excellent job driving up standards and fueling aspiration.

It is also a very innovative place. It's actually four schools in one. The four schools each admit 75 pupils into year 7 each year. There are 375 pupils in each school, plus 300 sixth form places, making a total of 1,800.

The aim is to create a closer ‘family’ feel within the academy. Each school will, as far as possible, have a balanced intake based on gender, aptitude and ability.

I was very impressed with all I saw. A great school, a great head and great kids.