TGB Learning to sponsor personalised learning centres
TBG Learning and Devon County Council are pioneering the first sponsored academy chain in the country for personalised learning centres.
From September, TBG Learning, which is part of third sector owned organisation the Rehab Group and has more than 20 learning centres across England and Wales, will be academy sponsor for Devon's three personalised learning centres.
The three centres, in Exeter, Barnstaple and Totnes, currently deliver learning services for almost 150 students with specific medical or health problems and those who have been excluded from school.
Education Minister, Lord Nash, approved the creation of the innovative sponsored academy and the partnership between Devon County Council and TBG Learning earlier this year.
One of the three centres, a new £3.5 million learning centre, was recently officially opened by the chairman of Devon County Council, Jerry Brook.
The new Stansfield Centre caters for up to 50 young people and includes a sports hall, motor vehicle workshop, science lab, design technology and ICT suites and facilities which support small group and one-to-one working.
Devon's cabinet member for schools, Andrea Davis, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to agree such an innovative approach.
"We see this as a real partnership between the local authority and TBG Learning with them offering the sort of skills and training for our youngsters that we could not match.
"We already have a purpose-built, personalised learning service centre in Barnstaple as part of our facilities on the Roundswell Industrial Estate.
"The new Stansfield Centre in Exeter is based on the Sowton Industrial Estate and will give our youngsters greater opportunities for work experience and placements with the many companies which are based there."
Simon O'Connell, head of business development at TBG Learning, said the company is excited to be pioneering the first sponsored academy chain for personalised learning centres in Devon.
He said: "This kind of academy sponsorship is a first for both TBG Learning and Devon County Council, as pioneers we're looking to achieve a smooth transition and go on to excel in our provision as an example to others who will follow this lead.
"Engaging with all stakeholders, particularly employers, will be a key part of the wider strategy we will look to develop in Devon. We want to focus on all aspects of school life as well as supporting the centres to be better engaged within the communities."