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Inspirational leader appointed for Manchester Health Academy

An inspirational head teacher whose leadership resulted in his school being named as the fifth most improved secondary school in England, has been appointed as head of one of Manchester’s new academies. Barry Burke, from Chorley, has been appointed as the Principal Designate for Manchester Health Academy, which is due to open in September 2010. The academy, which will be based in Brooklands, Wythenshawe, is one of seven across the city and will provide 600 places for 11-16 year olds and 120 places for 16-19 education. It will specialise in health and will be aimed at students interested in careers in the medical, clinical, nursing and technical health services. The Academy will also develop networks to help further support and influence the health agenda at other schools across the city. With more than 35 years experience of teaching, Barry, who was born in Manchester, is eager to take on the demands of a completely different approach to secondary education to ensure there is an innovative approach to learning and working which is fit for the 21st Century. He says: “I am very excited about the job ahead of me. Manchester is leading the way with its academy programme in that not only is it ensuring children gain the skills and qualifications demanded by employers, but it is also supported by a comprehensive regeneration programme that is on a scale unlike anywhere else in the country. “The Health Academy will have incredible resources that will allow it to offer first rate services and facilities, not just to pupils, but to the community as a whole. Coupled with support from a sponsor that is investing in the future of Manchester, it is an opportunity that I am convinced will be one the most rewarding of my career.” The Health Academy will replace Brookway Community High School, which will close in August 2010. The Academy will be in a brand new building on the same site as Brookway. The Academy will be sponsored by Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust (CMMC) with co-sponsorship from Manchester City Council and The Manchester College, which is the merger of Manchester College of Arts and Technology (MANCAT) and City College Manchester. David Cain, Director of Regeneration and Appeals at Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust says: “We are privileged to have been invited to be the lead sponsor for the Manchester Health Academy. We are the first NHS Trust in the country to take a lead sponsor role for an Academy School. We feel that as one Manchester’s largest employers this is an important step forward to support the economic growth and regeneration of our city. We are looking forward to working with our partners and co-sponsors (Manchester City Council and The Manchester College) and we believe this is a strong team to make a significant impact in support of the education of those who will attend the Academy. “By getting involved we will be ensuring that young people gain the necessary skills and qualifications to equip them to become part of the NHS, the world’s fourth largest employer, which has over 300 different career options available.” The Academy will differ from existing schools in that sponsors will work alongside teachers to design learning and assessment materials. All students will have personal mentors as well as round the clock access to materials and support to encourage ‘anytime, anywhere learning.’ The site will have extended opening hours and will become the hub of the community giving parents, families and the whole community the opportunity to benefit from the facilities. Barry adds: “This really is a wonderfully exciting time for me personally and for Manchester as a whole. The Academy will provide more than just an academic education, it will equip young people with the essential skills and knowledge they need to become a successful part of Manchester’s economy. “With close links to business, we will be able to provide mentors and work placements for both staff and students to ensure that we really do produce young people that are ready to contribute positively to their community and workplace and to succeed in life.” Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, says: “We are delighted to welcome Barry to his new role. The Manchester academies model has been developed to ensure the maximum benefit for the city and its communities. It is a combination of public and private sector partners working as one team towards one collective goal and ensuring that Manchester retains its standing as a world class city.” For more information about Manchester City Council visit www.manchester.gov.uk