Academy digs in

All secondary schools will become trusts or academies, Tony Blair told a conference of business people at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. He said: "It will be the norm for schools to have outside partners."

This week, excavator giant JCB announced that it is sponsoring an academy catering for pupils wishing to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing. The pound;20 million school, in a refurbished mill in Rocester, Staffordshire, will offer 540 places to students aged 14 to 19 from September 2009.

This week ministers confirmed that Brunel academy in Bristol was given the go-ahead despite not having a financial sponsor.

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