Academy worth every penny

7th July 2006 at 01:00
Your article on city academies ("Do the presents have a future?", TES, June 9), while a valid debate around funding, did not convey the vision and aspirations of these schools, or properly reflect the contribution academies have made to the regeneration of the areas they serve.

Comparing statistics and investment opportunities can never capture the optimism and dynamism that the Capital City academy in Brent has brought to a community previously served by an unpopular comprehensive. The poverty of aspiration found in such schools can have a cumulative effect, excusing failure and feeding apathy.

The challenge over the next few years for the council and the school working together is to inspire students to set and achieve appropriate personal goals. Pupils will be influenced to set higher goals if they work alongside the most academic students - this can only be achieved through a balanced school roll representing a range of ability and talent.

Capital City academy addressed a serious shortfall in educational standards in this part of London and a recent Ofsted report has noted its success so far.

The school is on track to create one of London's most innovative educational establishments, specialising in sport.

This will have a significant, positive influence on future opportunities for young people in Brent, particularly as the Olympics approach - a very worthwhile investment in my opinion.

John Christie

Director of children and families

Brent council

9 Park Lane

Wembley, London

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