New proposal for a multi-million-pound school to be built on the Sixth Form College site

On Friday 14th October, CEO of the Potteries Educational Trust, Mark Kent hosted a launch event for the proposed multi-million-pound school. The new school will focus on digital technology and creative design and the Trust is set to submit plans to the Department for Education next month for a new academy for 16-19-year-olds.

The school will cater for approximately 400 students locally and from surrounding counties and will be built over the car park of the Sixth Form College. The Trust is working collaborating with Staffordshire University, Keele University and the University of Derby as well as other local schools, colleges and businesses.

Mark Kent, CEO of the Potteries Educational Trust, said: “Our vision is to create a Centre of Excellence for digital technology and a creative design specialist post-16 academy with a particular focus on A Level computer science – the first of its kind in the UK.

“This new type of school builds on opportunities in the government’s Levelling Up initiative. Our Free School will be different, with a focus on a model of education which promotes creative problem-solving and independent, investigative thinking and enquiry. In doing so it will enable the highest standards of academic achievement through the curriculum and experiences.

“Should this bid application be successful we aim to produce the next generation of skilled workers within Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and the region. We want the new school to be a driver for investment and regeneration, creating new jobs and opportunities.”

At a launch event at the Sixth Form College on Friday, supporters of the project included Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan, of data firm Synectics Solutions, and MP for Stoke-on-Trent South Jack Brereton.

Jack said: “Stoke-on-Trent MPs are backing the new school. I think it’s really important that we champion the excellence that we have in the city in computing and games design. We do these subjects extremely well here – it’s the industry of the future.

“We as a city can really take advantage of this. We can make Stoke-on-Trent the heart of the games design industry, and help to bring the highly skilled and highly paid jobs that we want to see.”

The plans are set to be submitted in November and a decision is set is expected in late spring or summer next year. It will take around a calendar year to build and is proposed to open in September 2025.

Any businesses wishing to support our free school application can download a template letter linked here. Please feel free to adapt, add business logos and return via email to Mark Kent directly.