A new secondary school for Middleton

Published: June 17, 2019

The Department for Education has announced that the Altus Education Partnership will be opening a new free school in Middleton. Edgar Wood Academy is being developed in response to the increase in the demand for secondary places following the expansion of local primary schools.

We were established in April 2017 by the governing body of Rochdale Sixth Form College; an outstanding A Level provider established in 2010. The college was awarded outstanding status by Ofsted in 2013 and has developed a national reputation of excellence. It has also been used in Ofsted case studies for sharing best practice, and has topped the Department for Education performance tables on multiple occasions. The development of the Multi Academy Trust stemmed from a commitment to raising aspirations and improving the life chances of young people in the borough of Rochdale.

Richard Ronksley, CEO of Altus Education Partnership and Principal of Rochdale Sixth Form College said, “Edgar Wood Academy will provide outstanding opportunities and transform the lives of young people in the borough. Altus is fully committed to providing the very best education for students.

Students leaving Edgar Wood will particularly benefit from the unique relationship between Rochdale Sixth Form College and Hopwood Hall College. Together, these two high-performing colleges guarantee that school leavers from Edgar Wood, and other Rochdale schools, have the opportunity to study from a range of academic, vocational and technical pathways. 

Rochdale’s young people are our future; working in partnership, we will help them progress onto local, national and international careers that will positively transform our community.”

Working in collaboration with Hollingworth Academy, an outstanding 11 – 16 academy situated in Milnrow, we developed the proposal for Edgar Wood Academy. Both institutions share the vision of creating an inclusive academy where all pupils excel and fulfill their promise to enable them to progress to an aspirational career, life and employment path.

“This is a fantastic result for the borough and the young people in Middleton. Rochdale Sixth Form College has a proven track record in providing outstanding education and this is reflected in the decision of the Department for Education.”

Darren Randle, Head Teacher, Hollingworth Academy

Richard Ronksley was appointed CEO of Altus Education Partnership and Principal of Rochdale Sixth Form College in June 2018, prior to this he worked as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for Ofsted and was previously Deputy Principal at Scarborough Sixth Form College. Richard is working in partnership with all secondary schools in the borough and will continue to work closely with local head teachers throughout the development of Edgar Wood Academy.

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