Andrew Mitchell MP steps out in support of Wilson Stuart School

14th September 2012

Andrew Mitchell MP has visited Wilson Stuart School and Sports College in Erdington together with local Councillor and School Governor, Anne Underwood, following the School’s conversion to an Academy on 1 July 2012.

The Academy process was opened up to Special Educational Needs (SEN) Schools for the first time earlier this year as a result of the Coalition Government’s Academy Act. This demonstrates the Government’s firm commitment to making sure that the most vulnerable young people receive the highest quality education.

Mr Mitchell met with Wilson Stuart’s Head Teacher and Management Board to discuss the Government’s Green Paper which outlined the current problems with SEN provision. Wilson Stuart School is currently in discussion with University College Birmingham (UCB) to deliver the Government’s proposals to extend protections for young people with SEN up to the age 25 to help them into employment and successful independent living.

Following his visit Andrew Mitchell MP commented, “Wilson Stuart School is an outstanding SEN education provider in the West Midlands and this is reflected in their fourth consecutive ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED inspection in May 2010.”

“Following our discussions on future education provision for 19-25 year olds with SEN, I am making representations to the Minister for Children and Families highlighting the contribution that Wilson Stuart School, in partnership with University College Birmingham, can make to ensure that the Government paves the way for high-quality provision in this sector.”
Following Mr Mitchell’s visit, Steve Hughes, Head Teacher at Wilson Stuart School said, “We were delighted to be able to share our ideas with Andrew Mitchell about our 19-25 partnership with University College Birmingham.”
“We are fully supportive of the Government’s aims outlined in their Green Paper on SEN and disability and are confident that together with UCB, we will, by September 2013, develop a model of outstanding 19-25 practice and we welcome the opportunity to support Government policy and development in regard to this exciting initiative.”

Wilson Stuart School was the first school nationally to create a Community Interest Company (Wilson Stuart Active Society CIC), which Andrew Mitchell helped organise two years ago, to extend the legacy work of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to improve school sport.
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Photo: Top row left-right - Alex Lofthouse, Assistant Principal UCB, Steve Hughes, Head Teacher Wilson Stuart School, Chris Wilson, Assistant Head Teacher Wilson Stuart School, Gary Wood, Vice Principal UCB, Councillor Anne Underwood, School Governor and Debbie Rush, School Business Manager Wilson Stuart School.

Bottom row left-right - Shannon McIlkenny, Chad Williams, Rahul Tooray and Michael Whitmore (all students at Wilson Stuart School).