THE ACADEMY AT A GLANCE
- A Single Academy Trust sponsored by Aldridge Education
- Opened in September 2014 (Sixth Form 2016)
- Performing & creative arts specialism
- Will offer 900 places when fully open and 240 places in the Sixth Form
- Resource centre for pupils with autism
Aldridge Education is the lead sponsor of the Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA), a new school for London when it opened in September 2014. Aldridge Education worked with co-sponsor the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and educational partners Charterhouse School, Godolphin and Latymer School, The Royal Academy of Dance and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art to take the project from concept to opening.
The Academy provides much needed school places for children in the area as, prior to its opening, more than 50 per cent of students have had to travel outside the Royal Borough for their secondary education. The school will grow year on year to offer 900 places for 11-16 year olds and up to 240 places for sixth form students once fully open. The sixth form opened in September 2016.
KAA received planning permission on 26th September 2012 after extensive consultation with community stakeholders. A local community school for boys and girls, the Academy is a state school and has adopted the Royal Borough’s admissions criteria. There is no selection by ability or religion.
Construction work started on the new Academy buildings in March 2013 and in the April David Benson’s appointment as Kensington Aldridge Academy’s founding Principal was announced.
The Academy specialises in Performing and Creative Arts, and has a focus on entrepreneurship. Its Silchester Rd campus providing the community with an entrepreneurship hub – Kensington Creates – within the north Kensington area – a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood.
KAA is building strong links with its main feeder primary schools and, uniquely within the area, provides a Borough-wide resource centre for students on the autistic spectrum disorder continuum.
The Sponsors’ joint vision is to deliver high standards of attainment, building on success already achieved in neighbouring primary schools. The Academy nurtures entrepreneurial skills and attitudes, develops self-confidence, reflection and problem-solving skills, and encourages students to be active citizens. It designs and provides individual learning plans with an emphasis on numeracy, literacy, ICT and communication. All students are given progression targets to develop independent learning and ambition. A full range of courses and qualifications ensures the aim of achieving the highest academic standards for every student.
The first year 7 students started at the Academy in September 2014 and the following January Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the new buildings. In September 2015 Mick May became Chair of the Academy’s Governing Body and recruitment began for the first intake into the Academy’s sixth form in 2016.
On a visit to the Academy in May 2016 Under Secretary of State for Education Lord Nash said:“Kensington Aldridge Academy is a clear example of how linking business with education can drive aspiration. It was excellent to hear the students speak so enthusiastically about their school and the opportunities they have.”
Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the Academy’s Silchester Road campus was closed and a temporary campus opened at Scrubs Lane in Hammersmith and Fulham. The Academy plans to return to Silchester Road for the coming autumn term.
In June 2018 the academy received the TES Secondary School of the Year Award at the publication’s annual recognition ceremony in London. The academy’s first set of A-Level results in August 2018 saw its students perform a third of a grade better at A-Level than those with the same GCSE results in other schools. 62% of all results were A*- B and 99.6% were graded A* – E. Nearly 100% of students secured competitive university places, including two acceptances to Oxford University colleges.