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The Corporation

Posted: 14/11/14

Studio school rolls out the red carpet

A pioneering new school in Mansfield, which is training 14 to 19-year-olds, is being given the VIP treatment next week.

Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL

Vision Studio School, which welcomed its first students in September, is the first studio school in Nottinghamshire to begin its curriculum for 125 new students, and it’s being officially opened by Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL on Tuesday (18 November).

Lord Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer Partnership Limited and the National Studio Schools Ambassador, will meet with local employers who are working with the studio school to provide project-based learning and work placements for students in engineering and transport and health and social care.

He will unveil a commemorative plaque to officially open the school and join principal of the school, Andy Campbell, on a tour of the new facilities, along with Dame Asha Khemka who is the chair of the school and principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College – the official sponsor of the studio school.

Students who are studying at the school will have the opportunity to join Lord Bilimoria as he presents the ‘Cobra story’ and highlights his success as an entrepreneur and businessman.

Learners, who are in their first term, at the studio school are taught the same core academic subjects as traditional schools but combine these with vocational qualifications that will be delivered through project-based learning and work placements linked to local employment opportunities.

It plans to launch its first work placements before Christmas, once each student has completed a specially-tailored work-related learning programme to prepare them for the workplace.

The programmes of learning are designed to bridge the gap between education and employment and is being supported by many local employers from small and medium-sized enterprises to large public and private sector organisations who will mentor students through masterclass sessions and the regular work placement.

Current employer partners who are on board with the studio school include Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies, Enable Care and Home Support, Lindhurst Engineering Ltd, Linney Print, DB Schenker, Mansfield District Council, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham City Transport and the University of Nottingham.

The studio school is situated at West Nottinghamshire College’s former Chesterfield Road campus, which has undergone a £1.1 million refurbishment to provide a ‘technology-rich’ 21st century learning environment including classrooms boasting multimedia equipment, interactive TVs, computer-aided design (CAD) systems and 3D scanners and printers.

Principal Andy Campbell said: “We’ve had an amazing first term here at the school.  Students have settled well into their new studies and are gaining new confidence, enthusiasm and skills.

“We’re looking forward to beginning the work placements with employers in the next few weeks which will give the learners the most realistic experience of the world of work.

“Lord Bilimoria will be assured of a very warm welcome to the studio school and the students are eager to hear the story of his success and get some entrepreneurial advice from him.”