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The official renaming of a Frankley school was celebrated by the school community at a special event last week (Thursday 10th October).
The ‘Day One’ event officially celebrated the adoption of Balaam Wood School by the Schools of King Edward VI (KEVI) Foundation Trust, with the school now being named King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy.
The school community – including staff, governors and selected pupils – were joined by representatives from the KEVI Trust, local politicians and local community members.
Attendees enjoyed musical performances from two pupils of the school as well as poetry from Birmingham’s Poet Laureate Richard O’Brien and Young Poet Laureate Aliyah Begum, who is a Sixth Form student at King Edward VI High School in Edgbaston.
There were speeches from Headteacher Damian McGarvey, Foundation Executive Director Heath Monk and West Midlands Mayor – and former King Edward’s School pupil – Andy Street.
A commemorative renaming plaque was unveiled with the help of the academy’s head boy and head girl.
Originally opened as Frankley Community High School back in 1980, the co-educational school has a ‘well above average’ proportion of disadvantaged pupils with the school’s deprivation indicator being twice the national average, according to its 2018 Ofsted report.
Balaam Wood Academy is now part of one of the UK’s most highly respected academy trusts. The renowned The Schools of King Edward VI Foundation dates back to the 16th century.
Executive Director Heath Monk said: “Our intention is to better serve the community of Frankley and neighbouring areas and to significantly improve the prospects of pupils at the school.
“We are adopting an approach that will see us developing the excellent links that
have already been made with the local community, working with local primary schools to ensure their children can progress to a school with a reputation for academic and extra-curricular development.
“Our vision is to enable Birmingham to become the best place to be educated in the country. Our support for schools such as Balaam Wood, will bring additional opportunities to communities that face employment and economic challenges and is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting children from all backgrounds in Birmingham to
reach their full potential. All our schools provide a caring environment that enables each child to develop and thrive.
“The staff and pupils at Balaam Wood are so enthusiastic and we very much look forward to working with them.’
Damian McGarvey, Headteacher at the new academy said: “I am very excited to start our journey with King Edward VI Academy Trust.
“Our school wants all our pupils to develop a ‘can do’ attitude, to be confident, adaptable, resilient and independent. Each pupil should be able to reach their learning potential in a healthy, safe environment through an enjoyable, stimulating and challenging curriculum.”