Bourne Academy, in Bournemouth, was awarded an ‘Outstanding School or College’ Award at the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) Awards, which were held at the Palace of Westminster.
The school is situated in one of the most deprived areas of Bournemouth and has the highest number of Pupil Premium students in the Borough. However, its newly-founded sixth form has seen more than 50 per cent of its first year group go onto university, with 100 per cent of students that applied through UCAS achieving their first choice through Clearing.
The awards, which were hosted by Gordon Marsden (MP Blackpool South and Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Further Education & Skills), also saw a Commendation awarded to former BU student, Connor Cranston, who worked closely with the University’s Outreach Department to deliver workshops and mentor children on Books & Stories, Summer Breaks and Employability programmes.
BU Outreach Officer Kate Holmes said: “The success of both one of our students and one of our Progression Framework schools has been superb. It’s brilliant to see the contributions that can be made to children’s education rewarded and recognised. Connor’s work with our department can still be seen today, where some of his creative outreach activities are still used by our current Student Ambassadors.
“Bourne Academy’s unprecedented achievement has also been a source of great inspiration for those of us who’ve worked on the project, and have seen the progress made by this key educational establishment in giving more children the insight they need to make the move into Higher Education.”
Vicky Woodings, Head of Careers, Employability & Enterprise at Bourne Academy said: “It was so exciting to win the outstanding access school award from NEON. This was in recognition of all the outreach activities we participate in particularly as we are fortunate to offer trips, workshops and talks to students from Universities from year seven throughout their academic career with us.
“Bournemouth University have always been brilliant offering us bespoke sessions and inspirational activities and visits to their fabulous facilities. They are also responsible for telling us about NEON and the awards in the first place! It is great to be able to work in partnership with BU and offer our students such fabulous opportunities that will inspire them to consider the opportunities Higher Education could give them.”