HRH Prince of Wales Visit

HRH The Prince of Wales spent over an hour visiting The Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent on the 16th May.

During his visit, The Prince met students and staff, as well as a whole host of special guests from across the city and its businesses, including the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire , Mr Ian Dudson; the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Cllr Terry Crowe; Ms Joan Walley, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North; and Euan Sutherland, the new Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group.

His Royal Highness, who is Patron of Teach First - the teacher training organisation, met with the academy’s two Teach First graduates, Samantha Harrison and Patrick O’Sullivan. During the visit, the two graduates, who are currently training to be teachers, held a maths master class with local primary school children.

Students from The Co-operative Young Leaders Programme, which enables older students to become community leaders and have the opportunity to teach younger pupils from local primary schools, were also on hand, with pupils from nearby Mill Hill Primary School.

There are currently 94 Co-operative Young Leaders at the academy, in Years 7 to 11, who have been trained in leadership skills. The students are able to specialise in one particular area, such as Modern Foreign Languages, ICT, Reading, Literacy and Science.

During the visit, students from The Co-operative Academy’s Industrial Cadets programme, in partnership with Haywood Engineering College, and local industries also met with The Prince to demonstrate how the programme worked.

The idea for the Industrial Cadets scheme originated in discussions between The Prince and representatives of Tata Steel on a visit to Redcar in the North East in 2010 and it is now being rolled out as a national initiative.

The Co-operative Academy of Stoke on Trent was recently rated by Ofsted inspectors as being “good” with outstanding features, following the official opening of to its brand new £23million, state of the art, building last September.

Andy Stanier, Principal of The Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent, said: “We were delighted and honoured to welcome His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, to our academy and our brand new building today.

“During his visit, we were able to introduce him to some really inspiring students who gave wonderful demonstrations of the programmes which they are involved in and which make our academy so very special.”

Mike Greenacre, Chair of Governors, said "The Prince of Wales is giving a considerable amount of support to developing the opportunities and career prospects for young people in Stoke and, particularly, in our local communities in Tunstall and Burslem.

“We are very proud and pleased that The Co-operative Academy students are heavily involved in these programmes and we look forward to the various initiatives continuing."

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