Academy status for town school

Ripley Academy principal Carey Ayres.
Ripley Academy principal Carey Ayres.

Mill Hill School in Ripley has started the new term this week by becoming an academy, and adopting a new name.

The Ripley Academy, which has 850 pupils and a sixth form, has also seen acting headteacher Carey Ayres appointed as permanent principal of the new school.

Students celebrated the launch of the academy with a special breakfast on Monday.

All year groups were wearing their new uniforms and were invited to take part in the celebrations on the first day back after the summer break.

The academy has entered into a partnership with The West Bridgford School in Nottinghamshire, forming the East Midlands Education Trust.

The partnership will allow the two schools to share teaching expertise and best practice and Ripley will be able to call on the support of the experienced leadership team at West Bridgford.

Mrs Ayres said it was an exciting new start at The Ripley Academy.

She said on Monday, September 8: “I was immensely proud of the students as they came to the academy, for the first time today, looking very smart in their new uniforms. Thanks must go to the parents and carers of the students for ensuring that the students came to school on time and ready to learn.

“I feel privileged to have secured the role as principal of The Ripley Academy and I look forward to working with Rob McDonough, the CEO of the East Midlands Education Trust (EMET), and his colleagues from The West Bridgford School as we move forward on this improvement journey together.

“Thank you to everybody for your ongoing support of The Ripley Academy as we work together to provide all students in Ripley and the surrounding area with the highest possible standard of education.”

Richard Johnson, vice-chairman of EMET, said it saw the partnership as being beneficial to both schools.

He said: “Parents will already be aware of some of the more visible changes we have put in place, such as a new uniform, but our staff are working hard on others including changes to our academic targets, our student monitoring and tracking, our curriculum, our approach to teaching and learning, behaviour management, homework and many others.

“There is a new ethos permeating throughout the academy which will result in a raised expectation of both our staff and of our students.

“This is an exciting time for all of us associated with the academy and parents should be assured that we will all work tirelessly to ensure that their children receive nothing less than the very best education possible.”

The new year 7 students were among the first to take part in the special breakfast at the academy on Monday.

Thirza Calladine, 11, has come to The Ripley Academy from Ripley Junior School. She said: “I felt a bit nervous this morning but now I’m really excited.

“I visited the academy in the summer and took part in some activities which was great. I can’t wait to make lots of new friends. Everyone has been really nice and welcoming. I think the new uniforms look great.”