A pioneering agreement between seven firms from a wide range of industries aimed at equipping pupils with skills from the world of work has launched at Birmingham’s newest school.

The Corporate Partner scheme at the new University of Birmingham School was officially launched at the School, in Selly Oak, on Wednesday (23 September) with representatives from the worlds of law, construction, finance and many others meeting at the school for the first time.

Partners have made a financial commitment to support the School’s innovative enrichment programme but their involvement will also help to contribute to the shape of the programme look like, with employees tasked to deliver sessions alongside teachers and other School staff.

Representatives from the partner firms also sit on the School’s Careers Advisory Board and will ensure pupils benefit from insight and experience from the various industries. The group will meet each term to plan their involvement in the following term’s programme with partners each committing to a full year of involvement.

The partners for 2015/16, the School’s first academic year are KPMG, Deutsche Bank, JW Hinks
Bass Clusker Consulting, Willmott Dixon, PWC and Shoosmiths.

Michael Roden, Principal at the University of Birmingham School, said: “We believe this scheme to be a unique one, which will offer the pupils at our School something distinctive. We are delighted with the partners we have on board and have no doubt that they will use their combined experience and expertise to deliver some truly engaging and stimulating enrichment activities for our pupils.”

Shoosmiths commercial partner, Andrew Brennan, commented: “Shoosmiths is delighted to be able to support the School’s Enrichment programme and to be involved in this pioneering model of education. We are hugely excited about being able to help shape and deliver the school’s curriculum and support pupils in becoming well rounded people, prepared for the working world and the challenges of adult life.

“We hope that our contribution will play a small part in helping and motivating pupils to achieve their dreams and to be happy and successful in whatever they choose to do.”

The University of Birmingham School’s vision is to create a diverse learning community which reflects the city of Birmingham and transform the lives of its pupils by raising aspirations. Pupils will benefit from a wide range of opportunities, including access to facilities, expertise and research at the University of Birmingham itself. The School will grow to its full capacity of 1,150 pupils by 2020.

As the first secondary University Training School in the country, the University of Birmingham School will be a centre for initial and on-going teacher education and training and research into improving educational practice. The curriculum will be informed by the latest research via links with the academic departments, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. The first pupils began on 10 September in Year 7 and Year 12.

In September 2015 the University of Birmingham School opened to form an exciting new addition to education in Birmingham.
The main characteristics of the School are:
• A traditional academic curriculum, leading towards GCSEs and A-Levels.
• A focus on character education to support the development of happy, fulfilled young adults.
• A brand new, purpose-built school building.
• Strong links with the University of Birmingham (University of the Year 2013-14).
• Regular use of the University’s world-class facilities.
• Extended school day allowing the provision of a wide range of enrichment activities for all pupils.
• Well qualified and outstanding teachers, supported by talented trainees, in the UK’s first secondary University Training School.
• Strong pastoral care and support for pupils.
• A college (house) system which develops community and provides opportunities for friendly competition, teamwork and leadership.
• Initial entry into Years 7 and 12, with 1,150 students by 2020.
• Diverse, comprehensive 11-16 School, with pupils drawn from four ‘nodes’ across the city to address the needs of a rapidly growing population and a shortage of secondary school places.
• An academically-selective Sixth Form, to prepare students for University entry.

The University of Birmingham School is sponsored by the University of Birmingham and managed by an Academy Trust. The Trust and School will benefit from the expertise and professional services of the University.

For more information, including interview requests, please contact Kara Griffiths on 07812 671797.