Setting up a university free school: University of Birmingham to host conference exploring experiences and sharing best practice

The University of Birmingham will share its experiences in setting up the UK’s first university state secondary school during a special one-day event later this week.

The University of Birmingham School, which opened in September 2015, is the first free school in the UK to be established and run by a university. It recruits from some of the most disadvantaged parts of the city through a unique admissions system, and aims to offer its pupils the same learning experience that they would enjoy at a fee-paying school.

The conference Setting Up a University Free School will be held on 24 November 2016 at the University of Birmingham School site in Selly Oak. As it will be a normal school day any media wishing to attend must register with the University press office to gain access. 

During the event, more than 90 delegates from 52 universities and organisations across the UK will share experiences and ideas in a series of workshops. Among them will be sessions led by delegates from the University of Cambridge’s primary school and King’s College London Mathematics School.

The event will also feature a number of key speakers, including:

  • Michael Roden, Principal of the University of Birmingham School
  • Professor James Arthur, Director of the University’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
  • Mike Crowhurst, Director of Education at the New Schools Network

 University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood will also address the conference. He says:

‘The University of Birmingham School is an important contribution to the University’s civic engagement and is already raising aspirations, transforming lives and enriching the city and the University.’

The School has seen enormous demand for places since its opening last year, with 11 applications received for every Year Seven place in 2016.

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For more information, contact Deborah Walker at the University of Birmingham Press Office, on +44 (0)121 414 6681. Out of hours please call +44 (0)7789 921165 or email the press office.

Notes to Editors

 ** As it is a normal school day, media wishing to attend the event must register with the University press office on +44 (0)121 414 6681 or email the press office to gain access. **

About the University of Birmingham School:

The University of Birmingham School is an all ability inclusive (comprehensive) school for children who are of compulsory school age (ages 11-16) recruited from four admission ‘nodes’, and an academically-selective Sixth Form open to students from across Birmingham and its surrounding communities. The School opened in September 2015 with intakes into Years 7 (150 pupils) and 12 (200 students), and will grow to its full capacity of 1,150 pupils by 2020.

About the University of Birmingham:

The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.