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The Redshift Academy supported by Lloyds Banking Group, will be setting up a new 16‐19 Free School specialising in digital and creative media and entrepreneurship. This will give young people the skills they need to equip them for future employment.

The Redshift Academy will be based in the centre of Milton Keynes and is an academy equipping young people for employment and careers of the future. The curriculum will use an innovative concept of ‘Learning Companies’ which will enable students to gain employment and progression routes beyond their current expectations.

Students will experience a range of business scenarios which will provide them with opportunities to run a real life business. This will include exposure to genuine technology start‐up businesses, development of creative and entrepreneurial faculties and the freedom to explore new ideas, concepts and technologies, all with the support from enterprise mentors. They will leave the academy with a range of academic and vocational qualifications including AS/A2 Levels, Level 3 BTECs, NCFE short courses and a portfolio of employer authenticated awards.

Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Technology will be at the heart of the new Free School which will enable its students to progress in conjunction with local, national and global employers onto careers and job opportunities in new and emerging industries.

Speaking about the new partnership, Jackie Jenks, Senior Manager, Enterprise Mentoring, Lloyds Banking Group, said, “Lloyds Banking Group is pleased to support the Redshift Academy by providing enterprise resources and expertise. In particular our support in the development of business literacy courses will prepare young people for the real business world and help the development of financial awareness through our Money for Life programme. This will all be backed up by access to our accredited Enterprise Mentoring work where we have over 400 of our staff volunteering across the UK.”

Supported by the New School Network, Natalie Evans, Director of New Schools Network said: “The Redshift Academy has worked hard to prepare an application for the Department for Education and we very much hope they will have the chance to put their plans into action when Government announces later in the spring which groups have been given the green light to open. There are nearly 300 Free Schools open or due to open this September which are proving popular with parents and adding good new schools places to their local communities.”

Also supportive of the partnership, Lord Wei, said, “As someone who grew up in Milton Keynes I heartily support this initiative and congratulate those involved including Lloyds Banking Group for getting behind it. More than ever we need schools that recognise the importance of being prepared for the world of work, and I am excited about the vision of Redshift Academy to transform the life chances of young people through close working with employers, harnessing the flexibility the Free School model offers.”