04 June 2014

LIPA to open new primary school on Upper Duke Street

By Sophie Brown

At Liverpool Institute for performing Arts (LIPA) a new primary school is due to open in september 2014, with an original intake of 52 pupils.

The announcement means that LIPA Primary Head Teacher Greg Parker is now able to make formal offers to parents and officially appoint staff.

The free school is being opened by LIPA in partnership with Edge Hill University, and is already oversubscribed for its first year and has already received more than 50 expressions of interest for 2015 entry.

The school will welcome two reception classes in September 2014 and will continue to take two new classes each year, resulting in a projected 364 pupils by September 2020.

It will create ten new jobs, with more each year as the school roll grows, building work on the school premises, the Dean Walters building on Upper Duke Street, is set to begin on June 16.

The facilities will include 14 classrooms, creative and performing arts spaces, outdoor space and additional teaching areas.

The idea of a LIPA Primary School came into focus in October 2012, prospective parents were invited to open days in November and January last year and the proposals went to public consultation in February this year, where it was received positively by the local community.

Head Teacher Greg Parker said: “We have recruited excellent teachers with significant and varied experience and they can’t wait to get going.

“This announcement means that we can start working in detail on realising our creative approach to education.

“We aim to become a beacon for others in how to use the creative and performing arts to underpin and inform a broad and balanced curriculum.”

The launching of the school – one of over 100 given the green light by the Department of Education in May last year – is the latest chapter in the history of LIPA, which was co-founded by Mark Featherstone-Witty and Sir Paul McCartney in 1995 to provide the best teaching and learning for people who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry.

LIPA’s founding principal/CEO, Mark Featherstone-Witty said: “Our focus is learning - at any age, I’ll be fascinated to see if our use of project based learning benefits our primary children, as it so clearly does our undergraduates.”

New Chair of Governors Flo Clucas added: “LIPA Primary School is an amazing idea! In the city that was European Capital of Culture, we will have a school that will give children their education in a different way, while ensuring that all of the skills that they need are taught to a high standard.

“Teaching through the creative and performing arts will give children the confidence they need, expand their learning experience and allow them to make decisions about their learning.

“With parents and carers an essential part of the team, Edge Hill University and arts organisations actively involved, we see an exciting future ahead.”

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