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Academy pride at national success

Posted onPosted on 5th Dec

Staff at a Shirebrook school have spoken of their pride at representing the town at a national awards ceremony ­— even though they had to settle for second place.

Shirebrook Academy was runners-up in the Education and Business Partnership Award at the UK finals of the British Chambers of Commerce Awards.

The school was invited to attend after it was named regional winner in the same category for the East Midlands area, having already won the Derbyshire title.

The nominations were made in recognition of the work it does every year to help students get ready for their careers by inviting representatives of local companies into school to conduct mock interviews and hold CV-writing clinics, as well as organising visits to firms and universities and running an extensive work experience programme.

Shirebrook Academy invests more in this area than the majority of schools and is unusual for employing a full-time personal development co-ordinator, Tracy Horton, who organises all of the activity.

The school was one of nine regional winners from 50 Chambers of Commerce regions in its category, but was pipped to the title by a Manchester firm called Northcoders, which trains people in computer coding for multi-national companies.

Head Mark Cottingham said: “It is a remarkable achievement.

“All but two of the organisations in our category were large companies whose main business is training people, whereas it’s just one part of our broader responsibility as a school.

“Our success is not only a wonderful endorsement of the work that Helen and Tracy do here, but also a sign to our students that great achievements are possible if you are prepared to push yourself out of your comfort zone and be ambitious.”

Pictured is Mark Cottingham with Tracy Horton and assistant principal Helen Wakefield.