The Aldridge Foundation harnesses entrepreneurship as a catalyst for social change, in particular to help young people reach their potential, become active citizens and improve their communities.
To this end, the Foundation sponsors non-selective community Academies (run as separate Charitable Trusts) in areas of disadvantage, low aspiration and poor attainment. Each Academy has entrepreneurship as its lead specialism which is integrated into all areas of Academy life – focusing on the development of entrepreneurial attributes, rather than just enterprise skills.
Our definition of the entrepreneurial mindset is one ‘which strives to take action, solve problems, and rejects the status quo’. The attributes that we reward in students and prioritise in all our work are passion, creativity, teamwork, risk taking, determination, discipline, problem solving and vision.
Each Academy offers resources and physical spaces to support entrepreneurial activities developed by members of the wider community as well as for its student body.
The Foundation and its Academies also work in partnership with local individuals and organisations (charitable, voluntary, commercial, public sector) to develop each Academy as a civic and community asset. Our Academies are non-selective and free, with admissions based on the existing local authority system, and there are no entrance examinations.
Academy Schools are schools funded directly by the Government, rather than the local authority, and have “sponsors” who contribute extra resources and new ideas to benefit the students. Sponsors must be approved by the Government, to ensure they are capable of running an Academy successfully.
Like all schools, Aldridge Academies are inspected by OFSTED, and our GCSE results are made public. Each one has a Principal and Leadership team who are responsible for the day to day running of the Academy, with a Board of Governors that includes parents, teachers, Foundation staff, community and local organisations, responsible for ensuring the Academy meets the education standards it is set, and the needs of the local community it serves.
We opened our first Academy in September 2008, in Darwen, Lancashire, with a second following in September 2010 in Falmer, Brighton, a third Academy at Portslade, also in Brighton, a year later, and a fourth in September 2012 on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio school is due to open in 2013 and Kensington Aldridge Academy is scheduled to open in 2014 in North Kensington, London.
The Foundation is also a lead partner in the recently announced University Technical Colleges for MediaCity in Salford and Newhaven in Sussex.
Our Academies and the Foundation have a shared vision for every student at an Aldridge Academy. Find out about the ten key elements of this.
In addition to their focus on Entrepreneurship each Aldridge Academy has a lead specialism, and in some cases a second specialism.
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy
Located in Darwen, Lancashire, the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy opened in the predecessor school buildings in September 2008 and moved to its new town centre location in September 2010.
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy opened in September 2011, replacing Portslade Community College. The Academy has a specialisms in Science.
Brighton Aldridge Community Academy
Rod Aldridge chose to sponsor a second Academy in the City of Brighton and Hove where he grew up. Brighton Aldridge Community Academy replaced Falmer High school situated to the east of the city, opening in September 2010.
Kensington Aldridge Academy
The Foundation is delighted to be lead sponsor of the Kensington Aldridge Academy, working with co-sponsor the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and a range of educational partners.
Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy
The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy opened in September 2012, becoming the Aldridge Foundation's fourth sponsored Academy school and our first "all through" school. The Academy caters for students from 4 - 16.
MediaCityUK UTC, Salford Quays will open in 2014. This landmark UTC will work directly with some of the most prestigious names in the digital and media industry to revolutionise the way young people develop crucial skills and pathways to jobs.
Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio School
Proposals to open a Studio School in Darwen were officially approved by the Department for Education in July 2012. The Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio School will open in September 2013.