Statement from Christian Down, Executive Principal at Inspire Enterprise Academy
It is with deep sadness that we confirm Inspire Enterprise Academy Southampton is closing.
While our provision was exceeding expectations and helping young people in the city achieve more, it is not financially viable to continue the school.
Like every other state school in the country, funding is based on the number of pupils we have and we simply do not have enough students and applications to keep the school running.
It would be unfair to pupils and staff to have simply buried our heads in the sand and risk the school closing mid-year. As such we made a recommendation to the Department for Education that the school closes. They agreed that this was the best solution and, as a result, the school will close at the end of this academic year (July 22).
In line with our commitment to the young people we serve, the staff and leadership team of Inspire Enterprise Academy will do everything we can to ensure pupils can move to new education providers of their choice. To that end, we will make funding available for travel costs for any of our students who wish to attend our sister school on the Isle of Wight. For those who don't wish to travel we will help them find alternatives nearby.
When Inspire Enterprise Academy was set up we had a vision, shared by the previous government, to provide specialist, work-based learning for 14 to 19 year-olds. The vision has proved successful for those students who have excelled during their time with us. However, it has become evident that most parents in the educational environment of Southampton are not prepared to take a risk with their children's education and move them mid-way through secondary school, compared to other areas in the UK where similar schools have seen higher application numbers.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of staff, every pupil and every parent who has helped us change lives over the last two years. We appreciate how difficult this decision is for parents and pupils but we are sure it is the best decision for all in the long run.