Funding confirmed for new music school in West Bromwich
A music school that will be first of its kind in the country will open in West Bromwich.
The Shireland CBSO School will open in 2021, it has been confirmed after funding was approved by the Department for Education.
It will be the first British school to run in partnership with an orchestra.
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will run the school in partnership with the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, which is based in Smethwick.
The school will initially open to Year Seven and Year 12 pupils before growing to a maximum of 870 students by 2025 for pupils aged between 11 and 18.
Sir Mark Grundy, Chief Executive of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, said: “We are hugely proud to be asked to develop a new type of free school and feel privileged to be creating a school with a curriculum focused around music.
“The arts enrich our young peoples’ lives in so many ways and the opportunity to create a school which nurtures the musical ability of the students is an honour.
"The partnership that is emerging between our Trust, the CBSO and Sandwell Local Authority is unique.”
The school’s collaboration with an orchestra will mark a radical new approach to music education.
Planners behind the project say they hope it will address the decline in creative arts which is seen in many schools.
The school will be based across two sites in West Bromwich.
One will be the site of the former Gas Showroom on High Street while the other will be Providence Place next to Travelodge, West Bromwich.
Every child that attends will be given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument.
Stephen Maddock OBE, chief executive of CBSO, said: “We are delighted and hugely excited to be able to move ahead with our plans for this new specialist music school, which will offer access to music education, regardless of background, in an area where such opportunities are so desperately needed."
Sandwell Council leader Yvonne Davies added: “We are delighted to work with the CBSO on the first school of its kind in the country.”