BOSSES at Sutton Centre Community College say that its transformation into an academy will bring benefits for the whole community - and spark the regeneration process in the town.
Following a consultation with parents in September, the college will gain academy status in the new year and will continue to specialise in business, enterprise and the arts,
Sponsorship will come from the Academy Transformation Trust, which supports a number of academies throughout the country.
Speaking at the Regenerating Sutton meeting on 30th October, college principal Simon Martin said: “We are at a pivotal moment in this organisation’s history. Sutton Centre has a long and proud tradition as a school, as a community organisation and as an adult education centre.
“What is unusual is that this is not just going to become an academy - it is going to become the country’s first community academy.
“The reason the Academy Transformation Trust is so interested in Sutton Centre is because of its history as a school and its interaction with the community in a positive and beneficial way.”
Mr Martin told business leaders and members of the voluntary sector that life-long learning among all sectors of the community was vital in order to tackle low aspiration and benefits dependency.
“My intention and that of the governors, senior management and sponsors is that Sutton will become the UK’s largest learning community.
“Children, parents, carers and other people in the community can all follow their own learning journey through education given by this college.
“Young adults will see personal, social and economic benefits of life-long learning because they will see it first hand (from their parents).”
He added: “Because of our location in the centre of town, we are going to continue to be the beating heart of the community.”
Sutton Centre had been due to join forces with West Notts College to build a £25million academy on part of Sutton Lawn.
But the plans, which were revealed in 2009, were shelved last year. The new academy will remain on its High Pavement site and the existing buildings will be ref