THE much-anticipated Winsford E-ACT Academy was revealed to staff and students this week, with an open day at the Town site.

Students from the former Verdin High School and Woodford Lodge High School united for the first time on Monday, September 6, for the opening day of the school term, wearing their new uniform which was provided by the Academy free of charge.

Andy Kilpatrick, the interim principal, has high hopes for the all ability school, which will specialise in music and mathematics and provide 1,500 places for students aged 11 to 16, with 200 spaces allocated for post-16 students.

He said: “We’ve worked hard to get everything in place to start the new term, with a new look and new uniform.

“It is our aim to build this academy into one of the most successful education institutions in the area, working alongside E-ACT’s other successful academies.

“It is a great opportunity for staff, students and the community to play a part in creating an excellent education for young people in this area.”

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, has signed the funding agreement giving education sponsor E-ACT responsibility for the Academy.

Principal Kilpatrick added: “I am delighted that the funding and other arrangements are now in place.

“We are going to provide an exceptional learning experience for all our students so that they can enjoy the opportunities they deserve in higher education and employment.”

Sir Bruce Liddington, director general of E-ACT, said: “We have a clear vision for E-ACT and that is to deliver educational excellence for all.

“At the Winsford E-ACT Academy, we will achieve very high standards of education and learning, as we do at all our academies.

“This is a huge opportunity for staff, students and the community to make a real difference, providing Winsford with a centre of excellence where young people thrive and excel for years to come.

“We have worked closely with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) which has been a great support in the successful development of the Winsford E-ACT Academy and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them, local schools and the wider educational community in the area.”

Year 11 students had mixed feelings about their first day of term at the Academy.

Chloe O’Brien, formerly of Verdin High School, said: “I think it is exciting to merge the two, and I think it will be good for the student bonding too.”

However, Giorgia Lovell, Year 11 pupil formerly of Woodford Lodge, was a little more sceptical.

She said: “I don’t like the idea of the two schools coming together, as there has been conflict between them for years.

“However, I’m in Year 11 and it doesn’t really affect me.”