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The vision for Emmanuel Schools Foundation (ESF) came originally from Sir Peter Vardy, John Burn OBE, Michael (now Lord) Bates, and a small number of other pioneers.

They were inspired to use a government initiative in the late 1980s to found new schools with a Christian ethos in the most disadvantaged areas in the North of England by drawing on the expertise of successful business leaders.

They saw an opportunity to build schools where the pursuit of academic excellence would go hand in hand with the development of character. The achievements of students in the schools of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation – and the reputation that ESF alumni would go on to acquire – has since born out their conviction that these two goals are inextricably linked.

The first school, Emmanuel College, opened its doors in 1990 and proved to be a catalyst in raising post-16 stay-on rates in Gateshead from below 20% in 1990 to higher than 80%. Furthermore, it contributed to the Borough rising from a position of low performance in the late 1980s to occupying that of leading LA in Tyneside. One of the few surviving City Technology Colleges, Emmanuel’s success is said to have contributed to the blueprint for the subsequent Academies programme.

Encouraged by its success and popularity, Sir Peter’s Emmanuel Schools Foundation went on to sponsor three further schools under the Academies programme. After two decades as sponsor and chairman of ESF, Sir Peter stepped aside and the Foundation is now a self-sustaining charity and Multi Academy Trust (MAT).

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Named after an eighth-century monk and scholar from Northumbria, Bede Academy, Blyth, opened in 2009 as one of the first “all-through” Academies in England, educating students from age 3 to 19.
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The Emmanuel Schools Foundation has been involved in education since 1989.
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Examination results last year placed Bede Academy in the top 8% of state-funded schools in England for Progress 8 and for progress in mathematics.
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To celebrate its 25th anniversary Emmanuel College raised £45,000 to build a primary school in Tembisa township, South Africa.
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The King's Academy, a specialist business and enterprise Academy in Coulby Newham, South Middlesbrough, opened as an 11-19 school of 1200 students in September 2003.
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Emmanuel College was founded in 1990 as Tyneside’s City Technology College (CTC) and opened with just 150 Year 7 students. Emmanuel now educates over 1,300 students across the 11 to 19 age range.
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After opening in 2005, Trinity Academy became the most improved school in England, and was named as the “most improved school in Yorkshire” for three consecutive years.
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The King’s Academy, Middlesbrough, marked its tenth anniversary with its best results to date and a £1.2m investment in Sixth Form and Performing Arts facilities.
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Trinity Academy in Thorne was described as “a beacon of hope” by Lord Andrew Adonis, Education Advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair, in 2007.
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In its first decade, The King’s Academy was placed among the top 10% of schools in England for added value and became the “most improved school in the North East”.
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In the five Ofsted inspections over the course of its history, Emmanuel has maintained an unbroken record of Ofsted “Outstanding”.
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Emmanuel College students’ academic results place the College amongst the highest ranked schools in England for both progress and attainment.
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Trinity Academy opened in September 2005 and replaced Thorne Grammar School as it celebrated its 75th Anniversary.
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The King’s Academy welcomes four times the average proportion of students with special needs, and its provision for these young people has been described as “exemplary” and “outstanding”.