A brand-new all-through school being built on the edge of Exeter within the Haldon Reach site at Alphington has been named the Matford Brook Academy.
The origins of Matford Brook Academy derive from one person’s idea. Sam Kinsella was a passionate change maker who, inspired by her own professional experience, wanted to design a new free school, originally named as Exeter Creative School. Sam’s idea was to create a school founded on an innovative, creative and robust curriculum, which supported the growth of strong, independent and creative young people.
Sam formed a wider team with Rachel Higginson, Catherine Gibaud QC, Tony Jordan and Carole Pilley to make this dream a reality.
In 2015 the team formed a collaboration with the Ted Wragg Trust to join their already successful portfolio of schools. It was in 2016 the Trust bid was successful at the Department for Education to open the school in the Teignbridge development. It was a monumental moment as a culmination of years of hard work, research and teamwork came together.
Very sadly in October of the same year Sam Kinsella died. She did, thankfully, know that the school she had worked so hard to make a reality was approved. Sam’s legacy will be a school where students are equipped and inspired to lead happy, fulfilling and successful lives. Sam Kinsella and the Trust shared the mission to transform lives and strengthen communities to make the world a better place.
Matford Brook Academy is set to open in September 2023, making that initial dream of one change maker a reality.
Moira Marder, Chief Executive Officer of the Ted Wragg Trust, said: “I am so proud to include Matford Brook Academy into our ambitious and inclusive Trust of Schools who aim to strengthen communities through excellent education. We look forward to serving the community to ensure the highest level of education is provided to every child, every day.
Sam’s family said they were pleased her vision had become a reality. They said: “We are all so pleased to hear about the progress of the newly named Matford Brook Academy. Sam dedicated her life and career to helping people, through running her charity and working as a creative educator with people from all walks of life. She was incredibly resourceful and tenacious; so, once she had the idea for a school, nothing was going to stop her!
She brought together a fantastic team and it’s a credit to her vision and enthusiasm that they have stayed together, overcome the many challenges they have faced and are on the next stage of making her dream a reality.
We are incredibly proud of her achievement in bringing this idea to life. We hope that Sam’s vision of a place where children have the opportunity to explore, connect and be recognised through creative learning will now endure.”
Siobhan Meredith, Director of Primary and All Through for the Ted Wragg Trust comments,
“We are delighted to begin to put into reality the vision of the now named Matford Brook Academy. The Ted Wragg Trust’s newest All Through school will become the hub of this brand-new community, providing ambitious opportunities for all and excellent education for children from 2 to 16 years old.”
The Ted Wragg Trust have been working with ESS Group member, Spatial Initiative an integrated construction company specialising in the delivery of major projects, to see this project come to life.
ESS Group’s Emily King, Director of Spatial Initiative said “We have been honoured to work closely with the Ted Wragg Trust to deliver this state-of-the-art school, for the young people of the Matford Brook community. The learning space has been designed to support an innovative and creative learning environment and we’re really excited to play a key role in helping bring the Trust’s vision to life.”
More details about Matford Brook Academy will be released over the coming months with admissions opening in October 2022 for secondary places and November 2022 for primary places.