PRESS RELEASE London, 23 June 2017:
The Boxing Academy, London has taken the Alternative provision school of the year award at the prestigious 2017 Tes Schools Awards. The awards, now in their ninth year, recognise outstanding contributions made by education teams and individuals to help students around the country to succeed, both inside and outside the classroom.
It seems fitting that the winner of this award has had a Rocky Balboa-style ascent to victory: it is, after all, a school based on the principles of boxing.
The Boxing Academy started out in a shed in 2007 as a small boxing gym attended by four excluded pupils. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and now supports 40 students in a building in the heart of Hackney Central.
Staff at The Boxing Academy ensure that when students step through the door, they receive a fresh start, regardless of where they have come from or what they have been through before.
They work towards five GCSEs alongside hitting the gym for boxing sessions that the school says improves concentration as well as fitness. The results suggest that this approach works: 80 per cent of pupils achieved five GCSE passes in 2016 – well above the national average for alternative provision – and 100 per cent of leavers went on to a place in college or on an apprenticeship.
Such results are remarkable considering the young people who attend the academy have been excluded for using violence and anti-social behaviour to mask their vulnerabilities. Combining the boxing with clear boundaries and a familial environment appears to have created a situation in which these young people feel safe and supported enough to thrive.
Unconventional it may be to some, but it clearly works. And as the judges said: “It demonstrates how a brave approach to behaviour can really pay off.”
The list of this year’s categories is as follows (full details of the winners can be viewed here):
- Lifetime achievement award
- Bev Evans resource author of the year
- Healthy school of the year
- Headteacher of the year
- English teacher or team of the year
- Maths teacher or team of the year
- Science, technology and engineering teacher or team of the year
- Digital innovation/ed-tech school of the year
- Community impact award
- Collaboration award
- Creative school of the year
- International award
- Early years setting of the year
- Alternative provision school of the year
- Primary school of the year
- Secondary school of the year
- Overall school of the year
For more coverage of the awards, profiles of the winners and photos from the evening, please visit www.tesawards.co.uk or pick up a copy of Tes magazine, available in newsagents from Friday 30 June.
Tes is a digital education company committed to making teachers’ lives easier. We represent one of the largest digital communities of any profession anywhere, connecting more than 8 million educators in 197 countries across the world. Teachers and schools come to tes.com for advice, opportunities and community, and we free them up to focus on what matters most – changing people’s lives through education. For more information visit tes.com.