FAQ - Frequently asked questions

What is an Academy?
What is The Milton Keynes Academy?
Who is the sponsor?
How is the Milton Keynes Academy being funded?
Why has The Milton Keynes Academy opened?
When did The Milton Keynes Academy open?
What is the vision of The Milton Keynes Academy?
Who can go to the Academy?
What subjects are taught?
What is the specialism of the Academy?
What is the post-16 offering at The Milton Keynes Academy?
What are you doing about gifted and talented students?
What support will my child with special needs receive?
What is your approach to behaviour and what rewards and sanctions do you use?
How do you deal with bullying?
How do you organise the transition into Year 7?
How do you support my child with homework?
How will I know how my child is doing?
How can the Academy help my child to blossom?



What is an Academy?

An Academy is a type of independent state school intended to transform education in areas where the status quo is simply not good enough. Academies are financed and built in a partnership between the sponsor and the government, liaising closely with the Local Authority concerned and its local community. Their annual revenue comes entirely from the government at a level comparable to other local schools. No fees are paid by parents. Independent status is crucial in giving Academies the freedom and flexibility to succeed.


What is The Milton Keynes Academy?

The Milton Keynes Academy is a new school that opened in September 2009, replacing the Sir Frank Markham Community School.  The Milton Keynes Academy specialises in business and enterprise and will cater for 1,550 students aged 11-19.


Who is the sponsor?

The Milton Keynes Academy is sponsored by the independent education foundation, Edge which also sponsors the Bulwell Academy in Nottingham.  The Edge academies put equal focus on academic and practical learning and offer high-quality work experience and mentoring in real businesses.


How is the Milton Keynes Academy being funded?

The Academy cost around £27m.  Edge has invested £2 million in The Milton Keynes Academy, which is in a trust fund dedicated to increasing the learning opportunities for Milton Keynes and strengthening community cohesion. The DfE funds the running costs of the school at a level comparable to that of other specialist schools in Milton Keynes. This has enabled the Academy to make a strong start and develop innovative ideas. The Academy manages its own budget and is free to raise additional funds to support and enhance the facilities and provision for the benefit of its students.


Why has The Milton Keynes Academy opened?

The Academy has replaced a failing school. It provides an opportunity for a fresh start, where students can benefit from an inspiring specially designed state-of-the-art environment where they have the advantage of working in many different ways.  The Academy aims to be a brilliant environment for students to study, develop and have fun.

Every student has potential and The Milton Keynes Academy will help the students to fulfill it.  The Academy allows students to benefit from different kinds of learning - academic, practical and vocational and will demonstrate the value of 'learning-by-doing.'  This is a new approach to education that will benefit the whole community.


When did The Milton Keynes Academy open?

The Milton Keynes Academy opened on Friday September 11th 2009. The Academy is a landmark building for Milton Keynes and will deliver first class educational facilities for the 21st century.


What is the vision of The Milton Keynes Academy?

The Milton Keynes Academy is a high achieving school where everyone succeeds. It will be the first choice for parents wanting the very best for their children. It offers students an environment where they feel safe, secure and valued.

As an Edge-sponsored academy the vision is:

  • to create a leading, visionary, successful school
  • to become a beacon in demonstrating how best to bring practical learning into the curriculum
  • to demonstrate that there are many paths to success


Who can go to the Academy?

The school is for young people living in the local area. See the exact details of our catchment area on the About Us page of our website. There is no special selective criteria and students are not selected on ability. The admissions policy is in line with the DfE code.


What subjects are taught?

The Milton Keynes Academy offers a full range of traditional subjects plus an extensive selection of practical and vocational courses. 

In the Academy students spend extra time on Maths and English - every day they will spend the equivalent of an hour each on literacy and learning.

Lessons reflect the Academy's business and enterprise specialism, with this woven into different subjects.

For Key Stage 4, students have to take the following courses: English Language, plus English Literature for most students, Mathematics, Science (BTEC First or Triple Science), Physical Education, Humanities, Religious Education and Enterprise and Employability.

They then have the opportunity to choose an additional two to three courses.  One of the options is to choose a practical or vocational subject. Most of these courses are qualifications at BTEC Level 1 or 2. The following courses are included: Business, Art and Design, Construction (covers two option blocks), Creative and Media (covers two option blocks), Health and Social Care, Hospitality, ICT, Life Skills (covers two option blocks) and Sport.

An interesting option is the Creative and Media Diploma qualification, which combines traditional academic lessons with practical work-based activities. The course involves developing skills relevant to working in the creative and media industries. It also includes English, Maths and ICT work. Students can include an additional GCSE or BTEC course as part of their Diploma or take them as separate subjects alongside the Diploma.

Depending on their first option choice students are also able to choose up to two more subjects. Most of these courses are GCSE qualifications: Art, ASDAN Youth Award, Business and ICT, Caring for Children/CACHE, Catering, Dance, Drama, French, German, Music, PE and Technology.


What is the specialism of the Academy?

The Academy has a business and enterprise specialism that will enhance all subjects and develop the skills and potential of both students and the broader community. Through relevant business partnerships, the Academy intends to establish a centre of excellence for business and enterprise. Extensive use will be made of contacts with local and national business and commerce, and students will be given relevant and worthwhile business and commercial projects on which to work. For example, Maths lessons might involve looking at how a bakery would calculate its operating costs; an English class could write promotional leaflets and a drama group might address confidence issues in dealing with the public.

Enterprise initiatives improve motivation, attainment and employment opportunities. Students learn to deal with finance, take responsibility, solve problems, handle uncertainty and respond positively. They will create and implement new ideas and new ways of doing things; communicate with a range of partners and understand work-related behaviour and terminology.

At the centre of the Academy is the spectacular high-tech Enterprise Hub with conference and meeting facilities that will be available for businesses to use.

The specialism develops the students' ability to participate, collaborate, contribute and perform. Students will gain an understanding of the world of work. They will acquire entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to take advantage of future career opportunities. All students will have worthwhile opportunities for work experience.


What is the post-16 offering at The Milton Keynes Academy?

The Academy recognises that everyone has different dreams and ambitions for their future life, and believes that staying on at school post 16 can really help students on their path to success. 

The Academy has Studio 6, a sixth form with a comprehensive range of courses. Studio 6 has exceeded expectations in terms of recruitment.


What are you doing about gifted and talented students?

We will meet the needs of every individual student. This includes providing greater challenges in lessons and opportunities for students to develop potential gifts and talents. They can also take part in extra activities designed to stretch and challenge them.


What support will my child with special needs receive?

A special team of staff known as the ‘Upgrade Team' plans progress and interventions for children with special needs. Depending on the level of need, each child is supported by individual or small group work as well as support in lessons. Their progress is reviewed every six weeks.


What is your approach to behaviour and what rewards and sanctions do you use?

We take a very firm line with students of ALL ages. There are very high standards expected of behaviour, and poor or disruptive behaviour is not tolerated. 1. Firstly we ensure that lessons are interesting and fun, so that students don't get bored or frustrated leading to bad behaviour. 2. Secondly we have a system of reward to encourage effort, attainment and excellence. We reward ‘good' rather than highlight ‘bad'. 3. Thirdly there is a clear set of consequences which all students know and understand. An individual's behaviour is their choice, and they will know that poor behaviour leads to sanctions. 4. Finally we aim to maintain a close and good relationship with parents and work with them on the high standards we expect from their children.


How do you deal with bullying?

Bullying is not tolerated. For example, toilets (where bullying can happen in some schools) are designed to be bully-free, modern and clean.


How do you organise the transition into Year 7?

Once places are announced in March each year, we schedule appointments for all students and their families where we can develop together an individual learning plan for your child. We talk with primary schools to get detailed information about a students' progress up to Year 6. We also organise a number of projects between primary schools and the Academy that new Year 7 students can get involved in.


How do you support my child with homework?

Every six weeks students in Years 7 & 8 are given a homework pack. Students are encouraged to stay on at school to do their homework in clubs and join in extra activities, and we provide a free snack to keep them going at 4.30pm. The school is open until 6.30pm.


How will I know how my child is doing?

1. As parents you get lots of information about your child's individual progress.

2. We make it easy for you to contact us.

3. We will always be happy to talk about any particular issues that might be affecting your child's learning and time at school.

4. We:

• Provide a report every term about your child's progress. • Have progress evenings for you to talk to subject teachers. • Send you regular newsletters. • Support a Parents' Group, and hope that parents would like to get involved with this.


How can the Academy help my child to blossom?

Our aim is that the Milton Keynes Academy is a happy, fun, relaxed and challenging place where all children are known well. Children are respected and valued and receive the best teaching to enable them to be the best learner possible. Every child, through efforts of the Academy, and in partnership with parents, will fulfil their potential.



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