Business leaders are going the extra mile to inspire students from The Skipton Academy.
Silver Cross owner Alan Halsall, chairman of the Craven Educational Trust – the body set up to sponsor the academy – has hand-picked four successful Yorkshire-based businesspeople and invited them to share their stories with year 11 students in a series of inspirational assemblies.
Alan, whose iconic pram manufacturing company is based at Broughton Hall, aims to motivate youngsters about to embark on careers or post-16 education to consider all options for their future.
Alan said: “My guest speakers will talk about what can be achieved by hard work and I hope to make the students think about their future career paths and how worthwhile apprenticeships might be.”
The first speaker is Trevor Wilson, director of Authors Abroad, an agency which arranges visits to schools by children’s authors, poets and illustrators.
Author and personal branding specialist Jennifer Holloway will speak on March 5. Silver Cross chief executive, Nick Paxton, will share his story on March 12 and photographer Mark Ingram will talk to the students on March 19.
Skipton Building Society’s senior leaders will speak to pupils later in the year to give them an insight into a business environment.
The society’s chief executive, David Cutter, is a director of the Craven Educational Trust. He said: “I was delighted to be asked to be one of the inaugural trustees to help establish the trust and to be involved with the formation of The Skipton Academy.
“It is vital for the future prosperity of our business, as well as the town of Skipton itself, that it has excellent local schools which cater for all students and prepare them for life ahead.”
And another Craven Educational Trust director, Robert Bellfield, principal of Craven College, is getting involved with The Skipton Academy on a practical level too.
Most recently the college has joined forces with the academy for an aviation project. To kick-start the topic, 13 lucky students – all being rewarded for their excellent progress in maths and science – visited the college’s Aviation Academy at Leeds Bradford airport.
Robert said: “By working closely together The Skipton Academy, Craven Educational Trust and Craven College aim to make the learning experience for students more exciting and to improve their prospects and enjoyment in life now and in the future.”
Wendy Hamilton, principal of The Skipton Academy, said: “The Craven Educational Trust sponsors the school but it is far from just being a figurehead.
“We are delighted that the directors take such an active interest in our academy; it is valuable and inspirational for both students and staff to have the opportunity to work with prominent local businesspeople and educational leaders.”