Macclesfield Mayor visits free school The Fermain Academy, ahead of fifth birthday

By Alex Greensmith

28th Jun 2021 | Local News

Macclesfield's Mayor has visited The Fermain Academy, ahead of their fifth birthday later this year.

The free school, which is funded by the government but not controlled by the local authority, rather a Trust, is a shining example of alternative schooling.

Located on Beswick St in the old Fermain Youth Club premises, the small building worth £1.6 million has mighty potential.

Their state-of-the-art facilities serve up to 60 pupils at any given time, but what many in Macclesfield may not know is that their pupils are dual-registered.

This means that every student at Fermain is on the books for attending another school, but has been temporarily sent to Fermain to re-engage them with education.

Fermain offers schools an alternative route, for students who may struggle in mainstream education and all parties benefit as a result.

The Macclesfield educational institute accepts pupils from across Cheshire, and as far as Derbyshire or Trafford.

The Fermain Academy teaches all core subjects, along with Design Tech, Food, Geography, History, IT, Music, RSHE, Hair and Beauty.

While it may look like a regular comprehensive from afar, it is the little things that set Fermain apart from a conventional school.

For example, class sizes are kept small, and never elapse double figures. This is to ensure each pupil gets all their individual learning needs met, and can become the best person they can be.

Rather than numbering each classroom, every classroom is colour-coded. Which is reflected within Fermain's logo, and benefits pupils with Special Educational Needs or prefer visual learning.

The school day also ends at 2:30pm, with just one lesson in the afternoon. This is based on studies that teenagers attention will drop after lunchtime.

Each of the two floors across the 20,000 sq. ft premises has a pastoral manager for pupils to access.

Macclesfield Town Councillor and Mayor David Edwardes said this following his visit: "What a place! I have never been shown round a school by such enthusiastic staff."

"They do a fantastic job in helping the kids reach their full potential."

There are also pool and darts equipment at The Fermain Academy to allow adequate downtime.

Pre-pandemic, the timetable for Friday afternoons were collapsed to allow recreational outdoor activities which helped build character.

The Fermain Academy Headteacher and Safeguarding Lead Lee Cambray was honoured to show the Mayor around.

"We're delighted to have the Mayor come into the school, in all it's glory", said Mr Cambray.

"We're very proud of the role that we play in the community, and to share it with the Mayor is a wonderful experience.

"We want to keep helping as many students who need our services, and to make students realise their full potential, as functional members of the community who can make a positive contribution.

"We love to work with our local residents and our local community, and when restrictions do ease if anyone would like to work with us in any capacity please let us know, and we will try and contribute the best we can".

Earlier this month, we reported on the success story of a one of Fermain's first-ever pupils, who is now an entrepreneur who owns four businesses in Macclesfield.

You can read this story with Kyle Frost here.

Find more about Fermain on their website.

You can learn more about the Mayor of Macclesfield here.

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Please consider signing up for Macclesfield Nub Voice, a platform which allows you to have your say on the issues in our town, and our country.

Our first emails to have your say on the issues that matter, will be sent out this week!

You can find more about Nub Voice here, and sign up here.

Please also follow Macc's online newspaper on your favourite social media platform.

You can find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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