dsc_0237West Lakes Academy in Egremont, Cumbria, provides education to children from 11 to 18 years old. We opened in September 2008 and moved into our brand new building in March 2012. As an academy, we are independently governed but state funded and free to all children. Like other schools, we are subject to normal OFSTED inspections and work with the Local Education Authority in relation to issues such as admissions.

Our vision is to succeed in ‘Changing Lives through Learning’ by providing the very best possible educational opportunities for young people in West Cumbria. We have extremely high hopes for all of our students and our highly skilled and enthusiastic members of staff encourage children to have high ambitions and to work hard to achieve these.

Students and staff benefit from fantastic facilities, outstanding IT resources, a £300k engineering facility, performing and expressive arts suite and an eco science lab in our brilliant £26m building. All this makes West Lakes Academy one of the best possible places in which to study. Our excellent environment helps keep motivation and morale high and allows us to deliver modern approaches to learning using the latest technologies.

Three sponsors were involved in the setting up of West Lakes Academy in 2008 – Sellafield Ltd, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). All three share an ambition and motivation to support the education and development of young people in West Cumbria and to ensure that West Cumbria is an attractive, vibrant and aspirational place in which to live and work. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Sellafield Ltd. are two of the most important energy organisations in the UK and two of Cumbria’s largest employers; they provide invaluable resources and industry support to our specialism in science. We receive excellent higher education expertise from our education sponsor, the University of Central Lancashire.

The academy was last inspected by Ofsted in March 2017 and was judged to be Grade 1 – Outstanding in all areas of the inspection. Previously it was judged Good in February 2013.

This year we celebrated outstanding examination results. The average grade at A Level has increased from a C to a B and this would place the academy in the top 25% nationally. The progress made in applied general subjects has also greatly improved. The academy’s progress score of +0.80 for applied general subjects has increased from +0.35 the previous year and this would maintain the academy’s position in the top 10% nationally for vocational qualifications.Our GCSE results were also our best ever with 71 per cent gaining five A* to C and equivalent grades including English and maths.

The hard work of our pupils and the dedication of our skilled members of staff enable us to provide students with the education they need for a successful and happy future.

Welcome from the Principal

It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the principal of West Lakes Academy.

It is heartening to lead an educational institution where my values resonate with the vision of the sponsors. Every day it is my intention to maximise the potential of their gift to the community of Egremont and West Cumbria. We cannot underestimate the power that learning has in changing lives and it, like people, is most powerful when it’s unbounded. Your children must feel free to learn without barriers and without excuses. There can be no excuse for any of us in this partnership for not doing our utmost to ensure that every child feels they’re learning freely in the best and most liberating environment in this area.

You can be assured that your children can expect to achieve highly because we expect it of them. We will continue to be unrelenting in the pursuit of their highest standards. In turn I require your full and unwavering support. The academy has already proven its worth; the teaching, facilities and opportunities the students have here are unparalleled and sending your children to us is a mark of trust in our reputation. Bill Gates once said that “Life is not like TV. In real life people actually leave the coffee shop and go to work.” We need to help our young people find and further that work ethic, to accept that their lives will be changed through learning and through their own efforts.

The students are a credit to the academy their families and the community. They are polite and courteous and these values, along with being honest and trustworthy, I prize above all else because they stand the test of time. Alongside the best education possible, I want them to learn that their real wealth doesn’t necessarily exist in the abundance of their possessions, but rather in an outstanding character and reputation. Some may consider it an old fashioned view but honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and politeness never go out of fashion.

This is a strong academy that the town and community can rightly be proud of and part of staying strong and proud comes from supporting everything local. Local schools bring people together and make communities stronger by sharing the common aim of educating our children. As the proud Principal of this wonderful academy I’ve an overwhelming sense of duty to give Egremont and the West Coast a legacy of world-class education. It sounds grand however my words aren’t about this introduction but a campaign based on having no excuse for accepting anything less.

It is great staff that make great schools and West Lakes Academy typifies this. Our staff work tirelessly because they understand what it takes to get the best out of each child and I am honoured to be leading that team. Spiderman’s uncle said, “with great power comes great responsibility” and that sentiment is part of our DNA. We have the power to nurture wonderful people with a sense of morality, hometown pride and ambition. In this academy, we cherish that moral purpose; making it brick, and flesh and striving to teach and educate like we invented it!

As I consider what lies ahead in each day, term and year I can appreciate how much there is to do and I relish the constant challenge, working together to ensure that we maximise each and every opportunity that comes our way.

Jonathan Johnson

Principal and Chief Executive Officer