JCB-sponsored £22m academy opens in Rocester

The school will cater for 170 pupils

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A £22m academy school sponsored by JCB has opened in Staffordshire.

Around 170 pupils will attend the school in a Grade II listed building at Rocester after it was donated by the digger firm.

The school will specialise in engineering and business diplomas as well as GCSEs. JCB has contributed 10% of the capital to fund the school.

The academy will also be a "cashless community" with pupils using finger recognition technology.

The technology will also be used for daily registration, JCB said.

'Regenerate manufacturing'

Academies are independent state schools with outside partners, high levels of investment and greater autonomy.

The government is paying the remaining 90% of the costs of the school.

JCB has said it hoped the academy "regenerates engineering and manufacturing in Britain".

Laptops will be issued to every pupil, an initiative thought to be a first in the UK for students of that age, a spokesman added.

Students - aged 14 to 19 and from Staffordshire and Derbyshire - can also wear 3D glasses in one classroom to see colour animations of the work they are undertaking.

In March, principal Jim Wade said the school was fully subscribed.

The school has said it hopes to increase pupil numbers to about 500.

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