Dame ​Judi Dench to create arts-focused primary school in York

Dame Judi Dench will provide backing for a primary school in York that will focus on the creative arts.

12th January 2018
/ By Matthew Whitehouse

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There will be space for 420 pupils, with six teachers, although the exact location has not been revealed.

Dench, who went to school in York said “Anything that will encourage young people from a very early age to appreciate the arts and enjoy them is to be applauded.”

Screenwriter Kay Mellor (Girlfriends) is also involved as a financial backer, along with Arts Council England chair, Nicholas Serota.

Mellor is hoping the school will “inspire the next generations of individuals who can excel in the creative industries.”

The project will be run by Ebor Academy Trust and six teachers from the trust will develop the curriculum.

Jo Sawyer, a headteacher at Park Grove Primary Academy, dismissed any concerns about a school that focuses on creative outlets for its students: “A creative curriculum doesn’t mean you’re taking away from the core subjects.

Instead of teaching them discreetly, you’re teaching everything in a creative way so children can actually enjoy subjects such as maths and English.”

Richard Ludlow, chief executive from Ebor Academy Trust said: “We have a real opportunity here to create a centre of excellence that will benefit the entire city, not just those children who attend the school.”

Judi Dench is rumoured to be up for an Oscar for her role in Victoria & Abdul, in which she reprised her role as Queen Victoria.