Brighton Aldridge Community Academy
Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) replaced Falmer High School, situated to the east of the city, becoming the second Aldridge sponsored academy.
The academy opened in September 2010, and a year later moved into its brand new building, equipped with new sports, entrepreneurship and IT facilities, and a dedicated sixth form area.
BACA has a specialism in sport which is promoted throughout the curriculum and through the academy’s exceptional sports facilities. Working in partnership with Sussex Cricket, BACA launched the Aldridge Cricket Academy in 2012 and now offers specialist sixth form courses and a Key Stage 3 and 4 Junior Cricket Pathway for male and female students looking to build a career in cricket whilst gaining academic qualifications. In 2016 the £1.8m Sir Rod Aldridge Indoor Cricket Centre was opened at BACA by former England captain Charlotte Edwards CBE. The Cricketer Magazine named the academy in its Top 100 Schools in the country for Cricket in 2020, one of only four non-selective state schools to receive this accolade.
BACA is in the unique position of having two higher-education establishments, Sussex and Brighton Universities, in its immediate proximity. This enables the academy to work closely with them, share their expertise, access their resources and give students a taste of Higher Education. BACA provides a range of experiences and opportunities to support students’ development as young adults – ready to take their place in the world of work, pursue a sporting career or move into further areas of study.
In May 2014 BACA received the Educational Outcomes Award, awarded by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) in recognition of their outstanding student progress at GCSE, the second year in a row that the academy received the award.
As well as working with the universities, BACA students also benefit from strong partnerships employers, including a unique collaboration between education and industry that offers students the chance to follow their interests and fully prepare for a career in digital media, a significant local industry and potential employer for BACA alumni.
In September 2016, BACA’s sixth form offer was developed further with the launch of football and construction courses, the latter now based in the academy’s brand new on-site construction centre. In January 2017 the Academy was rated GOOD on all measures by Ofsted.
The academy has won the Academy Partnership Award at the Education Business Awards; the Most Improved School of the Year award at the Brighton Argus’ Youth in Action Education Awards ceremony; and been highly commended in the Community School of the Year award.
In 2019 the results achieved by BACA students on BTEC courses were exceptional, with a 100% pass rate for the fifth year in succession and students achieving an average grade of Distinction across all courses. All BACA College students achieved the grades they needed to pursue their chosen destination, whether further study, employment or an apprenticeship, with students choosing from offers at universities in Australia and the United States, as well as at Durham, Sussex, Chichester, Brighton, Bath and Exeter universities.
At GCSE level BACA students achieved a record number of 40 maximum grades (9 or Distinction *) across 15 different subjects. 48% of BACA students secured both English and Maths 9-4 and 18% achieved a strong pass in both subjects (Grades 9-5) The proportion of students achieving passes across the EBacc subjects doubled.
Mr Bob Speight joined the academy in June 2018 as its third Principal.