Our Plans

Mercian family

A new member of the Mercian family of schools

Over a year ago now, the DfE approved a bid by the Vine Trust Group and Walsall Studio School to open a new Alternative provision Free School in Walsall.

This was how the original pitch was made to the DfE. ‘The Ladder’ is an alternative provision free school proposed by Walsall Studio School that will provide students an effective ‘step up’ for those for whom mainstream schooling has been challenging and ineffective.

This new, much needed provision derives its name from the royal led, 'Ladder Apprenticeship campaign', overseen by Walsall Studio School’s Chair of Governors.

The campaign's partnership consists of print media organisations, employers, public and third sectors, who have each agreed to support the creation of the Ladder school, as a fitting tribute to the campaign that has thus far, created over 2000 apprenticeship jobs.

In some ways it has been a frustrating time since the government gave the original green light. The Education and Skills Funding Agency blocked any further progress until a site for the new school was agreed … and that took far longer than we expected!

We are delighted to report that, at long last, it’s all systems go! Dan Parkes and the Ladder School team are working hard to see if we can get the school open (in temporary accommodation initially) by September 2018.

That will be a huge step forward in our aim to provide the right education pathway for every individual pupil in Walsall.