The Academy was one of the first Academies completed and replaced three schools. The Academy incorporated a school for the deaf.
A high percentage of the 1,200 pupil body therefore had had sensory impairments, the design of the Academy has this in mind, incorporating sound loop systems throughout the accommodation. A specific suite was designed as a base for these pupils however it was essential that all the children could access all accommodation. The design was developed exploiting the advice and experience of the SEN School as well as specialist agencies such as the RNIB, RNID and the partially sighted society.
The delivery of the curriculum was supported by a high IT specification, such as interactive white boards and PCs. The layout of the Academy encouraged community access to sports facilities, lecture theatre, halls as well as standard teaching areas to encourage community interest in lifelong learning.
The Academy was the first to incorporate CCTV into each classroom even raising a question in the House of Commons. The project was completed in just 22 months from appointment to completion.