Amy Wilkinson in About


Ian Livingstone CBE to open free schools specialising in computer science, tech and the arts

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced on Friday that the Games Workshop founder is to open two new free schools as part of the latest batch of this Parliament’s 500 new schools.

Drawing on his experience as a videogame entrepreneur, Ian Livingstone will open the Livingstone Academies in Tower Hamlets and Bournemouth which will provide over 3,000 children with a rigorous education rooted in STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. The schools, to be opened under the Aspirations Academy Trust, will use the founder’s extensive links to the creative industries to instil creative thinking and enterprise in their pupils, who will sit ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competitions and start up mock companies at the schools.

In 2010 Ian Livingstone was invited to review digital skills in England and concluded that poor quality IT teaching in schools is an obstacle to growth. The review was influential in leading to an overhauling of IT teaching and the introduction of a new computer science curriculum. The two schools announced will build on this by being exemplary institutions of computing and creative thinking.

The two schools to be opened by Ian Livingstone join 20 others announced – which will in total create more than 18,000 places for parents across the country.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said, 

“Free schools are offering a rigorous education in communities which have never before had the opportunity of a good local school. Parents are flocking to them in their droves – and this announcement means that over 18,000 more children can benefit from a place in a free school.

“With leading entrepreneur Ian Livingstone stepping up to open two schools, the free schools programme is proving to be a vital outlet for our society’s most creative and innovative people to spread their excellence to future generations.”

Ian Livingstone CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Livingstone Foundation, added, 

“The arts and sciences should no longer be a question of either or – and to further this I’m delighted to be opening two free schools to embed digital creativity in future generations of our society.

“It is the combination of computer programming skills and creativity by which today’s world-changing companies are built. I encourage other digital entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity offered by the Free Schools programme in helping to give children an authentic education for the jobs and opportunities of the digital world.”

Read the official government announcement here.

  • news
  • Creative Industries