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'Fame' academy hunts for leader; EDUCATION: Dismay that pounds 110,000 salary will draw a head from school.

Byline: Tony Collins

A NEW 'Fame-style' academy in Birmingham which hopes to develop future generations of stage, screen and music stars is looking for its own star performer to help lead the way.

The Birmingham Ormiston Academy, which is earmarked for Curzon Street in the city's Eastside learning quarter, is looking for a principal designate to help turn the dream into reality.

Sponsored by the Ormiston Education Trust and Birmingham City University, the academy is planning to become a centre of excellence in digital media and the performing arts for Birmingham youngsters aged 14 to 19.

And to make sure it finds the right person to lead the new academy, Ormiston is re-advertising the post after previously failing to land the right candidate, and is prepared to offer a salary of pounds 110,000 plus benefits.

Birmingham Ormiston Academy is due to open its doors to students for the first time in September 2011, although it is seeking to have a principal designate in place by next Easter.

A spokesman for Ormiston Education, which is based in the city's Jewellery Quarter, said: "We are looking for someone extremely special.

"The academy is to be built from the ground up and will be absolutely massive for this area.

"It is quite a competitive salary but we are determined to find the right person for the job, particularly as this is a readvertisement.

It's a very good post."

The advert, which has a closing date of December 16, described the new academy as an "ambitious venture" to establish a regional academy of national significance.

It added: "We need a strong, visionary principal to help build this project from its inception. There is no predecessor school so this is an exceptional opportunity to play a key part in the academy's creation and development."

But the Anti-Academies Alliance, which opposes schools being turned into privately-backed academies, said they feared the salary on offer would attract an existing head teacher to quit their school.

Spokesman Pete Jackson said: "We think it quite disturbing that academies are headhunting excellent heads from schools by offering such high salaries."

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Star centre: The proposed Birmingham Fame-style academy to be built at Eastside.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 4, 2009
Words:365
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