The founding father of the UK gaming industry Ian Livingstone CBE is set to open a technology school in Hammersmith in 2016, but needs the support of parents to take the vital next step.
The proposed Livingstone School recently put forward their proposal to the Department of Education, but now needs to demonstrate that they have support from parents.
The new free school will cater to students aged 11-18, so parents of current year 4 and 5 pupils, who will be applying to secondary schools in 2016, are being encouraged to show interest by signing a petition.
Mr Livingstone said: “Children, as great problem-solvers and great communicators will be given the life skills for jobs that don’t even exist today. That is our goal.”
More than 240 signatures are needed on the petition – 120 from parents of year 4 students and another 120 from year 5 students – all saying they would choose this school as their first choice.
These signatures are non-binding expressions of interests in the school.
So far they have gained 140 signatures but say their application to open the school could be delayed if they do not reach the required number.
Schools across the UK are experiencing an over-subscription to schools, and more than 60% of children in Hammersmith are educated outside the borough.
The Livingston Foundation Academies Trust believes this school will provide an alternative for young innovative thinkers and help to expand secondary choice in the area.
The school’s curriculum will focus on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM), with computing as a mandatory subject and a GCSE science option.
Mr Livingstone said: “We will use games-based learning for a better understanding of certain subjects as we believe ‘play’ demands mental effort that fosters problem-solving and learning-by-doing, and boosting student interest and engagement.”
Ian Livingstone co-founded Games Workshop, co-created the Fighting Fantasy game books and is known to so many as the ‘father’ of Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft.
In 2011 he co-authored the Next Gen review, which made recommendations concerning digital skills in schools – the priority outlined was to bring computer science onto the national curriculum.
This was implemented in September making England the first country in the world to mandate computer programming in primary and secondary schools.
Mr Livingstone expressed his delight at this result and said: “I would recommend it for anybody who will be operating in a world 100% reliant on technology!”
The games industry veteran, who is now the Government’s Creative Industries Champion, also said he has hopes that one day the vision for his technology school will be extended nationwide.
The petition can be found on The Livingstone School’s page http://www.livingstoneschoolhammersmith.com/#!page4/cfvg