Back the Academy
King’s School Tynemouth, an independent private school in the North East, faced a falling roll with numbers reducing from 900 pupils to 600 over a five year period. In response, Woodard Academies Trust (WAT) proposed merging King’s School with a state primary school, Priory School, and converting the new entity to academy status. Liquid worked on the initial announcement, the stakeholder consultation process and the development of a new prospectus. However, four months prior to opening, the newly elected Labour Mayor announced that she would block the proposed academy. Liquid harnessed parental power and engaged with key stakeholders to develop a proactive media and social campaign. Liquid worked on two levels – grassroots with parents and at a national level by generating coverage in the Daily Mail, the Financial Times, the Spectator and the Guardian.
Liquid also spoke to Michael Gove and managed to obtain a quote from the Prime Minister to use in the campaign. A month before the start of the academic year began, the Council announced it would back down after 5,000 people signed the online petition. In September 2013, Kings Priory School was opened with full community support and full classes across all years. The Academy was opened by Lord Adonis (Labour), ensuring relationships with both political parties was maintained by the sponsor.