Global Academy officially opened by Royalty

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry officially opened the Global Academy in Hayes on Thursday morning.

During the visit, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the Heart and LBC breakfast shows to see live outside broadcasts in action and meet Global Academy students who were helping to produce the shows as part of their coursework.

They also visited classrooms where students were learning about the science of sound, working on a mental wellbeing project, and an audio project using material from EMI’s archives including vinyl recordings of early speeches of the Royal Family.

As part of the visit, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry joined Global breakfast show presenters, Roman Kemp from Capital, Jamie Theakston and Emma Bunton from Heart and Nick Ferrari from LBC, for a discussion on mental wellbeing with students.

The state school, founded and sponsored by Global, had its first intake of 163 students in 2016. By 2020, the Global Academy will teach 800 students every year.

Ashley Tabor, founder of Global and the Global Academy, said: “I’m lucky enough to work in one of the most desirable and successful areas of the UK economy, and yet we’re facing a skills shortage and a real lack of diversity. I wanted to find a way to help grow the pool of people coming into the industry, and broaden our ability in the media to better reflect the makeup of the UK. That’s why we started the Global Academy. It offers young people from different walks of life a foot on the ladder, and helps reduce the barriers to entry into the media.

“One of the things that was important to me when we started the Global Academy, was the culture. Mental wellbeing is, of course, at the core of that, and should be recognised and accommodated just like physical wellbeing. That means learning about it openly and being able to talk about it so it can be treated properly and effectively. It’s this openness we’re celebrating here today. I honestly hope and believe that in a few years’ time, we’ll look back and be amazed that mental illness was ever looked at as anything other than the same as a physical illness, and I hope that day comes very soon.

Simon Collins, Global Academy principal, said: “There has never been more pressure on young adults to ‘fit the norm’ – whether that’s posting the perfect picture on social media or creating a different persona online. The Global Academy was created to enable young adults from all backgrounds to learn the skills they need to prosper in an ever-changing world. At the Global Academy, we encourage our students to talk, and talk about things that might be considered taboo. We believe that a healthy mind is as important as a healthy body and as important as core educational skills of maths, English and science. The result of that is we are all talking more openly. This is not the easy route and requires a lot more emotional intelligence, helping our students to understand their own, and each other’s emotions but the result is we are all talking more openly. That is one of the many things that makes this a very special place.”

The Global Academy’s curriculum includes an hour of mental wellbeing every week, recognising the issue and removing the stigma sometimes associated with mental wellbeing. In a recent report from the NASUWT, 98% of teachers said they’d had contact with students who are experiencing mental health issues notably anxiety, panic attacks, depression, self-harming and eating disorders and 89% of teachers said mental health issues lead to students being unable to concentrate in class.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended the official opening in their capacity as patrons of Heads Together. To declare the Global Academy officially open, at the end of the assembly, The Duke of Cambridge unveiled the original microphone commissioned for his great-grandfather, King George VI, on his accession to the throne in 1936 and featured in the film ‘The King’s Speech’. Heads Together is spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry, in partnership with eight leading mental health charities. The campaign is highlighting the power of conversations and how being able to talk openly about mental health challenges can be life changing.

To mark today’s event, Global stations LBC and Heart broadcast shows live from the Global Academy. LBC ran a special day of programmes dedicated to mental health issues, including depression, young people and body image, featuring a number of special guests including Alastair Campbell and Fiona Millar. The day culminates in an hour-long phone-in from 9pm for callers to join in the conversation.

Have a listen to Chris Moyles moaning joking about not being invited to the day’s event.

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Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 8:11 pm by RadioToday UK

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