Academy Testimonials

Boris Johnson- Mayor of London

“The Peacock Gym’s Academy’s is a creative and unique programme that inspires young people to reengage with education, pursue their ambitions and become role models in their community. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest good wishes to all connected with the Peacock Gym.

Sam Robinson, Advisory Teacher for The London Borough of Newham 14-19 Team

“I was extremely impressed with the organisation and the range of pathways on offer which include BTEC qualifications in Sport & Active Leisure, Horticulture, Performing Arts, Hair & Beauty and Work Skills and City and Guilds in Cycle Maintenance and Building Skills. I observed a lesson in Hair & Beauty, and I was particularly impressed with the enthusiasm and focus of the students and the quality of the teaching. The Peacock Gym Academy is the most impressive outside provider in Newham and beyond I have seen.”

Sharon Grainger, 14-19 Foundation Learning Lead, London Borough of Newham

“Having the Peacock Gym Academy on board with the Borough’s Area Wide Programme, has helped in opening the offer out to even more young people. The Academy has proved to be a huge success in a very short space of time and has doubled in its capacity in the last two years. The Academy now offers Newham young people a varied vocational experience with excellent accredited outcomes. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for such a committed and enthusiastic team.”

Pauline Daniyan│Senior Manager -Youth, Volunteering and Academies GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY

“Thank you again for a very informative and enjoyable tour of the Peacock Gym last week. The work which you are doing with the young people on the Academy Programme is very encouraging. Please pass on my thanks to the staff and volunteers at the Academy who were very helpful in explaining the work and their own experiences with me.”

Margaret Boateng, researcher from University of East London
“This study, at Peacock Academy, strongly indicated that a participative approach to management is working and is indeed sustainable, effective and successful.  Every manager, leader and participating student has an input into decisions that have an effect on the academy.  Everybody, from the newest student to the project director, has the opportunity to make suggestions and support those suggestions with some evidence of possible success.  The leaders, whilst being aware of the vision of the academy, listen to suggestions from their pupils.  Effectively the academy is driven by the aspirations of the students whilst the tutors and teachers, still maintaining the overall vision, attempt to incorporate the desires of the pupils.  Whilst Maths and English are the fundamental basis of the curriculum, some of the other activities, fashion, hair and beauty, sports, chess and clothes design were all suggested by the students.  The individuals who made the suggestions were asked to design a plan of how it would operate and then make a presentation of that plan.  The conclusion is that not only is a participative management style best under these circumstances, but if you allow the students to drive the programme, retaining the original vision, the results are very impressive.”

Liz Ablett- Senior Policy and Projects Coordinator for UK Youth

Danny Steadman and Joe Fitzsimons applied for Starbucks Youth Action in 2012. They demonstrated amazing potential at the training day and were successful in being shortlisted down to one of only 20 projects out of 120 invited back to pitch their idea to a panel of Starbucks and UK Youth staff. After delivering a fantastic pitch, they were awarded bursaries to fund their training. We were truly inspired by the work they both wanted to do and can’t wait to see the project underway!

A letter from John Ringwood- Peacock Gym member
“The Peacock Gym has a worldwide reputation of sporting excellence. The Gym is also a welcoming part of the local community with a requirement for members to conform to the club rules and to conduct themselves in a way that maintains the reputation of the club. As a long standing member, I have seen how the club has reached out over the years into the local community with its ethos of education through sport, using the disciplines of sporting excellence as the cornerstone for an Academy for young people. Being a local man and teacher, I have a pretty good knowledge of what pit falls such a venture might have encountered, but upon visiting the Academy in action, I have been impressed by the very positive things happening for the young people, many of whom are disengaged from learning in their mainstream schools. You can tell almost immediately that the Academy is a community education initiative that changes behaviour in a very positive way: upon seeing a student coming through the entrance, and immediately his hood coming down, and greeting staff and peers with a ready smile and an out reached hand. What impressed me the most from my conversations with students, was the amount of personal attention and one to one tuition they were receiving, which was not only helping them catch up or accelerate through the curriculum, it was also helping them overcome personal barriers to learning. Placing an education programme in an adult community, such as the Peacock, gives young people role models to aspire to and model themselves against to gain success in learning more positive behaviours and being able to achieve nationally recognised qualifications to help them into further education, employment or training.”