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Sky's the limit for Stoke schools after Enterprise Challenge win

19 Mar 2019
Premier League Enterprise Challenge final 2019

Ormiston Meridian Academy's Premier League Enterprise Challenge success a huge boost for Stoke-on-Trent

Ormiston Meridian Academy's victory in this year's Premier League Enterprise Challenge final could help thousands of schoolchildren across Stoke-on-Trent achieve their dreams. 

That is according to teacher John Maxwell, who believes coming out on top in a national competition will prove to kids from poorer backgrounds that the sky is the limit if they work hard enough.

"There are very high disadvantaged figures and pupil premium figures within the school," he said.

'No barriers'

"In the area we are from, aspirations are not that high, so to come down to London in an event like this is tremendous - what an experience it is for them!

"To be named as the winners, it just shows that no matter where you are from, there are no barriers to what you want to do in life.

"These students have shown how well they can do if given the opportunity to do so. I have every confidence that they will go on to succeed in life, no matter what they choose to do."

Young role models

The members of the winning team: Grace Cliff, Jaimie Varga, Che Galleozzie, Emma Astle and Sam Harrison, were picked for this year’s competition having received a taster in the term-long core programme in Year 9 last year.

And their achievements will lead to them becoming role models not just for their school but for the local area as well.

"The horizons being spread are not just going to be for this team," Maxwell says. "I think the competition has filtered down to others even from the regional win that the guys had.

"We do try to celebrate success as much as we possibly can so there will be an assembly, it will be on the website, in the local newspaper.

"It will be showing not just our school, but schools in Stoke that things are available to us."

"To be named as the winners, it just shows that no matter where you are from, there are no barriers to what you want to do in life."

John Maxwell, Ormiston Meridian Academy

Inspired to succeed

Like the other members of the Ormiston Meridian team, Jaimie first got a taster of PL Enterprise when she tried out the term-long core programme run by Stoke City Community Trust last year in Year 9.

As well as developing personally, being a part of the programme has given the 15-year-old the inspiration to go into business.

"Now I want to start my own business and this will help a lot," she says. "To know that the judges supported us and agreed with our idea has boosted us loads.

"I have changed massively since doing this. I could barely speak to anyone before. I couldn't stand on a stage and talk to judges in front of 20 people let alone 50."

Also in this series 

Part 1: Stoke school's hard work pays off in Enterprise Challenge
Part 3: Paphitis: I could never have done what PL Enterprise finalists did

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