The academy opened in September 2009 in purpose built, award winning accommodation. The first intake of students was into Year 7. Although it remains smaller than the average sized secondary school, the academy has grown in the three years since it opened and now has students in Years 7 to 9. The academy is designated as an 11-19 school which will eventually house a sixth form and is expected to grow to approximately 1,100 students. About half of students are known to be eligible for free school meals is well above average, as is the proportion of students who are boys. The proportion of disabled pupils and pupils with special educational needs is above average. A high proportion of students are of minority ethnic heritage. The academy fully represents the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of the local community. About 90% of students live within 0.5 miles of the academy. The academy has specialisms in business and financial services. It has Investors in People gold status.