Darwen Aldridge Community Academy

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Darwen Aldridge Community Academy
The academy seen from Redearth Road
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy logo.png
Established 2 September 2008 (2008-09-02)
Type Academy
Principal Brendan Loughran
Location Sudell Road
Coordinates: 53°41′38″N 2°27′50″W / 53.694°N 2.464°W / 53.694; -2.464
DfE number 889/6905
DfE URN 135580 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Capacity 1600
Students 1380
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–19
Website www.daca.uk.com

Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA) is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status in the Blackburn with Darwen borough of Lancashire, England. It specialises in entrepreneurship and is sponsored by the Aldridge Foundation, an educational charity chaired by Sir Rod Aldridge.


Darwen Aldridge Communuity Academy replaced Darwen Moorland High School in September 2008, opening on the site of the former school at Holden Fold (53°42′15″N 2°27′31″W / 53.70423°N 2.45873°W / 53.70423; -2.45873).[1][2] The Academy is sponsored by the Aldridge Foundation, and was officially opened by the Foundation Chairman Sir Rod Aldridge on 16 October 2008. Brendan Loughran was appointed the school's first principal.[3]

The Academy moved to a new purpose built site in September 2010, located in the Redearth area at the centre of Darwen.[4] The new site features a five-storey main building, a sports hall, dance studio, cafe, and office spaces for young entrepreneurs. [5][6] It was designed by architecture firm Aedas.[7]

The new school cost an estimated £49 million, with the controversial clearance of houses in the Redearth area involving the council in a long legal dispute including a High Court hearing and two public inquiries.[8][9]

Prince William and Kate Middleton visited the new school to formally open it on 11 April 2011, as part of their final public engagement before their wedding.[10]

GCSE Results[edit]

In 2015 they saw 57% of students achieve five or more GCSEs at A* to C grade, up from 52% the previous year.[11]

Ofsted ratings[edit]

In January 2013, in its Ofsted inspection, the school was rated as "good" overall. In January 2011, the previous inspection had rated the school "satisfactory".[12]


  1. ^ Livesey, Jon (11 July 2008). "Fond farewell to 'really good' Darwen school". This Is Lancashire. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Darwen Moorland High School". EduBase. Department for Education. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Pye, Catherine (16 October 2008). "Academy sponsor pledges to lift Darwen pupils' aspirations". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Darwen Aldridge Community Academy". The Aldridge Foundation. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Shan, Nafeesa (5 March 2010). "Darwen Academy project near journey's end". Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Darwen Creates". daca.uk.com. Darwen Aldridge Community Academy. Archived from the original on 7 January 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Darwen Academy". Aedas. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Pye, Catherine (30 November 2008). "Darwen Academy work underway as cleared houses row continues". Blackburn Citizen. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Henry, Julie (22 July 2007). "Tony Blair's city academy's £49m record cost". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Lancashire". BBC News Online. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Lancashire youngsters celebrate after schools across the area report record GCSE exam results". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-10-27. 
  12. ^ "Darwen Aldridge Community Academy". ofsted.gov.uk. Ofsted. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 

External links[edit]