China trip competition now open to students

Jeremy LeFroy, Dr Kai Liu and Mr Locke Headteacher of Weston Road Academy, with Year 10 students.

A competition that will see young people heading to China in October is now officially open after a special launch event yesterday.

The Beaconwood International Education Programme – sponsored by Beaconwood College – was officially launched at the Beaconside campus in Stafford. New owners the New Beacon Group are transforming the campus into a global education and innovation hub.

Staffordshire students will win the trip of a lifetime – a 10-day trip to China that will take in the country’s major cities and cultural landmarks. To enter the competition, students must submit their vision of what the ‘school of the future’ will look like.

As well as speeches from Dr. Kai Liu, New Beacon Group Chief Executive Officer, and two of the competition judges – Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins and Jeremy Lefroy – the launch event saw a panel discussion titled ‘School of the Future’ with Mr Locke, Headteacher at Weston Road Academy in Stafford, and 3 of his students; Professor Michelle Lowe, Director of Education at the University of Wolverhampton; and Richard Pascoe, Executive Director of the Great Britain China Centre.

Over 80 people attended the launch event.

Students interested in entering the competition must create a multimedia presentation that portrays their vision of a ‘School of the Future’. The competition runs until 30 June and is open to students currently in Years 10, 11 and 12 in a Staffordshire schools.

The competition will run from the 18th May 2017 to 30th June 2017 – More information and online entry is at

Event host and CEO of New Beacon Group, Dr Kai Liu said: We are very pleased to offer such opportunities to the students from Staffordshire. New Beacon Group is in the right place to start our brand-new school, Beaconwood College, in the county town of Staffordshire – we will build a school of the future and help students to prepare themselves for an increasingly digitalized and globalized world with an enterprising mindset.