Secondary School Entrance Changes

From Monday 14th January our entrance on Wood Lane will be open to students only until 8:55am. Students will also leave via this entrance as usual at the end of the school day. Any students arriving after 8.55am will have to enter via the Du Cane Road entrance and register at the all-through reception, which is located in the Primary. They will then be escorted to their lessons.  

All visitors, parents and guests will arrive and leave via the Du Cane Raod entrance, at all times and also check in to the all-through reception.

The all-through reception is reached by following the pavement around to the left and entering the primary building. 

Insipirational Speaker at BDA

A former stockbroker and drug dealer, who wound up behind bars in the notorious Arizona prison system, has been speaking at Burlington Danes Academy about his experiences.

Business-graduate Shaun Attwood, who featured in the Banged Up Abroad episode ‘Raving Arizona’, moved to the U.S. in 1991 with plans to make it rich. He led a double life, trading both stocks and ecstasy, before his arrest in 2002.

In 2004 the millionaire broker was sentenced to nine and a half years for money laundering and drug offences, serving just fewer than six.

“When I was in the jail I saw the horrors of what drugs can do to people because 90% of the guys were shooting up heroin and crystal meth,” Attwood said. “Some had aids, two thirds of them had hepatitis C, which is the one that kills you, and it made me ashamed of what I had done.”

In jail he started the popular blog Jon’s Jail Journal to share shocking true stories from the inside and raise awareness of prisoners’ rights.

Since his release in 2007, he has written four books and made it his business to educate young people about the destructive power of drugs and the horrors of incarceration.

“I realised I couldn’t change my past, but I resolved to go out and share my story with people in the hope they wouldn’t make my mistakes.”

In his talk at the high-flying ARK academy, Attwood touched on drugs, violence, gang culture and cockroach-infested cells, offering a stark warning about the repercussions of crime.

“I wouldn’t do it if the students didn’t respond,” he said. “I think this is one of the very first schools I ever spoke at. I’ve been coming here for four or five years now and the responses are just phenomenal.”

Librarian Clare Hartnett, who organised the event, said: “The students really enjoyed the talk. Not only was it really positive in terms of promoting reading, but they came away with a greater understanding of the realities of prison and the consequences of drugs.”

Comparing his previous life to his current occupation, Attwood said: “I wake up with a smile on my face. I don’t have much materially but there are no dead rats in my food, there are no cockroaches crawling on me in my bed.

“You don’t appreciate life until you have everything taken away from you.”