“At school children were learning Word, PowerPoint and Excel – boring kids to death really with using other people’s software rather than empowering them to create their own. So, teaching kids how to read but not how to write.” 

In this The Key podcast we talk to Steve and Paula Kenning, Managing Directors of  Aspirations Academy Trust, and Ian Livingstone CBE, a games industry veteran, who is working with the trust to found a new academy in Bournemouth – the Livingstone Academy. We talk about the principles underpinning the work of the Aspirations Academy Trust and hear about how Steve and Paula have worked with Ian to found a different and exciting new school. 

We talk about: 

  • Steve and Paula’s experiences building a trust and developing their educational philosophy 
  • Ian’s background, the work he has done on improving the quality of digital education and why he wants young people to move from being in the passenger seat as users of technology, into the driving seat where they are creating it
  • The central focus the trust has on making education exciting, engaging, practical and interdisciplinary 
  • How the plan for the school came about and some of the innovative ways they plan to work in terms of curriculum, leadership and use of digital tools 
  • What a successful launch and first year would look like 
  • The future world of work 
  • What Steve and Paula have learned from working closely with employers about how to make young people world ready and work ready 

You can learn more about the work of Aspire Academies Trust here

“It’s about encouraging all young people to have big dreams (and actually having big dreams can be quite daunting) while being inspired in the present, both at school and beyond, to work hard to reach those dreams.” 


Ian Livingstone CBE

The Key Podcast

Steve & Paula Kenning


Updated January 2024:

Aspirations Academies Trust have their own podcast now. Click here to listen to Aspirations Voice Podcast produced by staff and pupils giving an insight into a great work going on at Aspirations Academies Trust schools.