IAN Austin MP paid a visit to his old school to see how it is progressing under the leadership of the Dudley Academies Trust.

Mr Austin stopped by at St James Academy, previously known as Castle High School and Beacon Hill Academy, formally known as the High Arcal School on March 8.

The newly independent MP attended St James Academy back when it was called The Dudley School.

Ian Austin said: “My education at The Dudley School set me up for life and got me where I am today.

“That’s why I always talk about making education and skills Dudley’s number one priority to give youngsters a first class start and attract new investment, new businesses and more jobs to replace the ones we lost in traditional industries.

“Young people in the Dudley and the Black Country are as good as anyone, but long-term youth unemployment is still twice the national average, we need every child to get a great education and go on to college, an apprenticeship or university."

Austin has been campaigning to make education and skills the Black Country’s number one priority to attract new jobs and business to the area to replace those lost in traditional industries.

Dudley Academies Trust is made up of four Dudley schools under the sponsorship of Dudley College of Technology to form a new Multi Academy Trust. The Trust includes Beacon Hill Academy (previously High Arcal School), Pegasus Academy (previously Holly Hall Academy), St James Academy (previously Castle High School) and The Link Academy (previously Hillcrest School and Community College).