Friends of Folkestone Academy

Friends of Folkestone Academy (FFA)

Who are the Friends of Folkestone Academy?

The Friends of Folkestone Academy (FFA) is the name of a charity whose aim is to support Folkestone Academy and Folkestone Primary.  It does so mainly by awarding grants for items and services that serve to advance education that are not covered by the funds that the schools receive from the Government.

How are grants awarded?

Folkestone Academy and Folkestone Primary may apply for a grant through an application form.  They detail how the money would advance education and benefit the pupils of the schools.  FFA trustees meet twice a year to consider applications and decide whether a grant should be awarded. Trustees particularly encourage applications for initiatives that can provide enduring and sustainable benefits to the schools.

 Once the money is spent, FFA receives a report from the schools that describes the impact of the grant.

2022 / 2023 - Purpose-built Horticulture Building

Folkestone Academy received a £134,631 grant from FFA to build a brand new Horticulture and Environmental Science (HES) building with the plan to introduce Horticulture lessons into the Key Stage 3 curriculum from September 2023


The HES building was designed to industrial agricultural warehouse standards, but with the capacity for classroom growing stations to provide hands-on experience for pupils. Photovoltaic roof installations will enable the classroom to be self-powered to further enhance the building's green credentials as well as demonstrate climate reduction strategies


During school holidays the HES building will be used as a base for horticulture themed holiday clubs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. These will target children who become more vulnerable during holiday periods and those who are least likely to have access to outdoor space when at home.


Over the Covid-19 lockdown period Folkestone Academy has transformed the way pupils were taught using digital home learning via Google Classroom.  The Trust ensured all pupils could access the new digital learning platform by loaning laptops and WIFI dongles to all pupils that could not. 

The impact of this transfer to digital learning has been extremely positive and to build on this the Trust took a decision to further embrace the future and provide 1-2-1 devices to all pupils.

In October 2020, a bid was approved by FFA to fund the launch of this programme and provide all 2020/21 Year 7 pupils with a brand new Chromebook.

In May/June 2021 the Year 7 cohort at Folkestone Academy will receive a Chromebook and protective case to support classroom and home learning.  This follows a whole terms Year 7, classroom trials to allow senior leaders and teachers to fine tune the teaching platforms and the best courses for improving learning outcomes.

Following this in September 2021, the Trust will continue to roll out 1-2-1 devices with the new Year 7 cohort and other years being allocated new Chromebooks.

Examples of previous grants


New and improved bicycle storage for Folkestone Academy students


 Outdoor sports equipment and sports coaching for Folkestone Academy


Therapy and counselling for Folkestone Primary pupils with mental health issues, mainly as a result of lockdown


Team football kit for Folkestone Primary


Place2Be, a counselling service for students at Folkestone Academy with mental health needs.


Training for 50 Folkestone Primary and Folkestone Academy teachers in behaviour management by US education expert Doug Lemo


Applications can only be accepted from Folkestone Academy and Folkestone Primary, not from individuals. 

Link Trustees

Michael Pearce, a governor of Folkestone Academy and a trustee of FFA. Gabrielle Wilson is a governor of Folkestone Primary and is a Commercial Director for FFA.  They act as a link between the schools and the charity.