Cornerstone Academy


Cornerstone’s Vision
The Cornerstone Academy aims to help the most disengaged children re-engage in full time education, ultimately preventing any child from reception to year 6 in Cheshire East receiving a permanent exclusion. Our key focus is to help children make a successful return to full time education or where this is not possible help identify the best forms of provision to meet a child’s specific needs.

A different type of school
The Cornerstone Academy is a unique educational asset in Cheshire East: a different type of school that provides opportunities for young people who currently present as unable to meet the demands of mainstream provision. It is our conviction that these children have tremendous potential that an innovative school will nurture to ensure that, initially they are not permanently excluded from school or, where they have been excluded, to ensure their return to full time appropriate provision is rapid and sustained.

Cornerstone Ethos
At Cornerstone we connect with young people to facilitate re-engagement in education. We help children to build positive relationships with peers and school. We build each child’s self-esteem, self-confidence, integrity, resilience and mental well-being. We create an atmosphere and culture of trust and openness where children feel safe and secure and able to discuss their worries and concerns. At Cornerstone we put in place the building blocks for a future where children enjoy learning and realise and release their potential.

Damien Sweeney
Head of The Cornerstone Academy

My name is Damien Sweeney and I am the Head teacher of The Cornerstone Academy. I grew up in Lancashire before moving to Manchester to study Biology and then gain a PGCE in primary education. I have taught in mainstream and alternative provision for over twenty years with varied roles including class teacher, assistant head teacher, deputy head teacher and head teacher. Five years ago I started The Crescent pupil reintegration unit in Cheshire East and in January 2019 I started The Cornerstone Academy with the YES trust. I believe that every child needs the opportunity to develop and thrive in school. Sometimes a mainstream setting isn’t appropriate and an alternative is needed. This is why I love working at The Cornerstone Academy, we give children a second chance to thrive, develop and succeed. When I’m not working I spend time with my family, travelling and enjoy playing tennis, I have a mean forehand!