Release Date: 20/07/2012
The borough is one step closer to having over one thousand sixth form places; Richmond Council Cabinet Members heard last night.
Earlier this year Richmond Council agreed a £25m budget for establishing sixth forms at all maintained secondary schools in the borough. At the Cabinet meeting last night, members agreed how this funding will be allocated and the timeline for each school development.
Each school will receive between £3m-£7m for the set up and any building work required to create the sixth forms, which will grow over the years to up to 250 students (180 in Christ’s School).
Feasibility work has already begun looking at the building and facilities at Waldegrave, Teddington and Orleans Park Schools., with feasibility work being carried out at the remaining schools in the autumn. It is hoped that all the sixth forms will be open by September 2014.
Alongside this, the three sponsored academy schools, which have also been involved in the development of the borough’s overall sixth form strategy, were each allocated £300k towards set up costs and equipment for their own sixth form provisions.
Cllr Paul Hodgins, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Schools, said:
“It has always been our ambition that school sixth forms be established within the borough to attract the very best teachers, sustain high standards and increase choice and diversity for all our young people.
“Earlier this year 77% of parents and other residents told us that they are in favour of establishing sixth forms at our five maintained secondary schools.
“Since then, we have agreed to move forward with our plans and all head teachers have been meeting regularly with Council officers and the Principal of Richmond upon Thames College to develop further exactly what this provision will look like, considering issues such as the curriculum and staffing.
“However, to accommodate such a large rise in headcount at each school, it is also important that we invest money into existing facilities and create new buildings if required.
“In addition, whilst they are not directly maintained by the Council, we also want the sponsored academies to incorporate sixth forms. To enable this they too will have to adapt their facilities. They have already received a considerable amount of funding from the Government but I am pleased that we are able to support them adapting their plans to accommodate sixth forms.”
Philippa Nunn, Headteacher at Waldegrave School, said:
“We are excited by the opportunity to develop sixth forms in Richmond upon Thames schools and grateful for the funding to enable this to happen. We are working closely together through the Richmond post sixteen partnership in order to ensure we are fully prepared for this development.”