This report outlines the responses to the consultation on the statutory proposals to establish school sixth forms at Grey Court in September 2013 and at Christ’s, Orleans Park, Teddington and Waldegrave in September 2014.
[Beverley Sanders re-joined the Committee]
Maggie Bailey, Headteacher of Grey Court School and Phillipa Nunn, Headteacher of Waldegrave School for Girls, were invited to make representations to the Committee:
The five schools (and three academies) were delighted at the prospect of teaching post-16 and were developing a curriculum offer that would cater for learners of all abilities.
Establishing sixth forms at the borough’s secondary schools would remove the need for children to travel outside the borough for tertiary education, and reduce journey times.
Allowing sixth forms would enable schools to retain good teachers who might otherwise want to move on to teach post-16.
Sixth forms were best placed to prepare post-16 pupils for a working environment as they would be more familiar with their needs.
Maggie Bailey and Phillipa Nunn made the following points in response to questions from members of the Committee:
Richmond upon Thames College was over subscribed. It would be able to provide better quality provision if the number of attendees was less than 3000.
Sixth forms would not compete with colleges as they could not individually offer the same breadth of subjects. Instead, sixth forms would offer more choice to pupils.
In a minority of cases, sixth form pupils might need to attend a college for certain subjects. Schools would be working with the College to ensure timetables were managed with this in mind.
Maggie Bailey and Phillipa Nunn acknowledged the relatively low response to the sixth form consultation. However, the schools had been surveying pupils, and the overwhelming response was in favour of establishing sixth forms.
Sixth forms would allow positive role models to stay within the school. It was anticipated that this would help to raise the aspirations, future career prospects and educational attainment of all pupils and, in particular, those from deprived areas / backgrounds.
It was not anticipated that the character of the schools would need to change as a result of the inclusion of sixth forms.
The Cabinet Member for Schools, the Director Education, Children's Services and Culture and the Head of School Commissioning joined the Committee.
· The Cabinet Member for Schools said the sixth forms proposals had been very popular with parents and schools. The proposal aimed to provide high quality education, for all pupils, across the board, which will lead to improved outcomes. Financial modelling of the sixth form proposals was considered robust and sustainable. He intended to develop the borough’s family of schools to make them parents’ and pupils’ first choice for tertiary education.
Studies showed that sixth form provisions were particularly beneficial to students and that they yield better outcomes than Colleges.
Members were advised that feasibility study reports for each school could be provided, if requested.
It was RESOLVED: that it should be recommended to Cabinet that sixth forms be established at Grey Court in September 2013 and Christ’s, Orleans Park, Teddington and Waldegrave in September 2014, as detailed in the report.
Updated: 21 November 2014