Newham set for another sixth-form college

A new sixth form college will be set up in Newham to address the current lack of choice for the borough’s secondary school leavers.

Leading universities are to be approached by childrens’ service managers at Newham Council with a view to supporting the venture.

The council has even considered possible venues for a the new school subject to how much it would cost.

More than half of the borough’s 16-year-olds choose to go elsewhere to continue their education.

NewVIc sixth-form college in Plaistow and St Bonaventure’s RC School in Forest Gate are the only current post-16 education providers in the borough.

However, they will soon by joined the Brampton Manor Academy in East Ham, which will open to pupils aged 16-18 from September 2012.

School 21, for pupils aged 4 to 18, will also open in September, while the Chobham Academy, for three to 19-year-olds, will open on the Olympic Park site one year later.

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Eight private schools have also joined forces to start the London Academy of Excellence this year, a Stratford-based free school, with the aim of preparing students for university.

Headteacher Robert Wilne said it had received more than 500 applications.

According to council figures, two-thirds of those leaving Newham for sixth-form colleges are among the most able in the borough.

Officers hope to speak to the likes of Oxford University and Imperial College about their proposals.

But a spokesman for Oxford University said there would be “no question” of them agreeing to help directly run a sixth-form college.

She said: “I think at the moment there are some discussions that Wadham College (an Oxford University College) could link up with schools and headteachers to give information and advice about applying to Oxford.

“Each of our colleges has an area it is responsible for, and Wadham has Newham as one of those areas. It is very much about providing a link between secondary schools and universities.”

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