The town’s new free school has been given approval by the Secretary of State for Education to open a new six form in 2015.
The Minister’s decision means that Gildredge House can now welcome students into Year 12 from September 2015, which is three years earlier than the time when the first cohort of Year 7 students will reach the Sixth Form.
Lea Gilbert, headteacher, said, “We are excited that our planning for Sixth Form development is based on a position of strength.
“By the autumn term, when building work is complete, we shall have accommodation and facilities ideally equipped for Sixth Form teaching.
“Our recent recruitment programme has brought us yet more teachers who are qualified to teach to A Level to strengthen our already excellent team.
“Altogether, we believe we have a great deal to offer to the post-16 education context in Eastbourne and we are delighted that this has been recognised by the wider community in our consultation and endorsed by the Department for Education.
“The students who choose to come to Gildredge House for Sixth Form will do so because we are unique in the area and because they subscribe to our strong ethos and identity.
“It is our aim to provide an environment for rigorous, disciplined and enjoyable Sixth Form study with a balanced programme of A Levels at its heart.”
The maximum number of admissions for external candidates to the Lower Sixth (Year 12) in September 2015 will be 72 and this will continue to be the case even when the school’s own Year 11 students join the Sixth Form in 2018.
Places will be offered to applicants who meet the minimum entry requirements as a minimum of 7 A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Mathematics with at least a B grade in the subjects the student wishes to study at A Level and are contingent on the availability of space on the appropriate A Level courses.
The Compton Place Road school opened its doors in September 2013.
See the school’s website at www.gildredgehouse.org.uk for more information about the sixth form.