Plans for a new school-based sixth form for Eastbourne moved forward this week as governors of Cavendish and Ratton agreed to work towards creating a joint sixth form between the two academies.
Following consultations carried out by both schools with students, parents, teachers and other stakeholders, the governors of Cavendish and Ratton voted on Tuesday evening to move forward and prepare a bid to submit to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) next month.
However, the final decision cannot be made until the EFA has scrutinised and agreed the plans.
There may be certain recommendations or conditions attached which will need to be carefully considered by the governors of both schools before making the decision on whether or not to proceed.
If the bid is successful, then it looks likely the new sixth form could be open in September 2015.
The outcome of the bid is likely to be known by May or June.
Kenny Fitzpatrick, head of Cavendish, said, “The heads and governors from both schools are working closely together to try and ensure that when the bid is submitted, the model governance of the joint sixth form is long lasting and fully committed to improving teaching and learning for all the children in both schools.”
Anne Wardle, acting head at Ratton, said it was pleasing that there was unanimous support from both governing bodies.
“Both schools are working very closely on this and there is 100 percent solidarity and commitment behind the project. This is an exciting step forward.”
A working group consisting of governors from both schools will work on areas such as a governance model, curriculum, facilities and accommodation and the schools will involve students, parents and other stakeholders in the shaping of the sixth form.
Mr Fitzpatrick added, “The level of response from the consultations demonstrates that parents and students really want the sixth form to happen and are keen to share their views.
“Working with them to create an educational facility that the community needs and wants is key to a successful outcome of the planned joint sixth form.”