Sixth form plan meeting at Ratton

David Linsell
David Linsell

A public meeting is being held next week as plans by Cavendish and Ratton academies to set up a new Sixth Form in 2015 gather pace.

Kenny Fitzpatrick, headteacher of Cavendish, and Ratton’s David Linsell are working together on a project which could see the two schools working closer together to offer courses for students after Year 11.

The two schools will decide by the end of this month whether to move forward to an eight-week public consultation on the issue but first both heads and governing bodies have decided to first liaise with current parents and carers.

At present, most Eastbourne sixth form students either go to Park College on the Sussex Downs Campus along Kings Drive, or they use the SDC site at Lewes, whereas the new option could see them studying at Ratton and Cavendish, or under another project being considered at a sixth form run in collaboration by all the current state schools in the town.

Both heads said in a joint statement, “We are working very hard and very closely to produce a business plan that will work for the benefit of both Cavendish and Ratton, and we are confident that we can achieve this.

“To many, 2015 may seem a long way away but in reality Year 11 students will be choosing their next destination in the summer, indeed if they haven’t already done so. So the public meetings at both schools is important in terms of gauging parents’ reaction.”

The pair say they are clear why they believe a new joint sixth form would work: most top performing schools are 11 to 18, school-based sixth-forms can provide better pastoral care, advice and guidance and progress tracking, attracts more high quality staff, raises aspiration of younger students.

The public meeting will take place at Ratton on Thursday November 28 from 7-8pm.

All parents and carers have been invited. Cavendish held a similar meeting earlier this month.