New sixth form centre unveiled

THIS is a first look at the new centre which should revolutionise sixth form teaching in Ipswich and south Suffolk by the start of the next decade.The new SWISS (South West Ipswich and South Suffolk) Centre is to be built on borough-council owned land at Scrivener Drive - near the Copdock Mill Tesco superstore.

THIS is a first look at the new centre which should revolutionise sixth form teaching in Ipswich and south Suffolk by the start of the next decade.

The new SWISS (South West Ipswich and South Suffolk) Centre is to be built on borough-council owned land at Scrivener Drive - near the Copdock Mill Tesco superstore.

It will provide sixth form education for high schools across south and west Ipswich and south Suffolk, including Chantry, Stoke, Thurleston, Westbourne, Holbrook, Hadleigh, Claydon, and East Bergholt.

Existing sixth forms would close when the new centre opens in 2010.


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Residents of Ipswich and south Suffolk will have a chance to give their views on the proposal during a consultation period which runs from Monday until February 24.

The centre will cost £60 million to develop - paid for by central government - and will eventually have 2,200 students aged from 14 to 19, although most will be more than 16 years old.

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Suffolk County Council spokeswoman for young people Patricia O'Brien said the new centre would enable youngsters to choose from a wider range of courses.

She said: “This centre is being promoted by the schools themselves to give students a much greater range of options than they currently have.

“ It will be able to offer vocational, as well as academic, subjects and for the first time Suffolk students will be able to study for the International Baccalaureate.

“At present that is mainly only available in the private sector - this should give more students the chance to study for this internationally-recognised qualification.”

The centre will also have facilities for students with special needs and is backed by special schools in the area.

The land at Scrivener Drive has been identified, but there is still some way to go before building work can start.

Mrs O'Brien said once work started detailed planning would have to be carried out before it could open - with issues such as transport for students to and from the site at the top of the agenda.

“There are still many issues to be addressed, but overall this is a scheme which should benefit students across the area,” she added.

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