See the first images of new town college

TODAY the first images of Ipswich's new sixth form college can be revealed.

TODAY the first images of Ipswich's new sixth form college can be revealed.

Shared exclusively with the Evening Star, the pictures show the proposals for the £40million development which could be built in Ipswich's Scrivener Drive.

It is expected the college, which has yet to get the official go-ahead, will teach 14 to 19 year olds more than 40 a-level subjects, a range of specialist and vocational diplomas and International Baccalaureate qualifications.

Proposals put forward by a partnership of headteachers from schools in south and west Ipswich and south Suffolk have been submitted to the Suffolk branch of the Learning and Skills Council for approval.

Chairman of the school partnership Alan Whittaker, headteacher at Stoke High School, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which could transform education in this part of the county and transform the life chances of an entire generation of young people.”

Mr Whittaker said the college would teach up to 2,000 students.

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He said: “Up to 16 achievement is very good in Suffolk but post-16 we are falling behind other similar counties. At the moment we have a partnership sixth forms and limited choice of courses on offer to our students.”

The partnership includes Chantry High School, Claydon High School, East Bergholt High School, Hadleigh High School, Holbrook High School, Stoke High School, Suffolk College, Thurleston High School, Thomas Wolsey School, Westbourne High School and Westbridge Pupil Referral Unit.

The schools and colleges have decided they will close the current school-based sixth forms, which will replaced by the new institution.

Given the working title of South Suffolk Collegiate Sixth Form the new learning centre is hoped to raise aspirations of the region's students. It is hoped the new learning centre will be open in September 2009.

Mr Whittaker said: “I am very confident the new learning centre will get the go ahead.

“If we are successful with our bid to the Learning and Skills Council we should hear in spring 2007. We would like the building ready by Spring 2009.

“We want to meet the needs of 14 to 19 year olds with a flexible curriculum and high quality learning. This will be a centre of academic excellence that allows students access to a full range of courses.”

What do you think of the plans for the new sixth form? Would want your child to study there? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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