Uni boss gives sixth form backing

SUFFOLK'S first university has today pledged its support to a scheme to build a new sixth form centre in Ipswich. University Campus Suffolk (UCS) operations director Richard Lister said proposals by a consortium of schools from south and west Ipswich and south Suffolk to build a £40million sixth form centre in Scrivener Drive would raise the aspirations of many of the county's youngsters.

SUFFOLK'S first university has today pledged its support to a scheme to build a new sixth form centre in Ipswich.

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) operations director Richard Lister said proposals by a consortium of schools from south and west Ipswich and south Suffolk to build a £40million sixth form centre in Scrivener Drive would raise the aspirations of many of the county's youngsters.

He said: “We are very pleased to see the development of a new sixth form centre in Ipswich and offer the organisation our full support.

“I have no doubt this will improve opportunities for people in south and west Ipswich and the surrounding area.”

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.

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Mr Lister added: “We want to work closely with this new centre in anyway we can both to help the centre develop and create progression opportunities for students so they can come from the centre to UCS.

“This will act as a magnet for youngsters and it is great for the town.”

The partnership of schools putting forward the proposals 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.

What do you think of the proposals for a new sixth form centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

The new centre is expected to teach up to 2,000 students.

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