Richmond’s first sixth form opens its doors


Twickenham Academy will open the borough’s first sixth form on Monday.


By Hannah Friend

Twickenham Academy will open the borough’s first sixth form on Monday.

Parents and students have shown a strong interest and 50 pupils are expected to start their further education at the academy this year.

A new £22.5million building will open next April to host the new sixth form students and the rest of the academy.

It is the first state-funded school in the area to have a sixth form and is run by the Learning Schools Trust.

Nick Jones, Principal of Twickenham Academy, said: “We are delighted to be the first school in the borough to open a sixth form provision, giving students a choice that has not been available to them for many years.”

The principal said the students are excited to use the latest tablet technology, provided to all sixth form students to enable them to access courses on a ‘Learning Portal’.

Mr Jones also added that the teachers are looking forward to adding another dimension to their teaching at a higher level. He said the addition of post-16 teaching will make it easier to get and retain the best teachers if they can work across the age range.

Approval for the sixth form and new building project was given by Michael Gove, Secretary of State, with full funding at the beginning of last year.

It now gives children the opportunity to stay at their secondary school to do their A-levels and allows them to stay within their local area.

Richmond Council plans to ensure all secondary schools in the borough have sixth form provisions by 2014, a decision made by the cabinet last July.

Their commitment includes funding each academy with £300,000 to help with their sixth form set up costs and equipment.

Until the move, the old site has a small sixth form area for students and some flexible learning spaces.

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