Eton-run free sixth form college with almost 500 places coming to Oldham following government approval
The sixth-form college is one of three of its kind approved for creation by the UK government
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Oldham is set to be the home of a new free sixth-form college. The establishment is one of three of its kind and Eton College is behind the plans.
The famous college will run the new establishments song with Star Academies, which has several existing schools in Greater Manchester. The new sixth-form colleges make up a list of 15 which are to be set up in areas of the UK with the ‘lowest educational outcomes’ according to the Department for Education.
The Oldham sixth-form college will join a similar establishment on Teesside and in Dudley. It is hoped the new sixth-forms will support local talent through to further education at top universities including Oxford and Cambridge.
Two other schools have been outlined for opening in Manchester, but these will not be Star Academies. These are Dixons Victoria Academy, a secondary school in Manchester, and Dixons Wythenshawe Sixth Form, a 16-19 school in Manchester.
Free schools are funded by the government, but they are not ran by the government. They are instead run by other organisations, in the case of the Oldham school this will be Eton and Star Academies.
Despite being run by Eton College, pupils will not be hit with the huge fees required to attend Eton, the sixth-form will be free. There will also be no wearing the Eton College uniform.
Star Academies chief executive Sir Hamid Patel CBE said: “The free schools programme continues to inject innovation and creativity into the school system.We’re delighted our 3 sixth form colleges – being delivered in partnership with Eton College – will be part of the programme and we look forward to working with our local stakeholders to provide more young people with the high-quality education and aspirational opportunities they deserve.”
Eton College headmaster Simon Henderson said: “We are delighted by this decision. We believe these new colleges have the potential to be transformative both for the young people who attend and for the wider communities they will serve.
“Collaborative partnership will be key to this project’s success and we are very grateful for the support we have had already from the respective councils, from the local communities and from our colleagues in other educational settings.”
The schools, including the planned sixth-form in Oldham and schools in Manchester, are expected to open within 3 or 4 years. The Eton Star sixth-form in Oldham will have 480 places for pupils.