Richmond Council will be asking parents and other residents their views on statutory proposals to establish sixth forms in the borough’s five maintained secondary schools.

Over the past year, the head teachers of all the schools have been meeting regularly with Council officers and the Principal of Richmond upon Thames College to develop proposals. That work has now evolved into the formation of ‘Richmond upon Thames Post-16 Partnership’ to move this agenda forward.

In a series of five consultations, one for each non-academy school, residents will be asked for their views on the high-level vision and specification for each sixth form, outlining key issues such as intake numbers and the broad principles that will underpin each school’s offer.

The schools are committed to working together, in partnership with Richmond upon Thames College, to share expertise and enable young people to benefit from a broader range of local provision than is currently available.

Separately, Richmond Park Academy will also soon be consulting on establishing a sixth form.

Both Hampton Academy and Twickenham Academy recently consulted on adding sixth forms in September 2012 and the Secretary of State for Education has approved those proposals.

The current administration has committed to promoting sixth forms in the borough’s secondary schools as part of its strategy to increase choice and quality in local education for residents.

Cllr Paul Hodgins, Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, said: "Last year, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to explore with schools the feasibility of establishing viable sixth forms in our eight secondary schools and academies.

“All of our secondary schools have worked extremely hard to raise standards in 11-16 education. Two of our secondaries are now rated outstanding by Ofsted, and as a group they have moved up the national league tables. Richmond upon Thames College also continues to provide excellent post-16 options to our students.

“However, many pupils and their parents have told us that having quality sixth forms in our schools would give them more choice and strongly enhance our secondary system. I hope that all parents and residents will now have their say about this important issue.”

Philippa Nunn, Head teacher at Waldegrave School for Girls, said: “As a group ofhead teachers we recognise the excellent education Richmond upon Thames College provides. We wish to continue to work in partnership with the college, which we believe will always be first choice for some of our students. We are very excited by the prospect of being able to offer our students the choice of staying in a school to study post 16 and look forward to progressing plans further.”

The consultation runs from 2 March – 30 March

from a Richmond Council press release – 2 March 2012