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New sixth form marks end of parents' campaign
7:10am Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
A NEW sixth form has opened in Atherton marking the end of a campaign by parents to have their children educated in the town.
Atherton Community School opened in September last year thanks to residents and the charity Chapel St to become the area’s first Free School after Wigan Council controversially shut Hesketh Fletcher School.
Now the school, which opened on the site of Hesketh Fletcher School, has celebrated a landmark moment with the opening of the new sixth form – the first in the town.
The new post-16 centre opened to 35 students last Thursday.
The sixth form will soon be housed in its own purpose-built centre, separate from the school.
The building includes a common room, modern IT equipment, interactive white boards and a fitness suite.
Matt Bold, director of sixth form, said: “The opening went extremely well, with all students looking fabulous in their smart casual dress and in full attendance, taking part in a very intensive training day comprising of team building, study skills and independent learning with a company that we brought in, helping our students to prepare more effectively for their studies upon which they are embarking.
“We have 35 students so far, a figure we are very pleased with considering that we had no former students, no results to demonstrate our successes and not even a sixth form building to show off until July.”
The sixth form is still accepting students for this academic year.
Youngsters can study for A-levels, BTEC National and other post-16 qualifications.
Mr Bold said: “Our students report to us that they are delighted to have a local aspirational sixth form from which they feel they will become extremely employable and have the chance to go on to a university of their choice to follow their ambitions.
“With significant interest already from the pupils who finish school next summer, we hope the sixth form will quickly become established as an aspirational opportunity for the young people of Atherton.”
Free Schools are state-funded schools which do not make a profit and are accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. They are subject to Ofsted inspections.
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