Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth pupils and parents have their say on future of town's sixth form education

Bridgnorth parents and pupils have outlined their requirements for sixth form provision in the town after an “extremely positive” consultation.


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Telford College is collaborating with Oldbury Wells and Bridgnorth Endowed schools to explore ways of sustaining a sixth form provision in the town when the current facility closes at the end of the 2024-25 academic year.

Oldbury Wells announced last year that it was to stop its sixth form, while Bridgnorth Endowed had axed its further education programme several years earlier.

Janet Stephens, Bridgnorth Endowed School head Michael Penn, Telford College chief executive Graham Guest, and Oldbury Wells head Lee Tristham

A consultation with parents and students to help shape the future of post-16 education in Bridgnorth has revealed strong demand for a broad range of support.

Staff from Telford College and the two schools have already met with parents and students to discuss options, saying it generated "good conversations and some nice feedback". A follow-up consultation survey was then issued to find out more about what students, parents and guardians felt the potential curriculum should include.

Responses came from students across Years 7-11, and revealed interest in a wide mix of full-time provision. Top of the list was Business, followed by Engineering, Sport, Maths and Creative Studies.

There was also a high level of interest in provision for Maths, English, Digital, and Humanities.

The survey found that 50 per cent of respondents were mainly interested in A-levels, with 28 per cent keen to find out more about apprenticeships, and 22 per cent considering T-Levels.

When asked what was most important when selecting an education partner, 'location' topped the list with 30 per cent, followed by 'pathways to university and employment' at 23 per cent, and a similar number choosing 'a diverse curriculum'.

Nearly two thirds of prospective adult learners said they would be looking for study programmes to develop their existing careers.

The partners say the aim of the survey is to understand what is required by the community, to better understand the demand for learning programmes in the area and explore how these can be delivered.

Michael Penn, head of Bridgnorth Endowed School, said: “The survey allows us to ensure that provision for Bridgnorth and the surrounding areas meets the needs of our young people providing them with opportunities that will assist their journey into further education or work opportunities.”

Lee Tristham, head of Oldbury Wells School, added: “It was extremely positive to see the response from the survey, which helps identify areas of interest for young people and their families and will support potential pathways into further education and the world of work.”

Telford College deputy chief executive Janet Stephens said the college already played “a pivotal role” in further education, and added: “Each academic year, we engage with over 2,000 young people through college-based programs, over 500 apprentices, and more than 2,000 adult learners.

“We are proud of our 100 per cent pass rate for many of our A-levels, alongside our diverse range of available subjects, and the establishment of 'Employer Hubs' fostering partnerships with key employers.

“We also offer further areas of support such as financial, careers advice and learning development. So we are ideally placed to work with both schools to find a solution to the challenges of maintaining sixth form education courses in the Bridgnorth area.”