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THE Department of Education has given the green light for a new skills-led Studio School to open in Peterlee.

The Apollo Studio Academy will welcome around 300 students aged 14 to 19 and will offer mainstream qualifications, including GCSEs and A-Levels, as well as vocational and professional qualifications linked to the world of work.

It will focus on developing key employability and life skills required by employers, with students spending time each week in unpaid and paid work placements.

The scheme is sponsored by The Academy at Shotton Hall and East Durham College, both in Peterlee, and will be based at the college. Schools Minister Lord Nash said: “More employers are getting involved in Studtio Schools, demonstrating their commitment to preparing young people to the world of work.”