SCHOOL-LEAVERS will have more further education options when a new sixth form college opens.
East Durham College, in Peterlee, is opening a brand-new sixth form facility which will be operational from September next year.
The college, in Willerby Grove, is boosting the wide range of courses it currently runs to offer 20 A-Levels, carefully chosen to reflect the qualifications which leading universities are looking for when they recruit their undergraduates.
The new college, to be known as ED6, is being set up in partnership with east Durham secondary schools.
Director-designate of ED6, Paul Wheatcroft, said: “We have consulted closely with the Russell Group who represent 20 of the UK’s leading universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester and Newcastle.
“We’ve grouped together certain A-Level subjects to guide students down particular routes – we call them Professional Pathways – which lead to one of seven broad career paths after their time at university.”
These are scientific, creative industries, business and management, language and culture, health, new technology and the ED6 Baccalaureate.
The choice of A Levels open to a student will depend on the pathway they select.
There is already a limited sixth form offer at Byron College, at St Bede’s Catholic Secondary School in the town.
East Durham College intends to work closely with Byron to create a broad cohesive A-Level offer for the students of east Durham.
East Durham College principal Stuart Wesselby said: “We want East Durham Sixth Form to be a place local young people aspire to go to.
“The intention is that where possible students will be able to access the Byron A-Level offer alongside that of ED6.”
East Durham Sixth Form has set its entry requirements higher than a number of other sixth forms in the region at a minimum of five C grades at GCSE with Bs needed to study some subjects on certain pathways.
Mr Wesselby added: “We will only take the most talented students but will offer every student a guarantee that they will pass their A-Levels if they come to ED6 - as long as their attendance is good and they fulfil their student contract.
“The staff we intend to recruit will be experienced, highly-qualified A Level tutors - people with proven track records of delivering successful student A Level passes.”
Lesley Powell, headteacher at The Academy at Shotton Hall, one of the schools working with the college on the scheme, said: “This is an exciting development in the education of young people in east Durham.
“I am delighted that we will now have the facilities to assure both high quality local provision and a seamless transition into further and higher education.”
For more information about ED6 call (0191) 5188222.