Lydiard Park Academy sixth form scheme given the go-ahead
A SCHOOL is set to provide higher education after its bid for a sixth from was approved by the Government.
Lydiard Park Academy applied to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, for permission to add a sixth form from September 2014.
The school, which was formerly Greendown, is looking to build on its impressive GCSE results last year, with a 75 per cent pass rate for five GCSEs at grades A*to C and 56 per cent fo five GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and maths.
The addition will extend what is currently an age 11 to 16 school, adding Years 12 and 13 to take pupils until 18.
It will also see the provision of between 180 and 200 places for students and could create up to 10 new teaching roles.
The increase in age range will also extend to their Special Resource Provision for pupils with autism, bringing much needed additional post-16 provision to Swindon.
Principal Clive Zimmerman said: “We found out last Tuesday but we didn’t get it in writing until a couple of days ago.
“It will make a huge difference to the school, we see it as the missing piece of the jigsaw on our path to giving the community a great service.
“We work really well with our students up to the age of 16 but then we don’t get to follow through. It is always hard for staff to see children leave at the age of 16 and the worst thing is to see some of those children who were doing so well drop out of college or not get the grades to go to university.
“We want to keep our students here by doing this and stop children in the area having to get a bus across Swindon to go to sixth form or college.
“We were delighted, we knew it had been sat waiting for approval from the minister but that seemed to take a long time.
“I think it reflects on the results we have been achieving as a school and also the area is in need of a sixth form and I think they could see that.
“The good thing is we are already big enough to accommodate the extra pupils so we will not be looking for capital for a building project.
“We open in September 2014 so there is a tremendous amount of work to do between now and then.
“We need to start organising the courses we will be offering by September this year because that is when students will be making their decisions.”
For more information about the school visit www.lydiardparkacademy.org.uk