At a meeting last night Dr Patrick Hazlewood, Principal of St John’s Marlborough, and a group of St John’s students presented exciting plans for a new Sixth Form Study Centre. Funding for the centre has resulted from a £1.19million grant from the Education Funding Agency.

The grant has been awarded because the number of Sixth Form students is expected to grow in the Marlborough and Pewsey area, given that all young people now have to remain in education or training until they are 18 years old, and St John’s is oversubscribed and unable to accommodate any further growth.

The meeting at St John’s was attended by Wiltshire Councillors Stewart Dobson and Jemima Milton, Mayor of Marlborough Guy Loosmore, deputy mayor Marian Hannaford Dobson, Marlborough town councillor Margaret Rose, as well as Tony Forsythe, deputy head at Pewsey Vale School, and representatives from the governing bodies of both St John’s and Pewsey Vale School.

At the meeting the plans for the new building were revealed and students explained how they felt the new Study Centre would benefit everyone at St John’s and enable more students to remain at St John’s in the sixth form in the future.

Dr Hazlewood said: “This grant is wonderful news for all local students.

“The new centre will relieve the pressure on classroom space, and enable us to offer a broader range of courses to ensure that local young people have more choices and opportunities for their education after GCSEs.

“There was huge competition from schools all over England for this funding, and we feel incredibly privileged to have been awarded this grant at a time of so many public sector cuts”.

The new Sixth Form Study Centre will be built outside the main entrance of the school and will comprise eight sixth form classrooms and a private study area.

A planning application is being submitted in March and Dr Hazlewood is confident that given the support that has already been shown by parents, and was offered at the meeting, the new building will open in April 2015.