Principal questions A-level scheme for Fareham as Gosport success continues

St Vincent College principal Matt Atkinson and students who got their A-level results this week 
Picture Ian Hargreaves (161108-3)

St Vincent College principal Matt Atkinson and students who got their A-level results this week Picture Ian Hargreaves (161108-3)

Nasser Mian and Logan Austin, 15

Concerns grow over missing Fareham teenagers

  • St Vincent College’s principal has questioned a scheme to bring A-levels back to Fareham
  • He says the scheme is ‘untested’
  • Highlights rising success of Gosport schools and colleges
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MORE students should be looking at Gosport to do their A-levels.

That’s the message from St Vincent College’s principal Matt Atkinson, who was speaking after his college recorded their best ever A-level results.

There is sufficient provision in this area for students from both Fareham and Gosport to take A-levels here

Matt Atkinson

A total of 99 per cent of the college’s students achieved a pass rate of A* to E in Thursday’s results.

A-levels were scrapped from Fareham back in 2013 with the borough’s MP, Suella Fernandes, leading the charge to bring them back.

However, Mr Atkinson says that more Fareham students should be looking at Gosport to continue their studies rather than going further afield to Winchester and Eastleigh.

He told The News: ‘I do not understand why we are having the discussion.

‘Both areas are too small and close together for us to look at them individually. We need to look at the two towns’ education system as a whole.

‘There is sufficient provision in this area for students from both Fareham and Gosport to take A-levels here.’

Miss Fernandes has set up a working group with the hope to bring a new free school offering A-levels to Fareham students by 2018.

Mr Atkinson said: ‘I think we should trust in what Gosport has to offer rather than looking at bringing in an untested system.

‘It does not make sense to me why students are going great distances when we’re just five miles down the road.’

Bay House School in Gomer Lane, Gosport also offers A-level provision.

Around 2,000 people leave the Fareham borough every day to study A-levels with some not arriving home until as late as 10pm.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for education agreed that the two district should be looked as a whole for education.

He added: ‘It is encouraging that people in Gosport are able to follow the career path that they want to here.

‘It is a great thing that our colleges are doing so well.

Cllr Edgar also questioned whether the government would fund a free school in Fareham to offer A-levels if the performance in Gosport’s schools and colleges continue to improve.

He added: ‘I think they would look at it more to see if it was a financially viable thing to do considering the performance of the Gosport area.’

Miss Fernandes was not available for comment.

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