A SIXTH-FORM college is making headway to becoming one of the country’s first multi-academy trusts by the start of the next academic year.
St Vincent College, in Gosport, has shown significant improvement in results in recent years and hopes to improve student education further by forging a partnership with Richard Taunton College, in Southampton.
‘It’s an exciting time for us and the college is thriving.Matt Atkinson
The college, in Mill Lane, enjoyed its best ever A-level results in the summer after being rated good by Ofsted earlier in the year.
St Vincent principal Matt Atkinson said: ‘It’s an exciting time for us and the college is thriving.
‘Our work with Richard Taunton College towards forming the first joint multi-academy trust of sixth-form colleges is gathering pace.
‘We feel that we are on course to convert by September 2017.
‘We have received a substantial grant from the Department for Education to help with the conversion and governors from both colleges are hard at work defining the ways that the trust will work to improve teaching and learning.
‘We have a joint determination that the benefits of this move will result in a clear improvement in the experience students have and help drive both these good colleges towards being outstanding.’
Peter Edgar, executive member for education for Hampshire County Council and a Gosport councillor, believes that St Vincent becoming an academy will give it stability.
He said: ‘We are fully behind the move of St Vincent becoming a multi-academy and we encourage college-to-college partnerships right across the board.
‘The college attracts students from a wide area and will be more accessible for students coming from Fareham if the Bus Rapid Transport Route is extended.
‘All schools and colleges have to market themselves and this will help St Vincent secure themselves for the future.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is also excited.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘This new partnership holds a lot of promise for enabling these good colleges to reap the benefits of shared administrative functions and jointly pursue excellence.’