VOLUNTEERS are urgently needed to help bring A-levels back to Fareham, according to the town’s MP.
A meeting was held yesterday at Cams Hill School, in Shearwater Avenue, Fareham to discuss how the qualifications, which were scrapped by Fareham College in 2013, could be reinstated in the borough.
Fareham MP Suella Fernandes has made bringing the qualifications back to the area one of her top priorities after she won her seat in May.
Yesterday she shared her vision for creating a free school, somewhere in Fareham, which would cater for between 500 and 600 students.
Miss Fernandes, who has experience of setting up a free school after she set up Michaela Community School in Wembley last year, urged people to get involved to create a focus group to get the application in to government.
She said: ‘There is a real opportunity here and I think it is an excellent opportunity that could change the landscape of Fareham for future generations.’
Miss Fernandes, a member of the government’s education select committee, has been working with Gwennan Harrison-Jones, head at Cams Hill, to get the proposal set up.
Mrs Harrison-Jones said that people needed to volunteer to put together the project, if they were to meet the March deadline to submit a bid to the government, and possibly start A-levels in 2017.
She said: ‘We need a core focus group of people who can give up some of their time and who share our passion for bringing A-levels back to Fareham.
‘This is for Fareham and it needs to be by Fareham for Fareham and I appeal to you for your support in making this happen.’
Hampshire County Council’s Phillip Walker, the county manager for post-14 learning, said that about 2,000 young people are leaving Fareham daily to study for further education. Of these 1,200 are going to designated sixth form colleges.
The meeting was attended by about 45 people, a mixture of Fareham residents, parents, council workers, and representatives from other schools.
Assistant principal from Henry Cort Community College, in Fareham, Bob Gellett, said: ‘It is an interesting opportunity for some students. At the moment they go to 13 different destinations, from Chichester to Southampton. It could be another route for some students.’
Ria Allan, headteacher from Brookfield Community School, in Sarisbury Green, said: ‘It is an interesting development for Fareham and for Fareham students. We will work together as a group of schools to see how it can go forward.’
Anyone who would like to get involved should email firstname.lastname@example.org