News from our partners: Telford College seeks to secure sixth form provision in Bridgnorth
News from our partners Telford College
Telford College has begun working with two schools in Bridgnorth to help secure the provision of sixth form education in the town.
Oldbury Wells School and Bridgnorth Endowed School have entered into a partnership arrangement with the college to explore ways of ensuring the continuation of post-16 provision.
The initial agreement also includes a pledge to investigate ways of offering skills programmes supporting the adult community.
It follows Telford College’s announcement in October 2023 of plans to open a new dedicated sixth form centre linked to the multi-million pound Station Quarter development in Telford town centre.
Graham Guest, Telford College principal and chief executive, said:-
“This a great opportunity to work with two excellent schools in Bridgnorth to create aspirational pathways for post-16 education.
“It links perfectly with some exciting developments at Telford College, working collaboratively with schools, universities and employers to benefit local young people and the wider community.”
Oldbury Wells School is currently the only school in Bridgnorth offering sixth-form courses – but has announced the potential closure of this service at the end of the 2024-25 academic year.
Lee Tristham, Headteacher, said:-
“We are thrilled to be able to announce the exciting project to work to consider a potential new broader sixth form provision in our town.
“This opportunity has arisen from discussions we have had in Bridgnorth with local further education providers as we consulted about our own sixth form provision.”
The consultation led to the school informing parents that its single school based sixth form is sadly due to close from September 2025, pending Government agreement.
Lee Tristham added:-
“The consultation has led to discussions about the exciting project with the potential to offer a much wider and broader offer for the town which would support families across the community and provide a new, exciting educational pathway in the locality.”
In a letter to parents, he has given further reassurance that the decision to bring current provision to a close will not impact on current Year 12 and Year 13 pupils, who will be fully supported until the end of their studies:-
“The school would continue to support students to be fully aware of all opportunities available following their GCSEs, including any outcome regarding the potential partnership being explored.”
Michael Penn, Headteacher at Bridgnorth Endowed School, said:-
“It has been several years since both schools in the town have worked formally together to provide post-16 provision in the area.
“Both schools have excellent partnerships working with a range of further education providers and we see this opportunity as a chance to develop a further pathway, which will support young people and their families directly within the community.”
Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, added:-
“Shropshire Council is pleased to see the collaboration between Telford College and the two schools in the Bridgnorth area, Oldbury Wells School and Bridgnorth Endowed School.
“We are excited to see what developments this will bring not only for school leavers but also for the wider community to support lifelong learning. Skills and employment are a priority in our The Shropshire Plan and this collaboration represents a fantastic opportunity for the people of the town.
“It will hopefully lead to the delivery of not just academic qualifications but also access to skills programmes.”
Telford College is the largest further education centre in the county, and is recognised as a major training hub for employers across the region, contributing more than £226 million a year to the local economy.
It delivers a broad range of courses, including A-levels, T-levels, apprenticeships, degree-level higher education programmes, blended and virtual learning, and sector-specific specialist training hubs to help plug skills gaps.