New bid for sixth form for Forest students
EDUCATION leaders are working on plans to build a new dedicated sixth form college in the Forest of Dean.
Gloucestershire College and Dene Magna School want to run an independent centre for A-level students in Cinderford's Northern Quarter.
Many students leave the Forest after GCSEs to study A-levels in Gloucester, Monmouth or Ross-on-Wye. College principal Greg Smith said he and the Mitcheldean secondary school want to keep students in the heart of the Forest.
"Currently there are sixth forms at Wyedean and Newent, but not at Lakers, Heywood, Dene Magna and Whitecross," he said. "We want it to be the sixth form they look to go to."
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He said it would ensure a smooth transition for school leavers, next to what he hopes will be the new Gloucestershire College campus in Cinderford.
It wants to move from the current site at Five Acres in Coleford to a brownfield site in Cinderford but that has sparked opposition from Coleford residents concerned about post-16 provision and what might happen to the Five Acres spot.
A feasibility study should be ready by January and, if the college gets the go-ahead for its Cinderford move, a sixth form next door would open at the same time in 2015.
Dene Magna headteacher Steve Brady said: "We have always had an interest in A-level provision at Dene Magna and feel excited by the partnership we have developed with Gloucestershire College. The plans we are developing will take the best practice which exists at Dene Magna and Gloucestershire College and will focus upon delivering the very best."