Monday, June 27, 2016

News: TRC told to look at academisation

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Thomas Rotherham College (TRC) is set to look at joining a multi academy trust following the findings of a Government review into skills in the Sheffield city region.

A series of Area Based Reviews (ABRs) of provision are to be carried out with the Sheffield city region one of the first three areas. Each review will start by assessing the economic and educational needs of the area, and the implications for post-16 education and training provision, including school sixth forms, sixth form colleges, further education colleges and independent providers.

The reviews are set to "provide an opportunity for institutions and localities to restructure their provision to ensure it is tailored to the changing context and designed to achieve maximum impact."

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Covering the six Further Education Colleges and two Sixth Form Colleges (including TRC) in the region, the review recommends: "Each of Thomas Rotherham College and Longley Park Sixth Form College to explore joining a multi academy trust in their locality. If either college were not to become academies in the 12-16 months following the area review, that institution(s) would look again at options for collaboration or grouping with each other or other colleges that have been in scope of this area review."

The Moorgate college said in a statement: "TRC has been part of the ABR Steering Group and helped to shape this recommendation. We are happy that the recommendation gives us a broad scope of action and sufficient time to explore these options, which are natural ones for the College to consider following the government's announcement in November 2015 that Sixth Form Colleges could explore the academisation route.

"It is now for the College to decide whether it best serves the interests of young people in South Yorkshire by joining a multi-academy trust involving local schools or by continuing as an independent Sixth Form College which collaborates with Longley Park Sixth Form College and other colleges while still enjoying close relations with the schools which its students come from. The decision-making process will involve consultation and due diligence.

"Whatever decision is taken, it will be based on the interests of students in the area, and this is linked to determining the best way to preserve the identity and ethos of a College which is graded Good by Ofsted, which has improved its results still further since its last inspection and which has filled a vital role in the education and progression of young people in the area since its creation as one of the country's first Sixth Form Colleges 50 years ago.​"

The initial recommendations focus on general FE and sixth form colleges and a skills strategy is set to be published with the aim to help ensure that post-16 providers are delivering the skills that local employers require.

TRC website

Images: TRC

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