The Department for Education has approved a joint bid from three schools to build a dedicated sixth form college in Rutland.
The application for funding from Catmose College, Uppingham Community College and Oakham School was signed off by the Department for Education on Tuesday.
Catmose principal Stuart Williams said: “This is the fruition of seven years of commitment and determination by the schools in Rutland to raise the aspirations of our post-16 students and offer them a high quality academic sixth form that will allow them to go on and attend our best universities.”
Harington School will offer A-level education to 300 pupils, with an intake of 150 each year.
The school’s aim is to offer a curriculum that develops individual and academic potential, with the goal of helping pupils get places at the top universities. Rutland County College is currently the only state-run post-16 college in the county.
Uppingham Community College principal Jan Turner said: “This is extremely exciting news for all the young people of Rutland and will provide an outstanding opportunity for future generations to come. I am delighted that the Department for Education has recognised the need for this provision and the strength of the team that will work together to ensure its success.”
And Oakham School headmaster Nigel Lashbrook added: “The trustees and senior leadership team at Oakham School are delighted with today’s announcement. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work in partnership with Catmose College and Uppingham Community College, to give all the young people in Rutland the opportunity and choice they deserve to develop academically, and to gain access to a leading university.”
The bid team have now entered the next stage, the pre-opening phase, which will see a rapid development of their plans. Representatives from the bid team will attned a launch event in London on October 16. After that, they will release further details, including how to apply for a place.
Mr Lashbrook added: “There is clearly a lot of hard work to follow this announcement, but we at Oakham School are all committed to working in partnership to make Harington School a resounding success.”
The initial bid was based on Harington School opening in September this year, and that is still the aim. The team expect to publish an updated prospectus and start recruitment for a headmaster in the next couple of months.
The location of the new college will ultimately be decided by the Department for Education, but the bid team have suggested several suitable sites within the area. The Government will also determine the funding available for the new school.
A bid to create a new school in Stamford was turned down by the Department for Education in August. Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, which led the bid, was told instead to focus on Stamford Queen Eleanor School.
The trust moved in this term, changing the name to Stamford Welland Academy, and officially took charge on Wednesday this week. An open day will be held at 5.30pm on Wednesday, October 8.