Have your say on plans for new sixthform in Rutland

Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
Rutland County Council offices in Oakham

People have the chance to hear about plans for a new sixthform college in Rutland and have their say at a 
meeting next week.

Members of the public are welcome to attend a special meeting of Rutland County Council’s scrutiny panel, which is being held at the council offices in Catmose, Oakham, at 7pm on Monday.

Catmose College and Uppingham Community College have submitted a bid for the free school, which will be called Harington School, to the Department of Education. They believe a new sixthform is needed because there is only one state-run post-16 college in the county, Rutland County College, and pupils have to travel long distances for an alternative option.

Oakham School has also supported the proposals.

Scrutiny panel chairman Coun Gale Waller (LibDem) said: “The proposal for a post- 16 free school has created a great deal of debate locally and this is a great opportunity to hear from the schools about their proposal and for the public and councillors to have their questions answered.

“Representatives of Rutland County College will also give a presentation about what their college offers and this meeting will be incredibly useful in that it will give those both for and against the plans the opportunity to voice their opinion.”

Catmose College principal Stuart Williams and Uppingham Community College principal Jan Turner revealed plans for the new sixthform in October.

According to its prospectus, it would offer students throughout the county A-levels and enrichment activities, such as the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme.

More than 650 parents have said they would choose Harington School as their first choice sixthform provision for their children if plans are given the go-ahead.

The bid has been accepted by the New Schools Network, a development programme which supports applications submitted to the Department of Education.

However, Rutland County College principal Vicky Crosher and head of centre Carl Smith believe there is no need for the free school as their facility can meet the demand in numbers of students looking to study at A-levels in Rutland.

Members of the public can submit deputations or questions for the meeting. Any request to do so must be received by the council’s corporate support team.

The time allowed for each petition will be three minutes and for each deputation and question with its response will be five minutes.

A question can be submitted at short notice as long as a written copy is received by the meeting administrator 15 minutes before the meeting starts.

Only one minute will be allowed to ask a short notice question and no supplementary question will be allowed.

The total time allowed at the meeting for petitions, deputations and questions from the public will be 30 minutes.

For more information and to have your say, visit www.rutland.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/council_news/free_school_scrutiny.aspx