Innovative Sixth Form partnership unites state and independent schools

 Innovative Sixth Form partnership unites state and independent schools

18 October 2022

The newly-opened Feltham College is a distinctive and forward-thinking Sixth Form model, arising from close collaboration between successful Feltham state school, Reach Academy and two leading independent schools, Hampton and Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH). The three foundation partners have enjoyed a mutually beneficial teaching and learning partnership for over six years and know that working together can transform young people’s lives.

The college has been warmly praised by the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, as a superb example of state and independent sector collaboration: “Feltham College Sixth Form Partnership is an excellent example of what can be achieved when the state and independent education sectors come together. All educationalists are united in their passion to help young people thrive and succeed and this is the very essence of what Feltham College is all about – uniting resources and expertise to support young people who deserve every opportunity to fulfil their hopes and ambitions.”

The college is located in an area of high deprivation where currently only 20% of young people move on to university or degree apprenticeship courses and the recognised advantages these bring. This is less than half the national average, with the latest government data showing that, nationally, 44% of 19-year-olds in the state sector progress to Higher Education.

Rebecca Cramer, CEO of the Reach Trust believes that Feltham College will play a significant role in improving the lives of local young people: “The long-standing, successful partnership with Hampton and Lady Eleanor Holles has already benefited many of our pupils helping all of our recent cohort secure places on university courses and apprenticeships of their choice. Coming together to establish Feltham College has enabled our partnership to grow and flourish resulting in more local young people being able to achieve their ambitions and enjoy lives of choice and opportunity.”

Focused on meeting the needs of local young people, Feltham College offers a range of pathways and is innovative in placing equal emphasis on academic and vocational courses. Close links with industry leaders including Kingston University, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and award-winning London restaurateur Jacob Kenedy, offer mentoring and work experience opportunities.

For those pupils following a traditional academic route, Hampton and LEH teachers are providing 28 periods of teaching time per week supporting their Feltham College colleagues across a range of subjects and directing their expertise to where it is needed most. This can range from focused catch-up and extension classes to university preparation sessions.

Heather Hanbury, Head Mistress, Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH) commented: “Feltham College has the potential to become one of the foremost Sixth Form colleges in London. Its unique approach and ambitious plans to support the education of 16–18-year-olds in Feltham chime with all that we stand for here at LEH and we are delighted to play our part in the establishment of this exciting new college.”

Kevin Knibbs, Headmaster of Hampton School added: “The close partnership links between Hampton, LEH and our friends at Reach Academy have already reaped many rewards, and we’re delighted to be part of this pioneering Sixth Form. It is offering transformative opportunities to the young people in the Feltham area, helping them to realise their academic and all-round potential.”

The new Sixth Form College campus is part of Reach Academy Feltham and will continue to develop over the coming years. In addition to classrooms and laboratories, facilities will include music rehearsal rooms, production studios and a restaurant and café, allowing pupils on vocational courses to gain real-life work experience.

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