Local people will be invited to help shape proposals for a new type of education in Bicester, following initial approval from the Department for Education.
The DFE has approved a bid to further develop proposals for a studio school in the town. The school would provide a statutory education option for 14-19 year olds, offering core GCSEs in English, maths and science alongside specialist vocational qualifications.
The school would work with external partners in the sustainable construction and engineering logistics industries, supporting the town’s employment needs and eco-status.
Activate Learning, which is leading the bid, will shortly launch a public consultation during which local people and stakeholders will be able to give their views on the plans. The consultation will include a number of public meetings and an opportunity to respond via an online and printed survey. All views will be submitted back to the Department for Education as part of the final decision-making process.
Lee Nicholls, executive director curriculum, standards and academies Activate Learning, said: “The proposal for the technical studio school responds to Bicester’s growing education and training needs, and in particular to its key employment areas.
“In doing so it will not only help to meet local skills needs and support the town’s further growth, but also ensure that local pupils emerge with the skills needed for immediate employment.
“We believe that this will improve student employability and support the sustainability of the local economy. We are looking forward to working with local people and finding out more about their views during the consultation.”
The studio school bid has been developed in partnership with Bicester Vision and local employers including Chiltern Railways, Red Engineering Design, The Zeta Group, A2 Dominion and Clearview Traffic. These employers would help to shape the curriculum and provide pupils with live project briefs as they prepare for industry.
If successful the studio school for Bicester could open in September 2016 and would eventually cater for up to 300 pupils.
The location of the school has not yet been decided, with a number of potential sites being considered.