Doncaster’s ‘first ever’ £20m standalone sixth form given go-ahead

Brendon Fletcher and Pauline Hagen, of the New Collaborative Learning Trust.

Brendon Fletcher and Pauline Hagen, of the New Collaborative Learning Trust.

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Doncaster is set for the dawning of a new era of further education after plans to build the town’s first purpose-built sixth form were given the green light.

The council has granted planning permission to build the £20m New College Doncaster, which will provide education to 1, 200 students by 2020 and is expected to become the town’s biggest sixth form.

An artists' impression of New College Doncaster

An artists' impression of New College Doncaster

It will be built on the playing fields adjacent to Hayfield Lane in Auckley and the doors are due to open to the first cohort of students in September 2017. The current sixth form at the nearby Hayfield School will close in August next year to make way for the development.

The college will also create around 80 teaching and support staff jobs by the time it reaches full capacity in four years time.

Project leaders at the New Collaborative Learning Trust were lining up to welcome the ‘exciting’ scheme today.

Pauline Hagen OBE, chief executive, said: “We feel very passionately that our plans for New College Doncaster will deliver outstanding educational opportunities for young people across the region and are looking forward to working with our builders at BAM Construction and our architects, Ryder Architecture to get this project underway.”

Brendon Fletcher, aged 37, is the principal designate for the new college. He is currently vice principal of sister college, New College Pontefract, which was rated as ‘Outstanding’ at a recent Ofsted inspection.

He said: “We passionately believe in what we do, and we know that the kind of top quality post-16 education we provide can make a big difference to young people’s life chances, such as accessing courses at competitive universities or professional employment.

“We will specialise in offering more A-Level courses than anyone else, and in bringing with us a track-record of outstanding results.”

He said the trust will look to instate a “culture of high expectations and hard work in a supportive environment” and added: “We do not have a religious bias, being open to those of all faiths and those of none.”

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has previously backed the college and said it “provides students in the town with more options about how and where they continue their education.”

Plans revealed several months ago that the state-of-the-art building will include informal learning areas, social spaces and extensive sports facilities.

There will be 30 A-levels and a selection of Level 3 BTEC courses across a wide range of subjects, including biology, chemistry, English, French, maths and physics, art, drama, graphic design, music and photography.

It will operate as a standalone free school funded by the Education Funding Agency.

Prospective students can find out more about what the college offers at an open day at Doncaster Racecourse on Saturday, November 19, from 10am to 1pm.

There will also be application and interview evenings at Hayfield School on November 30 this year and March 8 next year from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Further events are planned. For more information visit new college Doncaster