Students in south Fylde are set to benefit from a new college that combines academic and vocational studies.
From September 2015, school leavers will have an opportunity to apply to their own sixth form college after Blackpool and The Fylde College joined forces with Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College.
Lytham Sixth Form College will be able to draw on the vocational expertise of Blackpool and Fylde College and the experience of a traditional A-Level provider in the High School.
The new college will be located on Church Road in Ansdell, at the site of Blackpool and Fylde’s hair and beauty facility, next to the High School.
Catherine Hill, deputy principal of Blackpool and Fylde College said: “It will be the first time a campus in the area has been built dedicated to 16 to 18-year-olds.”
The Education and Skills Act states all students must remain in education or training until the age of 18 by 2015, but Mrs Hill believes there are more important reasons behind the new college.
She said: “There is no doubt that the law was a factor but it’s not necessarily about education being compulsory.
“Students now have an opportunity to stay in South Fylde and get the best possible education and careers that can follow. The Sixth Form will keep pupils on the Fylde coast and hopefully develop the region’s economy.”
High School headteacher Philip Wood said: “The opening of the new sixth form college is a wonderful opportunity for students in this community to access high quality provision, a broad curriculum aimed at meeting the needs of students and a way of ensuring progression for students into universities of choice or progression directly into employment.”
Mrs Hill said: “The new college will welcome students from other local 11-16 schools in addition to existing students of this school.
“We already know that many LSA students, who have tried post 16 provision elsewhere, return here because they do not like long travel times and because they value the high quality teaching they had in the school.”
An open evening for Lytham Sixth Form College will be held at LSA on Thursday 4 December between 6-8pm when subject options will have been finalised.