6/05/2015 A brand new free school 'Harris Professional Skills Sixth Form' The Harris Federation is delighted that our application to open a brand new free school sixth form in Croydon has been given the go-ahead by the government. Harris Professional Skills Sixth Form will be housed on the site of the vacant South Norwood police station, and will offer 230 places, giving priority to local students.
We will fully refurbish the site to provide a well-equipped learning environment. We hope this will be complete by September 2018, with the school opening on a temporary site elsewhere in September 2017.
The sixth form will address local need for vocational provision. Pathways will include the opportunity for students to gain the Technical Baccalaureate, which develops technical, hands-on skills as well as transferable soft skills and requires the student to continue with a Maths level 3 qualification. Students will also have the opportunity to sit GCSE retakes, with a suite of traditional GCSEs on offer.
We will provide education with drive and ambition for:
Students who wish to stay on in a smaller sixth form environment and have choice and diversity in the provision they opt to follow;
Students who are new to the country and have not yet had the opportunity to obtain GCSE grades that allow them to progress to the next phase of education;
Students who are vulnerable or require more pastoral care and progress management than an FE College can provide.
In September 2013, we opened Harris Aspire, a free school offering alternative provision for 135 students from years 7-11. This was placed temporarily on its current site in Beckenham, but will be moving to the site of the South Norwood police station, along with the new sixth form.
Sandra Miles, Principal of Harris Aspire, said:
“We are thrilled to be offering Croydon a new and high quality sixth form that caters to its need for more vocational education. In light of the current developments in the town centre, giving students the opportunity to gain qualifications in sectors such as Business Retail and Construction will enable them to make a real difference to the local community.
“Housing a conventional sixth form with an alternative provision school is an unusual arrangement, but it will allow both to benefit from a shared pool of specialist staff and facilities, and to run some joint classes. The site puts us right at the heart of the community, and we look forward to establishing the new school.”
We also hope to work with Croydon Council to use the new building to meet their need for additional, high quality and aspirational alternative provision for secondary students from the borough. We will post further information about this as and when it becomes available.