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Sixth form plans set for green light

PUBLISHED: 09:59 16 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:58 06 July 2010

Hayley Mace

A major project to revolutionise post-16 education in Lowestoft looks set to pass its final hurdle later this month.

Suffolk County Council is poised to give the final green light to proposals for a new sixth form centre to be built on St Peter's Street to replace the sixth forms at the town's three high schools.

A major project to revolutionise post-16 education in Lowestoft looks set to pass its final hurdle later this month.

Suffolk County Council is poised to give the final green light to proposals for a new sixth form centre to be built on St Peter's Street to replace the sixth forms at the town's three high schools.

Designed to improve levels of post-16 education in Lowestoft, the purpose-built sixth form college will house about 950 students and is due to open in September 2011 when the town's middle schools are scrapped and high schools take pupils from ages 11 to 16 only as part of the county council's schools reorganisation to a two-tier education system.

The proposals are recommended for approval by the county council's development control committee when it meets on Thursday.

The planned building, estimated at £28m, features an open internal atrium providing open plan study space and a grass quad which will form the natural centre of the campus.

The Learning and Skills Council has already pledged £15m towards the development, which will be built next to the existing Lowestoft College and will have new sports facilities at nearby Barnard's Meadow.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said that the new sixth form college will give teenagers more choice and a wider range of opportunities.

He said: “As part of the school organisation review, we identified a real need to make the learning opportunities for young people in the area more varied and exciting. A purpose-built 21st century facility will certainly help achieve this.

“The school organisation review will also see the county council invest a further £40km in schools in the area, including £12m for a new high school at Pakefield.”

The sixth form college will have new vehicle access from Rotterdam Road leading to a staff and visitor car park. It will also have pedestrian links with the neighbouring Water Lane sports centre.

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