By Nigel Slater 26/07 Updated: 26/07 11:49
PLANS to open a new studio school in Evesham next year have been dashed after the Government rejected the proposal.
South Worcestershire College based in Davies Road, Evesham, revealed in January a proposal to expand with a new school for 300 pupils aged between 13 and 18 to open in September 2013.
Named the South Worcestershire School of Enterprise, the school wanted to give youngsters real-life employability skills, vocational training as well as core GCSE subjects including Maths, English, Science, Business Studies and Information Technology.
The new school would also give students weekly work experience to develop personal skills and personal coaching to make sure they are ready for work as soon as they leave.
But the proposal has had to be put on hold after it was not included in a list announced by the Department for Education last Wednesday (July 18) of 15 new studio schools to open next year.
Despite the setback, the college has been invited by the Government to re-apply again to open in 2014 and Michael O'Brien, principal of South Worcestershire College, said the college will continue to work on the proposal.
"We are hugely disappointed at the announcement particularly after such positive and encouraging feedback at the interview stage in May," he said.
"However we are strongly committed to providing the young people of Evesham and the surrounding area with the skills and opportunity to build their own successful comapanies."
The new school plans caused controversy when they were announced among existing Vale headteachers Caroline Browne, Bernard Roberts and Clive Corbett who wrote a joint letter to parents outlining their concerns.
But Mr O'Brien said they were not giving up hope.
"We have been invited to apply again to open in September 2014 and there is a second possibility that the Department for Education will also allow colleges to recruit students directly at 14," he added.
"Therefore we are determined to continue in the coming year with this proposal to provide entrepreneurial and vocational education for the young people in the Vale of Evesham."
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