The government has approved plans by the University of Birmingham to found the University of Birmingham School and Sixth Form, it was announced on Friday.
A statement on the University website has said, ‘This initiative enables the University to extend its excellent academic education to 11-18 year olds in Birmingham and continue to provide outstanding teacher training to the next generation of inspiring teachers. This will be the UK’s first University Training school outside London and one of the first university proposals approved by the Department for Education.
'The new University of Birmingham School and Sixth Form school will be a free, mixed ability, co-educational state school for students aged 11-16, plus sixth formers.'
The institution is expected to accomodate students from around the city, but will be situated near to the main campus of the University in Edgbaston. The University has said that that the new school will help to 'meet the anticipated shortfall in secondary school places across Birmingham and to play an important part in continuing to raise the quality of secondary education across the city.'
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University Professor Edward Peck has said, 'Our ambition is to enable young people from across the Birmingham region, whatever their background, to reach their maximum potential.' He added, 'As well as providing an academically excellent educational experience for pupils, irrespective of ability, we will also have a significant focus on citizenship, ensuring that our pupils develop a keen sense of their role in and responsibility to society.'
The University has said that the new school will 'work closely with the University’s Education department driving forward world-class research in teaching and school improvement.' New students will not have sit entrance examinations, and admission will not be based on religious, social or economic considerations. The University has added that, 'Students with special educational needs (SEN) will benefit from the University’s expertise in SEN education.'
The Vice-Chancellor David Eastwood commented that, ‘This is a very significant time in the University’s history and ensures that we extend our commitment to our founder Joseph Chamberlain’s vision of establishing a ‘great school of universal instruction’ in Birmingham. This exciting initiative will not only enable us to share our values and have a positive impact on students from across Birmingham from as young as 11, it will also ensure that we develop the next generation of inspiring teachers for our region and the country.’
The school is expected to open in September 2014. Further information can be found on the University of Birmingham website.