Rugby grammar schools look to mix up sixth forms

Rugby's two grammar schools look set to break with tradition and launch co-educational sixth forms.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 8:26 am
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 10:22 am
A-Level celebrations Lawrence Sheriff School, Clifton Road, Rugby. Pictured: Edward Brown (Headboy) & Gwen Temple NNL-160818-233056009

Rugby High School, which is an all-girls school, and the all-boys Lawrence Sheriff School, have put forward a proposal which would see both having mixed-sex sixth forms.

Both schools are graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and students regularly achieve more than 70 per cent A*to B grades at A-level, with the majority of students progressing on to higher education.

The schools have a long history of collaboration and for the past 25 years students have had the option to study one A-level at the other school.

And on Tuesday they announced that they have put forward a proposal to offer co-educational sixth forms where students from either school and from other schools in the area could take all of their A-levels. Both schools see the proposed move as the next stage in their long-standing partnership. If the proposal gets the go ahead students could attend either sixth form as of September 2018.

Charlotte Marten, head of Rugby High, said: “We have had an arrangement where students in sixth form have the option to study one subject. This way they can study a subject that is not done at their school, one example being that the boys school offers music where we do not and we offer drama where they do not.

“The proposals offer students the opportunity to take all of their A-level subjects either here or at Lawrence Sheriff. We currently get around 50 to 60 boys studying across year 12 and 13. The deal at the moment is that in September 2018 if this happens we have, in theory, 120 students who could be moving up into the sixth form and then we have an additional 90 places for students of any gender and from any school in the Rugby area.

“ I think it is true to say that both schools are excited about this proposal.”

Dr Peter Kent, head at Lawrence Sheriff school, said: “We currently admit 150 boys into our sixth form and then we will be opening a further 20 to 30 additional places for any students who want to join.

“We are not taking away places from the boys and I think this is a positive and interesting thing and see it as developing a long standing collaboration between the schools. This is a positive next step and both schools have grown and evolved and changed in sensible ways. We will continue to work together.”

Both schools are holding a consultation about the plans and will be making students, parents and those in the local community aware of the proposals through letters and newsletters.