Itchen College

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Coordinates: 50°54′31.18″N 1°21′27.77″W / 50.9086611°N 1.3577139°W / 50.9086611; -1.3577139

Itchen Sixth Form College
Type Sixth Form College
Principal Barry Hicks
Location Middle Road
Southampton
Hampshire
SO19 7TB
England England
Local authority Southampton
DfE URN 130704 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Coeducational
Ages 16–18
Publication ICoN Magazine
Website www.itchen.ac.uk

Itchen Sixth Form College, often known simply as Itchen College, is an educational facility on the eastern side of Southampton, active for over a century. Originally a co-educational secondary school, it later became Itchen Grammar School under the reforms of the Butler Education Act. Following further reform in the 1980s it is now a community sixth form college.

History[edit]

Woolston site[edit]

Itchen College opened on 6 October 1906[1] as a Pupil Teacher's Centre in Woolston. Around 1920 the Headmaster, Mr Hemmings, formed the Old Students Association to remain in contact with former pupils.[2]

Itchen Secondary School[edit]

It later became Itchen Co-educational Secondary School and the transfer of the main body of the school to temporary huts on this Middle Road site took place in 1921, with the remainder using Station Road Elementary School. The foundation stone for the present building in Middle Road was laid in December 1925, but many factors, including a major fire, meant that it was not fully completed until 1938. During the Second World War many pupils were evacuated to combine with Andover Grammar School and the school buildings were used as an ARP Post, and Casualty Station with Medical Services. In June 1940 French troops who escaped from Dunkirk were given tea and sandwiches by the WVS from the window of the Domestic Science room, but a British Restaurant was later established in the school dining hall. The Old Students Association was renamed the Old Issonians Association, the name derived from the school's then current initials "I.S.S." for Itchen Secondary School, and became very active with sporting, dramatic, and social activities for past pupils.

Itchen Grammar School[edit]

The school became Itchen Grammar School in September 1946, its final manifestation before being relaunched as the present Itchen College. The main grammar school buildings, typical of inter-war grammar school architecture, are still in use by the College.[3] The school grew in numbers after the war, and in 1956 there were extensive celebrations of the Jubilee of opening. The present day College remains proud of the institution's long history, continuous across the different types of school on the site, and in 2006 organised a year-long programme of activities and celebrations to mark the centenary of the original opening in 1906.[1] The school and college have always been co-educational, despite attempts in the 1950s to make the institution single-sex (for girls only). These attempts were resisted by the school and, forcefully, by the Old Issonians Association. In 1956 Charles Thompson (Headmaster 1950 - 1971) wrote: "The School's greatest source of strength is to be found in the fact that it is co-educational. From the earliest days of the Secondary School, when co-education was far less common than it is now, social activities involving both boys and girls were a readily accepted feature of the school."[4]

Itchen Sixth Form College[edit]

In 1971, following the retirement of long-serving Headmaster Charles Thompson, the Governors appointed Philip Vennis as Headmaster. Plans were already under discussion for development of the school into a Sixth Form College, and Vennis undertook the supervision of this transition during his Headship, retiring in 1988 as Principal of the College in its present form.

Current life and studies[edit]

Students are mainly from areas of Southampton east of the River Itchen and along the M27 corridor towards Fareham. Approximately 10% are international students. The college's Academy of Sport attracts over 100 students to improve their skills. Full-time students study a wide range of courses including vocational, GCSEs, BTECs, A Levels, and Foundation degrees.

In 2008 Ofsted awarded the college “outstanding” for equality of opportunity. The college was graded "1" or "2" in most curriculum areas, and the inspectors regarded the college as “good” overall, praising it for being “outstandingly inclusive, both educationally and socially”, and a college where “all students are made to feel particularly valued”.[5] In 2012 students achieved a 100% pass rate in 24 subjects at level 3.

Itchen Sixth Form College was widely publicised during the 2001 General Election after a visit by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Jo Balchin, an 18-year-old studying for three A-levels, asked Mr Blair about the effects of student loans and tuition fees, and enquired whether he was worried that "some kids might consider prostitution or drug-dealing to pay their way through university".[6]

Community partnership[edit]

The local community can access services in addition to education and training; such as the sports centre, nursery, concert hall, conference suite and sports field.

Notable former students[edit]

Itchen Grammar School[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hicks, Barry (2006-10-06). "Itchen College Celebrates Centenary". News archive. Itchen College Online. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  2. ^ "A Lifetime in English Education" by Diana Vennis, published 2012 by Matador (Leicestershire), ISBN 9781 780882 963, page 257.
  3. ^ External link to a private site with photographs of the buildings.
  4. ^ Charles Thompson, in "Itchen Grammar School Jubilee Magazine", published 1956 by Itchen Grammar School.
  5. ^ http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_providers/full/(urn)/130704
  6. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/low/english/newsid_1352000/1352424.stm
  7. ^ {http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/leisure/leisure_news/10692105.Drummer_weds_just_hours_before_losing_fight_with_cancer/ Obituary notice] with career notes.

External links[edit]