Braintree Sixth Form
|Headteacher||Mr Simon Thompson|
|Chair of Governors||Mr David Gask|
|Local authority||Essex County Council|
Up until 1981 post 16 education in Braintree took place in Sixth Forms located in each of the town's schools. In 1981 Essex County Council closed the separate Sixth Forms at the Schools in Braintree and moved post 16 education to a new purpose built FE (Further Education) college, Braintree College, later becoming part of the Colchester Institute. The opening of Braintree Sixth Form in 2009 marks a return to school based Sixth Form education in Braintree.
Development and opening
In 2006 Notley High School was awarded High Performing Specialist Status because of its examination results. Schools with High Performing Status are allowed to take on a new specialism and so the school chose to specialise in vocational learning (now called Applied Learning). This allowed the school to exercise the legal presumption in favour of opening a Sixth Form.
The Secondary schools in Braintree are strongly committed to collaborating and working together to benefit the children of Braintree and so a decision was taken by the governors of Notley High School that the new Sixth Form should not be a Sixth Form for just Notley students, it should instead be for the benefit of the whole of Braintree. A decision was therefore taken to name the new Sixth Form as "Braintree Sixth Form."
The LSC (Learning and Skills Council) gave approval for the opening of the Sixth Form in December 2006 and Essex County Council formally approved the plan on 16 January 2007. The LSC then committed approximately £6 millions to fund the costs of building and developing the new Sixth Form building, subject to formal planning consent which was given on 26 October 2007.
The new Sixth Form building was constructed on land adjacent to Notley High School. The building project took place between March 2008 and August 2009 and the completed building was handed over in August 2009. The Sixth Form formally opened with its student body on Wednesday 2 September 2009. The formal opening of the Sixth Form took place on Wednesday 7 October 2009 with Dorothy Gardner, the first headteacher of Notley High School and Angela Comfort, the first chair of Governors of Notley High School, carrying out the unveiling of the commemorative plaque.
The four schools collaborating for the benefit of Braintree Sixth Form are: Notley High School, Tabor Academy, Honywood Community Science School and Alec Hunter Academy. The schools provide the staff to the Sixth Form and support the ethos and culture of high expectations which permeates the Sixth Form.
In addition to academic programmes the Sixth Form offers enrichment opportunities which include the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (D of E) and a range of voluntary options.
The building and facilities
The Sixth Form building contains two purpose built science labs, two large ICT rooms, fifteen general purpose classrooms, a Sixth Form library, cafe and a large theatre which is shared with the Braintree Arts Theatre
Admissions and applications
The Sixth Form is very significantly oversubscribed. There were approximately 300 applications for the 150 places available in September 2009.
- Green Light for the Braintree Sixth Form Centre, Notley High School Newsletter, 1 February 2007 Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Essex County Council School Organisation Committee Soc/01/07[permanent dead link]
- Essex County Council Development and Regulation Committee, 26 October 2007, DR/078/07[permanent dead link] and Minutes of the Development and Regulation Committee[permanent dead link]
- 'This is Essex' article, Braintree Sixth Form Centre Ushers in New Era, Thursday 29 August 2009
- Braintree and Whitham Times, 2 September 2009, Braintree: New Sixth Form Centre Opens Today
- The Daily Gazette, Wednesday 14 October 2009, Sixth Form Returns to Notley High
- The Daily Gazette, Thursday 20 November 2008, Braintree: Sixth Form full before it's open