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Two applications for every sixth form place in Richmond
Demand for sixth form places outstripped supply by two to one, latest figures have revealed.
The borough’s five new sixth forms opened in September, with applications for places “exceeding expectations”.
Richmond Council cabinet member for schools Councillor Paul Hodgins said the figures demonstrated how in-demand the borough’s schools were.
He said: “As we can see from our latest GCSE and English Baccalaureate results which were confirmed last week, children and young people receive an excellent education in Richmond.
“Now our talented young people who live in the borough have the opportunity to pursue further education within their own schools.
“I have no doubt that the proud tradition of our schools providing first class educational standards and attracting the best teachers will continue and I look forward to watching young people and teachers alike shine for Richmond in years to come.”
The council has invested millions into developing sixth form buildings at Waldegrave, Christ’s, Grey Court, Orleans Park and Teddington Academy.
Liberal Democrat spokesman for education Coun Gareth Roberts hit out at Coun Hodgins, claiming the schools cabinet member was deflecting attention away from an imminent schools places crisis.
He said: “This is typical, self-congratulatory misdirection from the Tories - they hope everyone will focus on their narrative about sixth forms and not notice that the borough is facing an impending secondary school places crisis.
“For many families across the borough the idea of having any sort of choice of secondary school is a complete non-starter and this problem will only get worse when the primary bulge and expansion classes of recent years enter the secondary system.
“It is therefore nothing short of a disgrace that in four years the Conservatives have focused their entire energies on sixth forms, only pausing to consider a new community secondary school in the last gasps of their administration.”
The St Richard Reynolds secondary school opened in Twickenham last year, with the school providing up to 300 sixth form places in the future.
Last year Twickenham Academy, run by the Learning Schools Trust, opened its post-16 provision and has enrolled 120 pupils.
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