New Sixth Form provision at Dixons Academies

We are writing to all local admissions authorities and other interested parties to consult formally on the opening of a new Dixons Sixth Form provision in Bradford under the government's Free School mechanism.

As you may have heard, we already have first stage approval to open in September 2019, and the ESFA has recently procured a suitable site.

The new facility will open at Douglas Mill off Manchester Road, close to but separate from Dixons City Academy.  It will replace our existing provision at Dixons City and Dixons McMillan Academies, and will also take students from our two 11-16 Academies, Dixons Kings and Dixons Trinity.  With several local school-based sixth forms closing or proposed to close, Bradford this year has a shortage of Post 16 places.  Our proposed provision will also go some way to meeting this need.

As you will be aware, funding for Sixth Forms has been cut significantly in the past couple of years.  It is very important to us that we preserve our sixth form offer and continue to provide a wide curriculum at A Level (alongside some vocational courses), without subsidising or creaming off money from students in Years 7-11.  One reason for our success at KS3 and KS4 is that our academies are generally smaller than average.  However, to run several small separate sixth forms across the city would not now be economically viable in the long term.  It is in response to these issues that for the past few years we have been looking for a city-centre site where we could accommodate all of our Post 16 students from our nearby academies together on one single sixth form site.  The first year group to benefit from this move will be next year’s Year 11, our current Year 10.

The advantages of bringing McMillan, City, Kings and Trinity Post 16 students together onto one site are as follows:

  • More places:  we shall be able to accommodate every Dixons student who meets the entry criteria.
  • More courses:  we can offer an even broader range of subject choice.
  • A better extra-and co-curricular offer:  a broader range of activities beyond the classroom and a wider range of sports teams.
  • Its own unique ethos and expectations:  providing a more business-like and mature culture as a stepping stone between school and the adult world.
  • Balanced staffing:  dedicated A Level teachers, with some staff familiar to students from their previous academy.
  • New learning and friends: drawn from across the Dixons family of schools.
  • A tighter focus:  the new Sixth Form Academy will be exclusively dedicated to success at Advanced Level and progression onto university, an apprenticeship or employment.
  • More KS3 and KS4 places:  we shall free up space in our heavily-oversubscribed existing academies to offer some more places in Years 7 – 11.

The eventual admission number of the provision will be 440.  We will open with 330 Year 12 students in 2019 following partial handover of the site, rising to our full capacity of 880 students by September 2021.  Year 12 students starting their courses this year will finish their courses in our existing provision at City and McMillan, which will then close in 2020.  As the project develops, updates will be posted on our website (http://www.dixons6a.com).

We enclose the proposed Admissions arrangements for the new Sixth Form Academy.  We would be very interested in any comments you might have on these proposals before consultation closes on Friday 14th September 2018.  In addition, there will be an open public meeting held at our Dixons McMillan site (Trinity Road, BD5 0JD) on Tuesday 11th September at 6.00 p.m.  A response from you would be very much appreciated.


Consultation

Published: 23/07/2018
Audience: Schools and sixth-form establishments
Contact: Mark Rothery

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