School to get college classes

PUBLISHED: 10:53 17 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

A SITE inside the Queen's School campus in Wisbech is to become home to a 'satellite' unit for the new College of West Anglia, expected to be built on the outskirts of March. Stephen McKenna, head of the Queen's School, believes the Wisbech unit and the

A SITE inside the Queen's School campus in Wisbech is to become home to a 'satellite' unit for the new College of West Anglia, expected to be built on the outskirts of March. Stephen McKenna, head of the Queen's School, believes the Wisbech unit and the March super-college herald unrivalled opportunities for Fenland. "We should see this as bringing benefits to all," he said. "It really is 'win-win'."Mr McKenna added: "There are no losers because the expanded college will have so much more to offer, not only in further education but also higher education."Governors of the Queen's have backed their head's enthusiasm for the new college in March, and say they have been kept informed "at every stage of the preparation of the proposal to merge the Isle College and the College of West Anglia." It was the governors' decision to "make a portion of land available to the new college to put up a new building"Mr McKenna said it was common knowledge the Isle College was too small to draw down funding to enable it to grow and prosper on the current site. By switching to a new, purpose-built site in March, it offered the potential to attract substantial extra support from local authorities and from the Learning and Skills Council.Wisbech, he said, would do very well out of the new set-up and a cleared tract of land at the Queen's has been identified for the new 'satellite' unit, to cost between £4million and £7million. Mr McKenna expected it could offer increased opportunities for those studying tourism, leisure, construction and sports and fitness - the latter fitting in with the Queen's recently acquired specialist status in sport."We may even be able to provide other subjects, such as health and beauty within the new centre," he said. "Everything about the scheme is highly positive. It will bring a great deal of benefit to 14-19 year-olds and beyond." Mr McKenna, 54, head at Queen's for 11 years, expects the new college to open by the autumn of 2009, and he is expected to jointly manage the Wisbech end of the new Fenland operation.He said Queen's, which currently has 1,400 pupils on its roll, would continue to offer the full range of advanced level courses and the new buildings would bring greater opportunities for vocational training at every level."The merger strengthens our position as an A-level centre into the future," he added, "and we have been happy to work with the new college management team."Heads from the district's major schools in March, Whittlesey and Chatteris, were among those invited to a meeting on Monday night at the Queen's to be updated on the merger proposals. Key speaker was Peter Stewart, principal designate of the new college.

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