New school bid submitted

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A new school teaching around 300 students could open in Bicester by September 2016 if government funding is approved.

Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) is the lead sponsor for plans for a purpose built ‘studio school’ on the Kingsmere housing development to the west of the town. Studio schools offer 14-19 year olds vocational subjects alongside academic ones as an alternative to secondary school education.

Lee Nicholls, executive director of curriculum, standards, and academies at OCVC explained the school would specialise in sustainable construction and engineering logistics.

He said: “The area is growing in popularity and projections suggest there needs to be additional school places. This type of school provides something different from the traditional, more academically driven schools. It provides choice in the market.”

OCVC’s proposal has been developed in partnership with Bicester Vision and local employers including Chiltern Railways, Red Engineering Design, The Zeta Group and Clearview Traffic.

Mr Nicholls added: “We need employers to get behind the studio school to make those specialisms link to the world of work. Students would learn their curriculum through project work.”

The Department of Education will decide which bids get the green light by spring of 2014.