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FE quango will bankroll sixth-form centre

A new sixth-form centre is to open under local authority control, but will also be funded by the quango responsible for further education.

The Learning and Skills Council is to have a major stake in the centre being built in north London, even though it has been set up under school regulations.

Representatives of the local FE college, the college of North-East London, will be on the governing body.

Four schools in Haringey are to close their sixth forms and pupils will move to a pound;28 million development on a former Middlesex university campus. The LSC is providing pound;10m from its 16 to 19 capital fund to build the college.

The centre will combine traditional academic courses with specialist vocational subjects such as performing arts, sports studies and catering.

A spokeswoman for Haringey council said there had been close collaboration between the LEA and the LSC on the project.

She said: "The relationship is unique because the law has been amended to include representation on the governing body from the LSC and from the student body."

June Jarrett, currently principal of Cricklade college in Andover, Hampshire has been appointed to head the centre, due to open in September next year. She has recently bought a house in the Andover area and said it had not been an easy decision to move back to London, although she saw the new job as an opportunity she could not turn down.

She was among 16 applicants for the job, four of whom were shortlisted. Ms Jarrett said: "It is the opportunity of a lifetime to be involved in setting up something from nothing, to stamp my imprint from day one."

The college, which will cater for around 1,200 students, has yet to be named, though it has the working title of Haringey sixth-form centre.

Lindsay Bates, the LSC's director of strategy and skills, said: "The centre is a state-of-the-art facility and will be an exciting place for young people to study in."

Forty-two students from the feeder schools for the centre - White Hart Lane, Northumberland Park, Park View academy, Gladesmore and Moselle special school - attended a workshop to put forward their ideas for the building.

Haringey council hopes the development will play a major part in raising achievement levels of the borough's 16 to 19-year-olds and to encourage more to stay in full-time education.

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