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Inquiry seeks public opinion

LAMBETH, south London, is launching a high-profile inquiry into the education of its 16 to 19-year-olds.

Headed by Professor Peter Goddard, Master of St John's college, Cambridge, who went to school in the area, the inquiry team are holding a series of three public meetings this week to allow parents, pupils and other interested parties to air their views.

Professor Goddard said: "The years 16-19 are an absolutely crucial period in a young person's educational development.

"Ensuring that this provision in Lambeth reaches the highest possible standards is important for the whole community."

At present, Lambeth's four schools with sixth frms have a total of just 280 pupils between them while more than 700 16 to 19-year-olds are enrolled at Lambeth College.

Last month it became the second borough in the country to be subject to a joint area-wide inspection of 16 to 19 provision by OFSTED, the Further Education Funding Council and the Training Standards Council. They are due to report within the next few weeks.

The other panel members are Dr Tony Sewell, of Leeds University School of Education, Anne Smith, former principal of John Ruskin College in Croydon, and Mary Marsh, head of Holland Park school, London.

Their recommendations will go to council later this year.

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