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Sixth-forms vie for extra cash

Plans to create England's most southerly sixth form have led to a row between a school and college both aiming to build state-of-the-art facilities in the area.

Children in Penrith are the only pupils in the country not to have the choice between a tertiary college or school sixth form, but will soon be inundated with facilities - including an "extreme" sports centre and an off-site "world class" water sports centre.

But plans for the sports centre and a Pounds 5 million sixth form at Mounts Bay School, near Penzance, have angered bosses at a local college, who are also hoping to build in the town. They say the new sixth form would be competition and lead to fewer students in their refurbished classrooms.

Mounts Bay is a high-performing school, so it could get funding from the Learning and Skills Council for the sixth form. But a Pounds 30m programme is updating Truro Penwith College, the only previous post-school option for Mounts Bay pupils.

Sara Davey, head of Mounts Bay, said she had been trying to work with the college without success.

"Cornwall is an area with high unemployment and deprivation in some parts, so surely any extra money for schools has got to be brilliant for the community and should be welcomed by all," she said.

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