Potential changes to Retford education will boost careers opportunities and skills locally

Education for students over 16 in Retford could see significant changes from Autumn 2018, with a wider range of A-Level and Technical courses being planned. Over the next two years, more adult courses including degrees could also be available in the town.

From September 2018, a wide range of A-Level courses will be delivered in the town’s two secondary academies – the Elizabethan Academy and Retford Oaks Academy. North Notts College are seeking approval to expand their use of the Retford Post 16 Centre, with the intention of offering an enhanced range of technical career focused courses to the local area.

The plans for the Centre are being developed by North Notts College, in partnership with the Academies, in response to the Government’s strategy to address expected increased demand for higher level professional and technical skills in the economy, particularly following Brexit. If approval is secured these improvements will offer an increased range of A-level equivalent courses, with the opportunity to progress onto HNC/HND and even degree level, making these qualifications more accessible for local students and their families. Academy and College leaders believe these changes will also enable and encourage graduates of the centre to stay in the area, adding to Retford’s local skilled workforce.

Both Retford Oaks Academy and the Elizabethan Academy are delighted that the teaching of A-Level qualifications will now take place within their academies.  Not only will this give younger students more contact with their older peers, offering them an aspirational outlook on further education, it will also ensure that A-Level students access support from teachers they are familiar with.   Additionally, they will gain important leadership skills by taking on responsibilities across their academies.

Students currently studying for A-Levels at the Retford Post-16 Centre will be given the choice to return in September 2018 to their base academy of the Elizabethan Academy or Retford Oaks Academy to continue their studies, or to swap if the other academy has a more suitable offer for them.

As this exciting opportunity develops more information will be available over the coming months.

The world is their oyster – Retford Post 16 students celebrate A Level success

Students at Retford Post 16 Centre are today looking forward to bright futures after a set of excellent A level results.

The centre is a collaboration between Retford Oaks Academy, The Elizabethan Academy and North Notts College, open to all young people in the wider Bassetlaw region who meet its entry criteria.

There were a number of wonderful student success stories on the day, including Sanaa Asim, who achieved an A* in English, an A in German and grade Bs in history and media. Sanaa will now be taking up her place to study German and Arabic at the prestigious St Hilda’s College, Oxford University.

The centre’s head boy and head girl are also celebrating considerable success. Abigail Robinson’s A grades in geography and biology and B in chemistry have secured her a place at the University of Leeds to study environmental science. Tatenda Nyatoro, who achieved a grade A in English, a B in biology and a D in chemistry, leaves the centre to study clinical science at the University of Bradford.

Joint-leads at the centre, Gemma Murphy (associate principal at Retford Oaks Academy) and Jason White (vice principal at The Elizabethan Academy), said: “Once again this year, our students have shown themselves to be worthy of their places here, demonstrating the incredibly strong work ethic and the focus required to excel.

“Well over a third of our students received the top grades and we have had particular successes in English and sociology, where results were above the national average.

“Our students have been great role models for our academies, showing high levels of maturity and independence during their time at Retford Post 16 – something we are particularly proud of.  We look forward to hearing of their future accomplishments, of which we have no doubt there will be many, and we are thrilled to see them take their next steps into higher education, employment and further training.

“The results show that the changes we have made at the centre since September are paying dividends, with many subjects posting better results than last year. There is a lot of talk in the press about how much harder the new exams are this year, so we are delighted with a pass rate of just under 99%.”

John Connolly, Principal at North Notts College, said: “Technical and vocational courses are a key part of the curriculum at Retford Post 16 Centre and we extend our congratulations to the high-achieving students studying these courses with us, and to all students receiving their results today. All have a great future as they move on to degree-level study.”