DfE chooses Co-op to run Manchester Sixth-form College

DfE chooses Co-op to run Manchester Sixth-form College

The Co-op Academies Trust has been chosen by the Department of Education to run the Connell Sixth Form College in East Manchester, it was announced today – 10 July 2018.

The transfer from the Bright Futures Educational Trust means that the Co-op will offer all students in Greater Manchester, including those that attend its four academies in North Manchester and Salford, a mixture of both academic and vocational courses at 6th form.

The move involves all existing Connell staff being transferred to the Co-op Academies Trust, which runs a total of 12 academies in the Greater Manchester, Leeds and Stoke-on Trent areas. The Trust has stated that there are no plans to make anyone redundant at the recently built college located next to the Etihad Stadium as a result of the rebrokerage.

The Co-op, which is the largest corporate sponsor of academies, earlier this year announced plans to more than treble the number of academies it runs to about 40 by 2022.

Frank Norris, Director of the Co-op Academies Trust said: “The excellent facilities and the quality of the teaching together with its location and first class transport links means that for the first time we will be able to offer sixth form places to the whole of Greater Manchester.”

“We have demonstrated that a focus on improving the quality of teaching, strongly applying co-operative values and principles, effective governance and the ability to leverage the resources from the Co-op can have a dramatic positive impact.

“We intend to offer a well-rounded blend of courses designed to appeal to all students regardless of their sixth form preferences.”

John Stephens, CEO of Bright Futures said: “Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET) has been in constructive discussions with the Department for Education, Manchester City Council and other partners for some time to secure the future of Connell Sixth Form College.

“In line with our planning for sustainability, we are delighted that Connell will transfer to the Co-op Academies Trust. This will enable Connell to continue providing high quality post 16 education to the young people of Greater Manchester.

“The College leaves BFET as one of the top 10% post 16 education providers nationwide following fantastic A level and BTec results in 2017. In 2018 it was rated as a ‘good’ provider by Ofsted, who praised the strength of the College’s leadership. The transfer means that Connell will continue to grow and improve.”

Jane Hopcroft, Principal of Connell Sixth Form College said: “This is fantastic news and a very positive strategic move that will ensure sixth formers in the area enjoy access to a broad, high quality post-16 offer.

“I am confident that this transition will build further on our strengths to develop and improve the educational landscape for the benefit of school leavers, businesses and the wider local community.”