RYE College has unveiled ambitious plans to establish the first Studio School in the South of England.

Studio Schools are a new Government concept which sees the school forming close links with national and local employers.

The school would not replace the College but co-exist with it as a sister-school.

The College wants to build on its existing success in the arts to form strong links with creative industries.

Part of the Rye school’s vision would see students working alongside artists at Rye Creative Centre and having more work placement experience.

Currently there are only 17 Studio Schools in the UK, mostly centred around the Reading area and the North of England.

In Studio Schools all students are assigned a ‘personal coach’ who meets with them one-to-one every fortnight to develop their own personalised learning plan.

This allows students to tailor their curriculum to their individual needs and aspirations and track their progress towards qualifications.

College Principal Ann Cockerham (pictured left) said: “This could make such a difference for young people locally.

“This area is a real media corridor and we can build on that.

“The Rye Studio School will build on proven success in the visual and performing arts and enable students to gain the skills needed to succeed within the creative industries.”

On the arts side, students could gain hands on experience in curating exhibitions and learning about the technical side of performances”

The College will be submitting its application the Department of Education by the end of the month and is looking for support from local employers.

They can support the College by going to its web-site and filling in an online survey or contacting Principal Ann Cockerham.

The announcement comes just weeks after news the College plans to opt out of the Local Education Authority and become independent by applying for Academy status. It is hoped the move could see post 16 education returning to Rye.

This would allow the College to set its own pay and conditions for staff and control term times and the length of the school day.

Students from Rye College will be able to transfer to the Studio School in Year 10.

They will study maths, English, science and ICT plus a choice of practical, vocational courses.

At the age of 16, they will be able to enter a job or an apprenticeship or they can progress their studies further into Years 12 and 13 at the Studio School.

Post 16 courses at the Studio School will include A levels as well as Level 2 and 3 vocational courses.

Students from other schools in Kent and in East Sussex will be considered for places in Years 10 and 11 and in Years 12 and 13.