Yes to new school on Rye College campus

RYE’S new Studio School got the green light from planners at Rother when they approved the application last Thursday.

Approval was conditional as to agreed building materials but this should be a technical formality.

It means the new school is on course to open its doors in September this year.

It will be one of only a few Studio Schools in the country and the first in the South East.

It will specialise in the arts and offer work placements to students.

The new school has already appointed Jo Townshend as its head. Jo was a key member of the Rye College leadership team.

Rye College Principal Ann Cockerham said: “This is absolutely pioneering and something that the whole community can be proud of.”

Staff have already been recruited for the new school and it has been promoted along the south coast and in Kent as the intake is expected to come from a wide area.

The new school will also see pots 16 education returning to Rye for the first time in more than a decade.

Ann Cockerham said: “We have formed a partnership with Rye Museum, the School Creative Centre and the Fletcher Group and already have a large percentage of the Rye community behind us.”

The school will be Government funded and independently run and will not come under the local education authority, East Sussex County Council.

Explaining the concept behind Studio Schools, Ann Cockerham said: “They are a cross-party initiative and something radical to address growing unemployment in young people aged 18 - 24.

“Young people are coming out of university with qualifications but not the skill-set needed to walk into a company and hit the ground running.

“We currently have one of the highest levels of Job Seeker’s Allowance claimants in the region.

“At the Studio School students can build a portfolio of experience and skills that employers say they need.”