SCHOOL pupils in Saddleworth may soon have a new name to aim for as they make their journey through education – Eton.
For the famous college is committed to opening a sixth form college in Oldham after approval from the Department for Education.
Eton Star Oldham is looking for a site to set up in the town after their plans were given the go ahead by Government.
As yet, no timescale has been placed on the project, which will be in partnership with Star Academies.
Now the concept has received the all clear, work has started with Oldham Council with to agree a site.
From there, the schools must be designed, a planning application submitted and approved, with admission policies needing to be decided and staff recruited.
However, Eton Star says it will, ‘recruit dynamic young people from deprived communities in the town and surrounding areas and provide them with a rigorous and rounded education and support them to achieve places at the very best universities.’
Eton Star Oldham will be a free school, meaning it is a state school academy, outside of local authority control and funded directly by the Department for Education.
However, Oldham Council is strongly supportive of the scheme, with leader, Cllr Arooj Shah and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham backing it.
Eton’s headmaster Simon Henderson said: “We are delighted by this decision.
“We believe Eton Star Oldham has the potential to be transformative both for the young people who attend and for the wider communities it will serve. Now the hard work really starts as we turn our vision into reality.
“Collaborative partnership will be key to this project’s success and we are very grateful for the support we have had already from Oldham Council, from the local communities and from our colleagues in other educational settings.”
Star Academies Chief Executive Sir Hamid Patel CBE added: “This marks an exciting milestone.
“We are confident that Eton Star Oldham will produce extraordinary, transformative outcomes, not only for its students but for the wider community too.
“With a growing demand for sixth form places Oldham and the north of Greater Manchester, we aim to enable more young people to benefit from a high-quality academic education and to broaden the opportunities available to them both during and after their sixth form studies.”
Councillor Shah said: “I’m thrilled that Government have backed the proposals for a new Eton College and Star Academies sixth form college right here in the heart of Oldham.
“For a young person growing up in Oldham, this is really exciting news, as this new sixth form will open up incredible academic opportunities – providing an unrivalled educational experience that will enable every child, wherever they live and whatever their background, to fulfil their potential.
“This new sixth form will provide a fantastic opportunity for Oldham’s young people to access a truly world class education; with access to some of Eton and Star’s best teachers, its clubs and its speaker events, as well as the chance to take part in a summer residential at Eton itself.
“This will give children who would never have had these opportunities the chance to shine and not just to fulfil their potential, but to experience things they would never have thought possible.
“Eton and Star both have an outstanding reputation in providing the very best education, which is just what Oldham’s young people deserve.
“That’s why I’m delighted that today we have taken a huge step forward in making this fantastic idea a reality.”