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Published 8th Apr 2011

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Trinity Catholic College is looking forward to an exciting future as it expands to include a sixth form.

The move will increase the Middlesbrough school’s upper age limit from 16 to 19, enabling students to continue their studies to A Level and further education.

This is linked to the closure of St Mary’s College. Formal decisions to enable both changes to happen have been taken by Middlesbrough Council and the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.

St Mary’s students will transfer to Trinity where they will continue their studies. Pupils will also be admitted into the sixth form from Trinity and from other schools.

The closure follows falling student numbers at St Mary’s in recent years, leaving it no longer viable as a stand-alone sixth form college.

The merger with Trinity emerged as a golden opportunity to secure the future of high-quality Catholic post-16 education for future generations of young people in Middlesbrough.

Extensive consultation was carried out and supported the decision taken at a meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s Executive on Tuesday, March 29.

The new sixth form will open on August 1 in preparation for the start of the new academic year in September.

The change coincides with the opening of Trinity Catholic College’s new building which was made possible thanks to major investment as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

The multi-million pound development on Saltersgill Avenue is currently under construction and is due for completion in September. In the meantime the school is operating across two sites following the merger of St David’s RC Technology College and The Newlands FCJ School.

Under the plans, the land and buildings of St Mary’s College will continue to be used by Trinity Catholic College as the sixth form arm of the school. The result would be Catholic education for young people aged 11-19 delivered from a single site under the leadership and governance of Trinity Catholic College.

Peter Coady, Headteacher of Trinity Catholic College, said: “St Mary’s College has been an integral feature of Catholic education in Middlesbrough for more than 100 years and we are very excited to be able to be part of that.

“Parents will be aware that there have been discussions to create an offer of Catholic 11-19 education since the start of the BSF programme and we are happy that this finally looks like becoming a reality.

“We are confident that we can offer something that builds on the best of both institutions and which will benefit pupils and the wider community for many generations to come.”

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