Sixth Form - Page 3 - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the timeframe? When will the facilities be open?
Architectural plans have been drawn up in consultation with Wycombe District Council and we expect to receive planning approval towards the end of Autumn. Detailed project costings are expected by September and we anticipate initiating the formal tender process shortly thereafter. Our intention is for building work to commence in Spring 2020 with an estimated opening during the academic year 2020/21.
What is the cost of the project?
We expect the total cost of the project to be approximately £1.2m
How are you raising the funds?
There will be a substantial investment in the project from RGS and we are running a fundraising campaign to secure the remaining funds. We will be asking all members of the school community to join us in our fundraising efforts including alumni and current and former parents. In addition, we are applying for funding from relevant charitable trusts and foundations, alongside and other grant giving bodies.
How does current provision compare to other schools?
It compares poorly. All other local grammar schools have a dedicated sixth form centre as do many of the upper secondary school and colleges.
What is the need/what are the benefits?
Provision of space and facilities for sixth formers have been highlighted as areas of need at RGS.
Will these facilities have an impact on results?
Results at both GCSE and A-Level are consistently high. In 2018, 73% of GCSE results were graded at levels 9 – 7. At A-Level 74% of results were A*-B, with 46% at A* - A. These results were achieved despite having only one space for dedicated use for our Year 13 boys – a single space combining private study, small group work, open discussion and socialising for almost 200 boys. With dedicated spaces for private study, research, collaborative work and recreation it is our expectation that these results could be even higher. The sixth form centre will also be designed to support the provision of our leadership and development skills programmes promoting and encouraging flexible skills in addition to academic achievements.
Will this mean an increase in student capacity in the 6th form?
Whilst an increase in student numbers might be considered in the future that is not the purpose of the project.
Can you get match funding for this?
Yes. A number of companies offer match funding for donations made by their employees to charity.
What is the cost of educating a pupil through years 12 and 13?
It costs approximately £4,600 per pupil
How much money do you get from the government per pupil in years 12 and 13?
We receive approximately £4,600 per pupil
Are there students leaving to go elsewhere because of this lack of provision?
Over the past three years we have seen a slight increase in the numbers of leavers by choice at the end of year 11. The number of new boys joining the sixth form over the same time period has also seen a decrease. There are a number of reasons for this one of which is the lack of a sixth form centre.
Will the new sixth form centre have its own IT facilities and library?
The architectural plans can be viewed at school or on our website.
I am fundamentally/ethically opposed to state-funded schools asking parents for financial support. If it’s needed, why isn’t government funding it?
Our reality is that, following year-on-year government budget cuts to education, we have had to make significant reductions in school expenditure. Over 80% of our government income is spent on salaries for staff as well as every day running costs. To ensure that government income cuts do not impact the education we offer our boys, we rely on securing support in addition to funds from government.
As a school, we have an ethical duty to our students to provide them with the best all-round education we possibly can. Our facilities are a vital part of the provision.
We don’t believe that a lack of government funding is a good enough reason to allow an under-investment in our facilities. Our students deserve spaces that are fit for the purpose of achieving excellence.
What will happen if you don’t raise the funds?
We’re confident of raising the funds to deliver the project
How are you ensuring that you are getting value for money in the project/controlling the costs/how is the school monitoring that?
We will operate a full tendering process and expect between 3 and 5 contractors to submit detailed quotations for consideration.
How disruptive will the build be and how are you mitigating against the disruption?
Any project of this size will cause some disruption. However, we do not believe it will have a major impact on daily school life.
Have you undertaken a project on this scale before?
The school has a long history of managing building projects across its site.
I already give to the school via AF/Friends of/PTA run events – do you expect me to give more?
The generosity of our parents and the whole RGS community, both in terms of time and money, is hugely appreciated. This support enables us, collectively, to provide the very best education we can for your sons. Nobody is expected to give more or less than they feel inclined to give. The purpose of the fundraising campaign is to enable anyone who wants to support this project financially to do so.
My son left the school some years ago, it is for current parents to get this done
We are talking to the whole RGS community about this project including former students and current and former parents. Whilst the facilities we are proposing will be used by our current boys and the generations of boys yet to join RGS, we know how much our alumni and their parents have valued the education they received at RGS.
How will my money make a difference?
Undertaking this kind of project in a state school, with the financial constraints we operate under, is ambitious. We feel strongly that the provision of these facilities is necessary and so we are asking everyone with a connection to the school to consider supporting the project at whatever level they feel able to commit to. It is by working together that we will make the project happen – every donation will make a difference.