St Albans schools join forces to offer new opportunities to students

STAGS Headteacher Margaret Chapman, Samuel Ryder head Matt Gauthier, Marlborough Science Academy hea

STAGS Headteacher Margaret Chapman, Samuel Ryder head Matt Gauthier, Marlborough Science Academy head Annie Thompson, Townsend CE head Andrew Wellbeloved and Loreto College head Maire Lynch at the launch of the Alban Learning Partners - Credit: Archant

The doors have been opened to a wealth of academic opportunities for hundreds of secondary pupils in St Albans following the launch of a new five-school consortium.

Loreto College has joined St Albans Girls’ School (STAGS), Townsend Church of England School, Samuel Ryder Academy and The Marlborough Science Academy in extending provision for students aged 16-18 through the Alban Learning Partners consortium.

Head teachers from the five schools met at St Albans Library last Thursday (12) as part of the launch, where there is a large display showing what the collaboration will offer to students.

Matt Gauthier, head teacher at Samuel Ryder, said that over 800 pupils would benefit from the consortium.

Marlborough head teacher Annie Thomson added: “This will offer opportunities to a large number of young people in St Albans. We all work cooperatively anyway.

“It also helps encourage pupils to socialise with others - all our schools have strong pastoral programmes. There are high levels of communication between the heads of schools, staff and pupils. Each school wants to deliver and share skills, to maximise opportunities for all our young people.”

Mr Gauthier continued: “We provide transport to each other’s schools, so pupils can access facilities elsewhere, including sports, and they can be part of other sixth forms too.”

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Andrew Wellbeloved, head of Townsend, said: “It means that pupils have access to the best possible education at all levels, and other opportunities.”

Apart from broadening educational opportunities, Alban Learning Partners aims to encourage post-16 pupils to take up a variety of leadership roles, along with charity work, trips, participation in community projects and volunteering.

The school leaders said the consortium had built upon years of inter-school cooperation.

Margaret Chapman, head teacher of STAGS, explained that teachers leading the sixth form at each of the five schools were “in almost daily contact. There is a lot going on, it is very exciting. Pupils are engaged in the process, and we work hard to make sure they are fully supported.”

Parents and pupils have thrown their support behind Alban Learning Partners, particularly as while one aim is to boost educational goals, another is to help students meet their career aspirations.