Skip to main content
Dudley Council
Dudley Skyline

Bosses welcome “historic” Eton agreement

Posted on:

Plans for the prestigious Eton College to set up in Dudley have been praised as “historic” by Dudley Council bosses.

The internationally renowned education centre has chosen Dudley as one of three sites across the country.

Famed for producing world leaders, the college has been in talks with Dudley Council for some time over setting up a new sixth form free school in the town.

The venture, by Star Academies and Eton College, will help young people achieve the A-levels they need to go to Oxbridge and other elite universities.

It is part of the Department for Education’s Free School Programme, a process expected to get underway in the next few months, with a view to the college welcoming their first students as soon as 2025. The other two colleges are in Middlesbrough and Oldham.

Dudley Council leaders today hailed the prospect as a critical piece of the £1billion regeneration masterplan which includes the Midland Metro extension to Brierley Hill, a Very Light Rail test track and innovation centre and a university campus at Castle Hill.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

This is a hugely exciting step forward for Dudley which will give young people from our area a tremendous academic opportunity to benefit from an Eton-style curriculum and teaching approach to help give some of our brightest Black Country students an accelerator to the top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
We fully welcome this inclusive opportunity which removes boundaries and allows our own young people the chance many could only dream of.
The inclusion of Dudley in this proposed scheme again shows the desire from outside to invest in Dudley and from a regeneration perspective a new-build development of this kind will complement the other new educational facilities including the new Dudley College buildings such as the Institute of Technology and the proposed Health Innovation Dudley on Castle Hill.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said:

It is absolutely critical that we continue to provide opportunities for our young people to flourish. We are a child friendly Dudley and that means providing support and opportunities for children and families at every stage of their development so they can reach their full potential.
We have made an initial pledge to Eton College and we look forward to working with them on making this a reality. The potential for local young people is limitless.
Dudley borough really will offer young people every opportunity to succeed and fulfil their potential, from primary school through to A-levels with outstanding university prospects and job opportunities at the end of it.

Star Academies Chief Executive Sir Hamid Patel CBE said:

This marks an exciting milestone in our partnership. By harnessing our combined wealth of educational and operational expertise, we are confident that our colleges will produce extraordinary, transformative outcomes, not only for their students but for the wider communities too. Our mission has always been to change lives for the better and to open doors for young people to access the best opportunities, but these colleges will have a wider, positive impact throughout the communities of Dudley, Middlesbrough and Oldham. They will become anchor institutions that make a significant contribution by playing a leading role in addressing skills shortages and helping to drive up standards in education.

Head Master of Eton, Simon Henderson, said:

We are delighted to be bidding to open these colleges in Dudley, Middlesbrough and Oldham. Our partnership with Star Academies is intended to ensure that the success of the project is greater than the sum of its parts. While our contexts may be different, our values are aligned and together we are committed, for the long-term, to sharing our educational vision and delivering outstanding educational opportunities to young people in these areas.

If the bid by Star Academies and Eton College is successful the new schools will be part of Blackburn-based Star Academies, which runs both primary and secondary schools in some of the most deprived communities in the North and West Midlands.

These co-ed schools would include access to some of Eton’s best teachers, its clubs and its speaker events. Students will also get help preparing for university applications and interviews.

About the Author

Press Office

Copyright

You are free to share, modify, and use images from the news release pages on www.dudley.gov.uk for any purpose and without any restrictions under Public Domain Dedication - see our Copyright Statement.