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The University of Birmingham is hoping to extend its excellent academic education to 11-18 year olds in Birmingham and is preparing to submit plans for a new free school to the Department for Education.

If approved, the new University of Birmingham School and Sixth Form school will be a mixed ability, co-educational state school for pupils aged 11-16 plus sixth formers. It will be based near to the University’s main campus in Edgbaston/Selly Oak and focus on academic rather than vocational subjects in order to prepare pupils for selective universities. The School aims to open in September 2014, taking 150 pupils into Year 7 and 200 into the Sixth Form.  

The University School would also be a centre for teacher training with close links to the University’s School of Education, which has been rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted. The University is working in collaboration with the Training and Development Agency for Schools to develop its proposals and if successful, Birmingham would be one of the first University training schools in the country.

Commenting on the proposals, Professor Edward Peck, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Birmingham said: “As a university we are very committed to academic excellence and to raising aspiration and widening participation in higher education. This exciting initiative will enable us to share these values and have a positive impact on pupils across Birmingham from as young as 11. We are very clear that there will be no entrance exams for admission to Year 7 and pupils will be admitted without consideration of their religion, ability or disability, or social or financial background. Our aspiration is to serve pupils from across Birmingham and to enable each pupil to reach his or her maximum potential. In fact addressing Special Educational Needs will be a key part of our programme.”

Pupils will study a broad range of subjects including three sciences and a modern language at GCSE.  The school will also have a strong international element, including International Baccalaureate as an option at Sixth Form.  The teachers will be highly experienced in the classroom and have Master’s degrees or above.

The University hopes to have a decision from the Department for Education by the autumn.

Expressions of interest from parents of children who are currently in year 3 or 4 or years 8 or 9 who would be starting secondary school or sixth form in 2014/15 are welcome. Please visit for further information.


Notes to Editors

    The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries.

    The University is home to nearly 30,000 students. With more than 7,500 postgraduate students from across the world, Birmingham is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in the UK.

The University plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually