PLANS to open a new free sixth form college in Dudley have been given approval by the Department for Education.

Eton College and Star Academies will recruit dynamic young people from deprived communities in the town and surrounding areas and provide them with a rigorous and rounded education, and support them to achieve places at the very best universities.

Students who attend the new Eton Star Dudley establishment will benefit from an education based on the best that is on offer at Eton and the best of top performing state school trust Star Academies.

Eton’s headmaster Simon Henderson said: “We are delighted by this decision. We believe Eton Star Dudley has the potential to be transformative both for the young people who attend and for the wider communities it will serve. Now the hard work really starts as we turn our vision into reality.

“Collaborative partnership will be key to this project’s success and we are very grateful for the support we have had already from Dudley Council, from the local communities and from our colleagues in other educational settings.”

Dudley News: Simon Henderson and Sir Hamid Patel at Eton CollegeSimon Henderson and Sir Hamid Patel at Eton College (Image: Star Academies)

Sir Hamid Patel CBE, chief executive of Star Academies, added: “This marks an exciting milestone. We are confident that Eton Star Dudley will produce extraordinary, transformative outcomes, not only for its students but for the wider community too.

“With a growing demand for sixth form places in Dudley and the Black Country, we aim to enable more young people to benefit from a high-quality academic education and to broaden the opportunities available to them both during and after their sixth form studies.”

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, was “delighted” at the news and said: “This is a significant step forward to bringing Eton to Dudley.

“Eton and Star epitomise the very best standards in learning and they very much share our vision of a nationally renowned education facility in the borough. We will continue to hold positive discussions with Eton and Star to pave the way for this to happen.”