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New T-Level Hub opened at Kennet School in Thatcham





A sixth form in Thatcham has celebrated the grand opening of its new T-Level Hub.

Kennet School hosted a ceremony on Monday, July 1, to reveal the long-awaited new facility, where students will be able to pursue a range of subjects come September.

Kennet alumni, Ryan Beal, cutting the ribbon with Grace Rigg, Gemma Piper and Mayor of Thatcham, Suzanne Adamantos
Kennet alumni, Ryan Beal, cutting the ribbon with Grace Rigg, Gemma Piper and Mayor of Thatcham, Suzanne Adamantos

Work on the £2.2m development started a year ago after the school began rolling out T-Levels for its sixth form students.

The new facilities include consultation rooms, a lab, recording studio, tech lab and a flexible workspace with break-out rooms and hosting space.

New T-Level facilities unveiled at Kennet School
New T-Level facilities unveiled at Kennet School
Facilities to support care and nursing students
Facilities to support care and nursing students

Speaking at Monday’s ribbon cutting, headteacher Grace Rigg told guests: “I particularly want to thank the teachers who have been part of this journey, and who have been really patient while there’s been changes of plans.

“And I also want to give a huge thanks to the site team who have worked tirelessly with us and the contractors to make sure this comes together in a way that is right for the children.

“The children had their Year 11 into Year 12 taster day today, and they were so excited by the prospect of being in this building for next year.”

Cutting the ribbon was Kennet alumni Ryan Beal, CEO and co-founder of Sentient Sports, who is listed in Forbes Under 30 2024.

Equinox Learning Trust CEO, Gemma Piper, addressing the crowd
Equinox Learning Trust CEO, Gemma Piper, addressing the crowd

Outgoing CEO and accounting officer of the Equinox Learning Trust Gemma Piper added: “This journey started about four years ago when a pot of money became available, and we were the only school in the country to have secured it.

“It took 95 different documents to submit just to get the money for this one building, and we won it.

“We’re really grateful for the effort that’s gone into this idea. It shows what you can actually achieve when you stick at it and don’t take now for an answer.”

The new T-Level Hub at Kennet School
The new T-Level Hub at Kennet School

T-Levels are two-year vocational qualifications introduced in 2020 and taken after GCSEs.

They are broadly equivalent to three A-levels and are expected to gradually replace BTECs.

Kennet currently offers three T-Level courses in business (team leadership and management), health (adult nursing and early years care) and media (content creation and production.)

The centre will also be providing education and early years training for sixth form students
The centre will also be providing education and early years training for sixth form students

But by the next academic term, its new hub will also run courses for onsite construction and education and early years.

The school says it will be collaborating with local businesses and employers to help pupils to study and maintain a long-term industry placement.



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