ELLESMERE College has announced it is opening a second sixth form girls boarding house in September.

The college says that as the demand for sixth form places continues to grow at Ellesmere, the governors and headmaster Brendan Wignall decided to repurpose one of the current buildings to allow for the expansion.

The facility be called St Hilda’s and its first occupants will take up residence in September.

Brendan Wignall said: “There has always been an increase in demand for boarding places as students progress through Ellesmere and the sixth form is a perfect time for many to take this step.

“Parents and pupils allay to the fact that this move towards a greater independence within a very safe, planned and secure environment allows for the personal and social development of the student, as well as the greater focus on academic success as everyone is working to the same outcomes.”

This expansion will increase the capacity for girls into the sixth form by 26 students.

Historically there has always been just one senior girls’ boarding house and two senior boys’ boarding houses, but an increase in demand for girls’ places has driven the need for additional places.

The new boarding house will also provide further individual study areas for the day students, so that all sixth form pupils, day or boarding, can continue to have a personal study space, a feature not usually offered in most sixth forms.

Sixth form pupils at the college have the opportunity to pursue courses at A-level, as well as studying for the International Baccalaureate Diploma, or the BTEC in Sport.

Philip Wood, the college's head of sixth form, added: “The flexible boarding options at Ellesmere, with weekly and full boarders, enables a clear choice for many parents.

“For many Ellesmere parents, the value of having a study regime in place, as well as access to art, music, drama and sport, and a full and varied weekend activities programme under one roof, helps deliver all-rounded education that is the right preparation for life after Ellesmere.”