TALKS about the provision of a new sixth form college for Hampshire are under way between politicians and education bosses.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes and borough council leader Sean Woodward have revealed plans for a new 500-student college that would offer A-levels for 16 to 19-year-olds.

The borough has been without a non-fee paying A-level college for five years since Fareham switched to vocational qualifications.

Cams Hill School in Shearwater Avenue is being explored as a potential site.

To kick-start the plans, Ms Fernandes has set up a working group with the head teacher of Cams Hill and other head teachers across the borough to develop the plans for the site, which would operate as a free school.

Ms Fernandes, who is currently serving on the Education Select Committee said: “I have spoken to local schools and parents to find a way of bringing post-16 and A-Level provision to Fareham.

“One thing I have learned from talking to pupils is that young people across Fareham want access to further education and A-levels locally.

“I am also grateful that the Gosport and Fareham MAT, and Bay House school, in particular, have got behind the plans and I am hopeful that there will be some form of post-16 provision in the future.”

Because of the lack of A-level provision, more than 1,200 students aged 16-19 currently leave Fareham every day to go to college in Winchester, Gosport and Eastleigh; with some getting home as late as 10pm.

Councillor Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council, added: “We are taking steps to develop post-16 education for A-levels in the borough.

“It will take a lot of work to be able to achieve this, however, I believe that once again we can make sure that children living in the borough can go to school here from pre-school right through to age 18.”

Currently, only Meoncross School, a private co-education day school in Stubbington offers A-levels to around 20 students a year but there are no public sector schools currently offering them.

Further decisions on the plans are expected to be made in the coming months.