FURTHER education in Burnley has received a major boost after plans to create a super college for the town were revealed.

The scheme is aimed at providing school leavers with some of the best education in the country.

Under the plans, Habergham High School will team up with St Theodore's RC High and Burnley College to form a local collegiate sixth form.

The partnership has now received funding from and support from the Learning and Skills Council in Lancashire to enable the scheme to develop further.

No date for the launch of the project has been released but Burnley College's annual report described the partnership as a "key contribution to providing the highest quality education in Burnley."

The report added: "Building on the excellent standards each of the partners has achieved, tThis innovatory approach will link together the two sixth forms of the two schools and Burnley College's sixth form related provision to give a wider range of choice and options for school leavers.

"The result will be more minority subjects available, wider access to vocational provision and a local sixth form provision as extensive as anywhere in the country."

A joint prospectus detailing the variety of courses available at Habergham, Byron Street, St Theodore's, Ormerod Road and Burnley College, also Ormerod Road, is to be launched and information sessions will be laid on for pupils of school leaving age.

Burnley MP Peter Pike welcomed the scheme and said: "I have been in discussion with the college and the two schools for some time and I know they have been increasing their working relationship for some time and have made tremendous progress.

"Anything that sensibly improves the level of access to to A-level and sixth form provision in the town and aims to improve standards must be to the benefit of local people and I find this development very encouraging."

Steve Palmer, executive director of the Learning and Skills Council Lancashire, said: "We are very encouraged by the growing collaboration between school sixth forms and colleges like Burnley College, such as the innovative partnership between St Theodore's and Habergham High Schools and the college.

"It is particularly pleasing that this initiative is attracting growing numbers of young people and ensures that providers are able to meet the diverse needs of all young people in the area."

The Learning and Skills Council Lancashire is responsible for all post-16 education in the county -- other than the university sector -- including the funding and quality assurance of Further Education colleges.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said it had no involvement in the scheme and that it was an independent initiative launched by the two schools and the college.

Burnley College declined to comment further on the scheme and nobody was available to comment at either of the schools.