Our local authority is the London Borough of Richmond. Richmond has for the past thirty years operated without sixth form provision in their secondary schools. The sixth form needs are met by Richmond upon Thames College and the neighbouring Esher College which provide a high quality broad range of A level and vocational courses. Richmond also has one of the highest levels of "opt out" from state secondary education in the country, which is not a commentary on the quality of public provision, but reflects the wealth and pretensions of the local community, many children return to the state system at the sixth form stage. The local provision has been relatively good with the LEA providing stability, co-ordination of resources, and back up when problems have occurred. The "new schools" initiative threatens to destabilise the current provision to the disadvantage of all of the local schools. The existing "academy" initiatives in Richmond have delivered little and in some instances have bordered on the farcical.