An Ofsted rated outstanding-rated Balham girls' school and sixth form will be among the first in the country to offer the new T Level qualifications.

La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls' School will use £1.5m funding from the government to offer new qualifications in digital media and childcare and education.

The cash will be spent on a new digital classroom with state-of-the-art IT technology and a new childcare room with a purpose built creche.

There will also be a second floor added to the school’s sixth from centre which will be renamed by sixth form students.

The new two-year courses, equivalent to three A Levels, will start next year. La Retraite will be among 50 schools nationally to pilot the government scheme.

The course will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and "on-the-job" experience. Each student will take part in an industry placement of at least 45 days per year.

T Levels have been developed in collaboration between the Department for Education and employers to meet the needs of industry and prepare students for work.

Headteacher Dominic Malins said: "We are very proud that the DfE have, in principle, agreed to fund us to support us with the introduction of these new qualifications.

"We hope these new qualifications will provide students with the knowledge and experience they need to either go straight into skilled employment or on to further study.

“This is a pioneering programme and we can't wait to be able to officer it to students. It is an exciting time for La Retraite."

Mrs Coyle, Director of Sixth Form; "We are delighted to be at the cutting edge of education which will help our students develop outstanding employability skills.

“We will really be preparing our students for the future Digital job market and helping address the local skills shortages in Education.”