Consultation on Sixth Form
Posted at 12:00 am on 2nd June, 2016
Consultation on the proposal to close Wellacre Academy Sixth Form
The governors are seeking to consult on the proposal not to recruit new sixth form students from September 2016 at Wellacre Academy Sixth Form College.
This will mean that the Sixth Form would close when the current Year 12 students complete their studies in August 2017.
It is important to stress that no decisions have been made. Governors at the Academy wish to consult widely, particularly with parents and the school.
Why are we looking at this?
- Post 16 funding for school sixth forms has substantially declined over the last two years.
- It is more expensive per student for schools to provide sixth form provision than a sixth form college or FE college.
- The Department for Education (DfE) says that sixth forms with less than 200 students are at risk of not being financially viable. Wellacre Academy Sixth Form was built to take a capacity of 300 students. Last year 24 students chose to enter our sixth form.
- As a result of the small numbers of students joining the Sixth Form, the Academy has to subsidise the Sixth Form from other funding streams such as that for students in the main school. We have to recognise the needs and priorities of the majority of students at Wellacre.
- Wellacre Sixth Form is unable to provide the breadth of courses that larger establishments can offer, including a wide range of A Level subjects that students require.
- Therefore the demand for places in the Sixth Form is small, with most students in Year 11 choosing to go elsewhere.
- Over the last 3 years Wellacre has questioned students in relation to sixth form education and the responses were as follows;
- Students are seeking the breadth of curriculum that the school is not able to provide
- They are able to access a wider range of facilities at larger institutions.
- They also seek the social aspect that is provided by larger establishments.
- It is recognised that larger Further Education institutions provide an education that is more similar to Higher Education.
Therefore, given the DfE acknowledgement that a sixth form facility requires a minimum of 200 students to be financially viable, Wellacre Academy Sixth Form provision is not financially sustainable.
Taking into account the range of factors above, this consultation proposes that Wellacre Academy Sixth Form will close when the current Year 12 students complete their studies in August 2017.
Current Year 12 students
It is important to emphasise that current Year 12 students moving into Year 13 in September 2016 will STILL attend Wellacre Academy Sixth Form and complete their academic year in August 2017.
Impact on current main school students
The 15 students who had accepted a place in our year 12 for September 2016 have been informed of the proposal along with their parents. Whatever the outcome of this proposal they will be fully supported.
We are nationally recognised for the quality of our independent careers advice and are hopeful that we will earn a Gold CEAIG award this year. Our annual Careers Fair is extremely well supported and will continue to be of huge benefit to students.
We employ an independent careers adviser and we already working in close partnership with employers, apprenticeship providers, FE colleges and Sixth Form Colleges and are always seeking to make those partnerships even closer.
The potential closure of the Sixth Form will not negatively affect the longer term outcomes of current main school students. Indeed, as we would be able to stop subsidising the Sixth Form from main Academy funding, we anticipate the closure would benefit our students.
How to make your views known
Please download the consultation document below which contains more information.
All representations must be made in writing and a response sheet is attached to the back of the document for you to comment on the proposal. Please return the response form to:
You are also welcome to contact the Academy for a printed copy of the document.