Changes in Calderdale to post-16 options

Cllr Megan Swift

The choices available for Calderdale students who want to continue studying after their GCSEs will be considered by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet at the next meeting on Monday 3 April 2017. 

Recent changes to the government funding of post-16 education mean that the majority of schools now receive less money for A level students and some vocational courses for 16-18 year olds than in previous years. 

Schools have responded by either subsidising their sixth form or increasing the number of pupils in Years 12 and 13.   

Sixth forms usually need a minimum of 200 students to be financially sustainable and schools with fewer students in Years 12 and 13 are reporting difficulties in offering the quality and breadth of curriculum which are required at post-16.  Many are now exploring whether they can collaborate with other providers to offer a wider range of subjects.  

Trinity Academy has submitted a free school proposal to the Department for Education to set up a larger sixth form, which could offer a broader curriculum to up to 1200 students.

Todmorden High School currently has 118 students within its sixth form and the governing body has now taken the difficult decision not to accept a sixth form intake from September 2017.   

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Cllr Megan Swift said:

“Todmorden High School is a great school with real ambition for its pupils.  We’re proud of the students, who continue to make exceptional progress. This was highlighted again by last year’s outstanding GCSE results and by Ofsted, which described the school as good and rapidly improving. 

“We support the Governors decision to end sixth form provision at the school because of concerns about the budget and we understand how tough this has been for them.  

“We’re continuing to invest in the school and I’m delighted that work on the new multi-million pound English and Humanities building will start on site in the next few weeks.” 

The Cabinet will be recommended to start the legal process which would formally close the sixth form provision at Todmorden High School from 31 August 2018.   

There is a four-stage statutory process which will include a consultation period where parents and members of the community can make representations about the changes to the Council. 

The Cabinet will discuss the report at the next meeting, which will be held at 6pm on Monday 3 April 2017 at Halifax Town Hall. 

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