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Culcheth sixth form takes a step closer to closure
12:10pm Saturday 15th February 2014 in News
CULCHETH High School’s sixth form closure took a step closer after councillors voted to remove classes.
The school’s governors had already voted in favour of closing the sixth form and had asked Warrington Borough Council to consider the change in provision.
And on Monday night the council’s executive board voted unanimously to follow through with the closure.
Clr Colin Froggatt, executive board member for children and young people’s services, told the meeting: “Culcheth is a very good school and we are proud of Culcheth High School and its position in Warrington.
“It’s the best performing school for GCSEs in the last year.
“The govenors have considered it quite thoroughly and gone to consultation.
“There’s lots of concern shown regarding the closure of the sixth form in the area but there hasn’t been the support to retain it.
“We have had 25 responses, one of which supported the closure.
“If you look at the numbers from 2014 it is 27 students. That’s not enough to sustain a fully functioning sixth form.
“It’s with great reluctance they are making this recommendation.”
But campaigners against the closure, including Clr Chris Vobe and Clr Matt Smith, say they will continue to fight the plans.
In a joint statement the councillors said: “It is important to understand that this does not represent the final decision – it is the beginning of a representation period, during which everyone is encouraged to submit their views over the prospect of our sixth form closing.”
They also pledged to support those opposing the plans and scrutinise the governing body and school to see why intake has fallen.
Clr Froggatt added schools had been able to run sixth form classes previously due to extra funding for post 16 education compared to colleges but that funding had been cut back.
With the fall in student numbers the school said the increased funding to meet the needs of the smaller class sizes could have an impact on the funding of education of 11 to 16 year olds.
“There is a lot of competition for post 16 education,” Clr Froggatt said.
“Students like to spread their wings a little further and seem a bit more mature. It’s credit to the school that students are maturing at that rate.”
Opposers of the move say they will launch a Save Our Sixth Form campaign to fight the closure which will be led by Warrington North MP Helen Jones.
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