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Culcheth sixth form to close following years of dwindling numbers
Updated 4:24pm Friday 13th June 2014 in News
CULCHETH High School is set to see its sixth form close this year after the council backed a proposal to shut its doors.
The council’s executive board voted unanimously in support of the governors’ decision to shut down the sixth form on Warrington Road at the meeting on June 10.
A council spokesman said: “Prior to the meeting, the decision was considered by three different portfolio holders who all reached the same conclusion.
“A full consultation was carried out according to statutory requirements and all options and issues were considered.
“Feedback from the consultation showed that 58 per cent of students who responded to the consultation said they would go to another college, and only 13 per cent said they would stay at Culcheth.”
Admissions to the sixth form were suspended last year after the school’s governing body published their proposal to close the sixth form, following years of dwindling pupil numbers.
Last year it was reported that since the start of the academic term, only 55 students started at the sixth form despite having a total of 200 places on offer.
In a joint statement, Clr Chris Vobe and Clr Matt Smith (Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft - LAB) and Bill Brinksman (Rixton and Woolston - LAB) said they were ‘disappointed’ by the outcome and will continue to fight to save the sixth form.
“We should be under no illusion that the savage cuts imposed on Warrington by an uncaring Coalition Government have led to the current challenges faced by our high school.
“From the moment the governing body announced their plans, we were committed to fighting to save Culcheth Sixth Form.
“As we have done from the outset, we will continue to press them to retain post-16 provision at the heart of our community.
“We firmly believe that there are a number of arguments which have not been given full consideration, and so it is our intention to refer this matter to the council’s influential scrutiny committee.”
But a council spokesman said keeping the sixth form open would not be cost-effective for the school with the shortfall being met by the budget for 11 to 16 provision.
A spokesman added: “The executive board supported the governors’ proposals to make much more effective use of resources to improve the high quality of education for 11-16 pupils and to take the school from good to outstanding.”
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