August 31, 2018, will mark the end of an era when sixth form education officially ends at Todmorden High School.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet approved the decision to close sixth form provision made by Todmorden High’s Governors, following a five-week public consultation.
As a maintained community school the decision to close a sixth form ultimately rests with the local authority.
Recent changes to the government funding of post-16 education mean 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, says Calderdale Council.
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, said a spokesperson.
Todmorden High currently has 118 students in its sixth form which means that the governing body had to take a difficult decision to inform parents there would not be a sixth form intake at the school from September 2017.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s pervices, Coun Megan Swift, said: “We fully support the Governors’ decision to end sixth form provision because of concerns about the budget. I know that this was a tough decision for them to take.
“Although it is regrettable it will mean that the school can continue to focus on its rapidly improving offer to 11-16 year olds. The school is already recognised as good by Ofsted and is determined to achieve outstanding in the next stage of its development. We are continuing to invest in the school and work on the fantastic new multi-million pound English and Humanities building is well underway.
“This is a great school with real ambition for its pupils and I’m confident they will continue to make excellent progress in future.”