A proposal to close the sixth form at Halewood Academy from August 2017 has been approved by the Government.
The decision came in a letter from Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, to Gary Evans, Principal of Halewood Academy.
The proposal was made by Governors at the school – which is an academy, independent from council control.
This decision comes after Knowsley Council announced that it had been having very positive talks with Government about establishing a new A Level provider to the borough from September next year.
Responding to the Government decision to agree to the closure at Halewood Academy, Cllr Gary See, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“We have now been formally notified that the Regional Schools Commissioner and the Department for Education have agreed Halewood Academy’s proposals to cease A Level provision. As we have said before, the school is an Academy, which means that it is completely independent from the Council, so we have no powers to intervene in this decision.
We are naturally disappointed with this outcome but are pleased that there is now some clarity for the Academy and its students. In particular, it’s important to be clear that A Level provision won’t cease immediately – it will happen in 2017. We are pleased that students who are currently part-way through their studies will be allowed to continue at Halewood should they choose to – something we pressed for reassurances about.
Looking at the wider picture and implications for Knowsley as a whole, we have been in discussion with the Government on this matter and – as we announced earlier this month – we have committed to work together with the aim of establishing new Sixth Form provision in the Borough from September 2017.
The aspiration which we share with our local MPs and the Government is that young people growing up in Knowsley will have the option of studying for A Levels with a high quality provider within their home borough in future. Work on this has begun and we will share more details as soon as we are able to do so.”
Announcing the news that the sixth form at Halewood Academy would be closing, the school’s Principal, Mr Gary Evans, said:
The long term provision of Sixth Form studies at Halewood Academy was no longer viable and it was an extremely difficult decision for Governors to take to propose its closure.
Whilst it is sad that our Sixth Form will close in August 2017, the final decision, taken by the Minister, does mean that the Academy is now in a stronger financial position that will enable us to continue to make improvements for students in Key Stage 3 and 4 in future years.
We will work hard with students progressing into Year 13 to ensure they get the best possible outcomes and we shall continue to work extensively with other post 16 providers to ensure that all of our students remain in education or training once they leave the Academy.
Discussions are also taking place for a future potential post 16 joint venture across Knowsley.”
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