Sixth form closure proposal

The Trustees of the Prospere Learning Trust are seeking to consult on the proposal not to recruit new sixth form students from September 2018 at Newall Green High School sixth form. This will mean that the school’s sixth form provision would close when the current Year 12 students complete their studies in August 2018.

Trustees wish to consult widely, particularly with parents and the school community.

 

Newall Green High School Sixth Form Offer:

Newall Green High School sixth form is aimed at meeting the needs of students who are not yet ready for transition to larger colleges and higher level courses. Its focus is to prepare students for progression onto further education or apprenticeships.

Since our launch in September 2009 we have developed a range of excellent courses, which focus on the development of basic work related skills and sector learning. The offer was designed to meet the needs of those 16 years olds that may not be ready for transition to a large college or higher level course and for those not yet ready for the world of work. We recognise that some students may need a high level of support to build confidence and resilience, they may also need more guidance and help with employability and work related learning skills. Our sixth form provision places a high emphasis on developing these skills and getting students ready for the next stage pathway.

Our Profession Pathway, which in partnership with local businesses and apprenticeship providers is designed to enhance skills, develop sector related knowledge and provide a clear route into employment or further training. It is a one-year programme focusing on the development of basic work related skills and sector learning. We utilise our outstanding facilities and draw on the expertise of our staff, many with substantial industry experience. In addition, we have a wealth of partnerships with a range of local businesses and employers to support the provision of high quality work experience placements.

Our Profession Pathway consists of:

  • A Core subject – a Level 2 vocational course aimed at a particular sector
  • Professional Development and Skills for Employability
  • Sector Experience, three one week placements
  • A health and well-being programme
  • English and Maths GCSE or functional skills for those who have not achieved Grade 4 or above.

We currently offer our Profession Pathway with the following subject specialisms:

  • Hair & Beauty
  • Business Admin and ICT
  • Construction
  • Health, Social Care & Early Years
  • Hospitality & Catering
  • Sport & Leisure
  • Step On

 

Proposal:

To end the recruitment of students to Newall Green High School sixth form so there will be no new students from September 2018. This will mean that the sixth form would close when the current Year 12 students complete their studies in August 2018.

 

Rationale for the Closure of the Sixth Form:

The uncertain future of school sixth forms has been highlighted in the media over a number of years and particularly in the light of the budget changes to post-16 funding, which has substantially declined over the last few years.

An average Sixth Form College has around 1000 students, while an average school sixth form has approximately 200. As a result, economies of scale apply which means it is more expensive per student for schools to provide sixth form provision than a Sixth Form College or Further Education (FE) College. As a result, Newall Green High School has to subsidise the sixth form from other funding streams such as that for 11 to 16 year olds.

It is widely recognised that school sixth forms with less than 200 students are at risk of not being financially viable. Newall Green High School sixth form was built to take a capacity of 120 students when the provision opened in 2009. To be able to operate the Sixth Form viably within the funding that is provided the sixth form needs to be near to full capacity.

The number of students attending the sixth form provision in total for the past four years is as follows:

 

Academic Year

Number of students on roll

2014 - 2015

76

2015 - 2016

64

2016 - 2017

32

2017 - 2018

27

 

Newall Green High School has had to subsidise the sixth form from other funding streams such as that for students in the main school. Whilst some level of subsidy from other funding streams may be acceptable from time to time we cannot let this impact on our ability to deliver an effective educational provision for the rest of the student body at Newall Green High School. As a result of the small numbers of students joining the Sixth Form over the past four years the level of subsidy that the main school has had to provide has been significant and this is no longer sustainable.

Since opening in 2009 Newall Green High School sixth form has been unable to offer the full range of courses that larger sixth form institutions can offer, including access to a wide range of A’Level subjects that students require. Therefore, the demand for places in our sixth form is small with most students in Year 11 choosing to study at other institutions.

Careers, Education, Information Advice and Guidance at Newall Green High School has rightly focused on challenging student’s aspirations and many of our students are now striving to access a wider range of A’Level and Level 3 equivalent vocational courses which are offered at other Sixth Form institutions.

Students are able to access a wider range of course provision and specialist facilities at some of the larger Sixth Form institutions across Manchester. They also seek the additional social aspect that is provided by larger establishments. Larger Further Education and Sixth Form institutions across Manchester provide an educational experience that is more similar to Higher Education and students choose these establishments as they wish to prepare themselves appropriately for future educational study.

We made changes to our sixth form offer a number of years ago to focus on developing good provision for those students that traditionally find it difficult to transition to sixth form study. We introduced our Profession Pathway which offers a range of appropriate Level 2 vocational courses for students alongside developing basic employability and work related skills. This has been the right provision for the majority of our students, however decreasing numbers of students are choosing this offer and choose to go elsewhere for their post 16 provision.

Currently in the 2017 – 2018 Academic Year we only have 24 students studying on the following profession Pathways:

  • Hair & Beauty
  • Construction
  • Health & Social care
  • Step On

Taking into account the range of factors above, and with the continued year on year decrease in students applying to start our sixth form provision it is clear that Newall Green High School sixth form is not financially sustainable.

We are therefore proposing that the Prospere Learning Trust should close the Newall Green High School sixth form when the current Year 12 students complete their studies in August 2018.

 

Current Year 12 students

It is important to emphasise that current Year 12 students moving onto other Post-16 pathways in September 2018 will STILL attend Newall Green High School Sixth Form and complete their academic year in August 2018. We will continue to provide the high level of support and guidance necessary to help all students access an appropriate Post-16 pathway.

 

Impact on current Newall Green High School students

Careers, Education, Information Advice and Guidance at Newall Green High School has rightly focused on challenging students’ aspirations and many of our students are now striving to access a wider range of A’Level and Level 3 equivalent vocational courses which are offered at other Sixth Form institutions.

We offer all students high quality independent careers advice and have successfully completed the stage 1 CEIAG Award and are working towards our Gold CEAIG award this year. We employ an independent careers adviser and we already work in close partnership with employers, apprenticeship providers, FE colleges and Sixth Form Colleges.

For students who may require additional support to transition successfully to Post-16 study we have good relationships with a range of appropriate Post-16 providers and are working closely with our Trust partners, Piper Hill High School and Pioneer House High School to ensure that all Year 11 students have appropriate Post-16 offers which meet their individual needs.

We believe that the potential closure of the sixth form will not negatively affect the longer term outcomes of current Newall Green High School students. Indeed, as we would be able to stop subsidising the Sixth Form from the main school funding, we anticipate the closure would benefit our students.

 

How to make your views known:

Trustees and Governors at Newall Green High School wish to consult widely, particularly with parents and students of the school. There is a statutory process to follow to remove a sixth form provision from a school / academy.

 

  1. A statutory notice will be published in the press on the 12th March, 2018.
  2. Representation – Formal Consultation is a period in which comments on proposals can be made including objections and expressions of support for proposals which will commence on 12th March, 2018 until 12pm (noon) on 30th April 2018.
  3. The Prospere Learning Trust needs to make a formal decision regarding the proposal. Following the end of the consultation the Trust Board will consider a report on the proposal which will include any feedback received during the consultation process. The Trust Board will then make a decision based on recommendations contained in the report and must take account of any feedback received during consultation. This decision will then be communicated to the Regional Schools Commissioner for consideration.
  4. Implementation – the decision will be implemented once approval has been received from the Regional Schools Commissioner.

 

The consultation period will run from 12th March 2018 until noon on 30th April 2018. As part of the consultation process there will be consultation meetings with staff, governors and parents from school as appropriate. Consultation meetings for parents and other stakeholders will be held at Newall Green High School on:

  • Wednesday 28th March 2018 from 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 25th April 2018 from 5pm to 6.30pm

 

All representations must be made in writing and a response sheet is attached to the back of this document for you to comment on the proposal. All those interested in responding to the consultation are invited to comment in writing or by returning the attached response form to:

The Executive Headteacher,

Newall Green High School,

Greenbrow Road,

Manchester.

M23 2SX

 

Email: s.hamer@newallgreenhigh.manchester.sch.uk no later than12pm (noon) on 30th April 2018

 

Please download the full proposal below, this includes the consulation response form.