“AXMINSTER has been hit by the shock news that the sixth form at Axe Valley Academy looks set to close.
The board of trustees of Vector Learning Trust, which includes the academy, issued a statement this afternoon saying that a public consultation has been launched regarding the proposed sixth form closure at Axe Valley Academy.
The statement said: “Schools and academies nationwide have come under increasing financial pressure from government underfunding in the last few years with a particular reduction in the amount received per sixth form student.
“Consequently, schools with small sixth forms have supplemented post-16 provision from budgets allocated to 11-16 year olds; a situation which is neither fair on the lower school nor sustainable in the long term, and subsequently many school sixth forms throughout the country have closed or are planning to close.”
Ann Adams, chairman of trustees of Vector Learning Trust, said: “Despite the best ever sixth form results in August of this year, the finances at Axe Valley Academy have reached a critical point and tough decisions are having to be made.
“Re-designation of the academy to an 11-16 provider would guarantee financial stability and allow us to direct staffing and resources to the lower school resulting in a more effective and efficient organisation which will ensure outstanding education for the young people in the Axe Valley communities.”
The proposed sixth form closure is for August 2019, to allow the current cohort of Year 12 students to complete their two-year courses.
All further post-16 recruitment has been suspended pending the outcome of the consultation.
Martin Brook, CEO of the trust said: “We are totally committed to providing our existing sixth form students with high quality teaching and resources to attain their required grades at A Level and thus secure their preferred places at leading universities.”
He went on to say: “I have no doubt that this is absolutely the right decision for the young people and staff at Axe Valley Academy and by making it now we are securing the future of the academy in the long term as well as the provision of outstanding schooling for students in Years 7-11.”
Further information regarding the proposed sixth form closure can be found in a full consultation paper posted on the Academy website http://www.axevalley.devon.sch.uk (printed copies available on request).
The consultation will run until Tuesday November 7thduring which time comments can be sent to the Academy by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered to reception in Chard Street, Axminster. A public consultation evening is being held at 6pm on Tuesday 10th October 10th in the Main Hall at Axe Valley Academy to which all are welcome to attend.”