CALLS are being made for more open negotiations over future of Trinity Catholic School’s sixth form.
The Leamington school announced in February it would no longer admit new students into the sixth form from September, meaning youngsters about to sit their GCSE exams would have to look elsewhere to study their A Levels.
The decision followed national cuts to school funding and falling student numbers in the sixth form.
But the school has said it hoped the closure would not be permanent and the sixth form provision could return.
Current sixth form students will be able to complete their A Levels exams this summer and in June 2018.
Over 100 parents, governors and councillors attended a meeting at Dale Street Methodist Church to discuss the closure and have their say on the plans.
Resident Ben Wesson, whose sister is a sixth form student, said: “The primary reason for organising the public meeting was because residents felt they had no real opportunity to feed their views into the consultation about the proposed closure of the sixth form.
“It is clear that the governors of the school are in an incredibly difficult position – the local authority is telling them they need to slash expenditure in order to set a balanced budget.
“However, they have already made a significant amount of efficiency savings and any more could have a significant impact on the ‘good’ standard of education being provided at Trinity.
“The overwhelming consensus at the meeting was that closing the sixth form would be bad for the school, the pupils and the wider community. There was recognition that the school is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“It seems to me there is an urgent need for the local authority, diocese and governors to get around the negotiating table and to sort this mess out.
“The anxiety this situation is causing to pupils and their families, especially in the run up to exams, is simply wrong.”
Parents have already called for the sixth form provision to stay open for another year, allowing current Year 11 pupils to complete their A Levels at Trinity if they want to.
A petition started by parents is sympathetic to the cuts which need to be made but highlights the lack of notice given to pupils who are making important decisions about the next step in their education.
Visit www.trinity-school.org.uk/consultation-document for further details.