The proposal to end sixth form provision from September 2017
After a unanimous vote on Thursday 29th September, the Governing Body have sadly decided to initiate the consultation process which will, if successful, lead to the closure of the sixth form from September 2017.
This is extremely sad for all involved, both current parents, pupils and staff and also those who have experienced the Chetwynde Sixth Form in all the years since 1992. However, government cuts to Key Stage 5 funding and the crucial importance of providing sustainability and value for money have meant that as the numbers choosing to stay on have dwindled, so have their financial viability.
“Even during its years as an independent school, and despite the excellent A Level teaching and results achieved each year, the school has increasingly struggled to retain pupils for its sixth form provision. Often when a pupil reaches the age of 16 they want to explore the wider world and feel adult enough to make their own choices and decisions. The enticement of being able to spread their wings and experience something new or bigger, or having a wider choice of A-Level and vocation-based subjects available to them elsewhere has been something the school has increasingly found itself unable to compete with. Since becoming a Free School Chetwynde has remained a wonderful, vibrant and truly special all-through school which is a joy to be part of, with talented and dedicated teachers, staff and pupils. It is with very heavy hearts the governors have had to start this consultation process which may well result in the closure of the Sixth Form. However, we must focus on the common good and long-term sustainability. The guaranteed and continuing provision of an excellent first-class education has to remain our number one priority.
The decision to begin a consultation process involving all stakeholders will have as its priority the smooth transition of pupils. If the Governing Body’s decision is ratified by the Secretary of State, then this will mean a much fairer distribution of resources within our school that will further strengthen all the Key Stages. Sixth Forms throughout the country face a particular challenge in maintaining choice combined with quality of curriculum and financial sustainability.’
Dr Simon Mardel, OBE. Chair of Governors
The school has informed parents and pupils of its intention and will start the consultation process with a meeting for all interested parties on October 10th at 6pm in the Theatre. If the school proves its business case for closure, then the application goes to the Secretary of State for ratification.