Following the meeting of the Governing Body on 9 March 2015 it is with regret, that we have to inform you of the decision to no longer pursue post 16 provision at Huntcliff.
The decision is underpinned by an in-depth feasibility study into the financial viability and the impact of adding post 16 to our current educational provision. We feel that the recent educational reforms have made it increasingly more difficult to secure a financially viable sixth form and have concerns about resourcing any capital investment, together with most of the initial setup costs, from the school's reserves.
The feasibility study has raised a number of concerns in relation to the compromises the school would have to withstand to deliver an outstanding sixth form; these are centred around the likelihood of much larger class sizes, a rationalisation of current learning opportunities for Key Stages 3 and 4 and perhaps the negative impact on our intervention programmes which have, so far, helped students to secure good and outstanding GCSE outcomes.
There are many forthcoming developments in both the KS3 curriculum and the KS4 programmes of study. New GCSE courses are being introduced (both academic and vocational) and there are the new GCSE specifications (with the focus changed to terminal examinations). Thus teachers will need to focus on these areas to make sure that appropriate courses are chosen and teachers are well prepared to teach them. There will also be an additional cost of the resourcing of these new courses. Our primary duty of care is to our 11-16 learners and we do not want to compromise their learning and progress by not giving enough time and training to the new specifications and the new courses.
Huntcliff School remains committed to ensuring that our pupils have access to the most appropriate post 16 provision. We are delighted to have been recently awarded the Careers Quality mark which is a testament to the information, advice and guidance we provide for our pupils.
Staff will continue to work with other sixth forms and local colleges to ensure that our pupils are provided with the best advice to make informed decisions about A-level courses, apprenticeships and work related learning. We will also work to establish other ways of supporting them with the process of transition and continue to work with those providers schools with whom we have strengthened our partnerships over the years.
Thank you to all those parents who have supported us with our formal consultation, without which we would not have been in a position to ever contemplate the reality of post 16 provision.