St. Joseph's Catholic College

Proposal to close the sixth form at St. Joseph’s

Governors at St. Joseph’s Catholic College will shortly begin consulting on a proposal to close its sixth form.

Following lengthy deliberation, it is with great regret, that the Governing Body of St. Joseph’s Catholic College, has decided to consult on the proposal not to run new sixth form courses from September 2017. Year 13 courses will proceed in 2017 but the proposal means that the sixth form would close at the end of August 2018.

The Principal and Chair of Governors explained the rationale behind the decision:

“Due to declining numbers and changes in funding in recent years it has becoming increasingly difficult to sustain a stable sixth form. Academic outcomes have not been as strong in the Sixth Form as in Years 7 - 11. Changing the age range from 11 - 18 to 11 - 16 will allow resources to be focused on improving the learning experiences and outcomes for these students. Our aim is to become an outstanding 11 - 16 Catholic College, and to do so, we believe that we must concentrate our energies, resources and expertise on that age range.”

It is important to note that none of our current students will be affected, and we will continue to give our full support to our current sixth form.

The future of school sixth forms has been highlighted in the media for some time, particularly in light of changes in the way Post 16 students are funded in schools. The Department for Education recognises that sixth forms with fewer than 200 students are at risk of not being viable. St Joseph’s sixth form currently has a total of 131 students in Year 12 and 13 combined. Current projections for September reduce this combined number to less than 100. The College has worked extremely hard to recruit, working with the other sixth form providers to increase the admission numbers, but to no avail.

Staff and parents of students have been informed of the move, and a four-week period of consultation will begin on 16th March 2017. Closing on the 2nd May. Feedback to the proposal must only be submitted by using the form available on the College website or alternatively you may request a paper copy from the College reception. All consultations must be completed and returned by noon on Monday 2nd May. All responses will be considered by the governing body.

In order for you to ask any questions or further understand the Governing Body’s decision, we are holding two parents information sessions. You may wish to attend one of the sessions before responding to the consultation. They will take place at the College as follows:

Parent Forums: Monday 27th March: 5.00 – 5.45pm and 7 – 7.45pm

Click here to download the letter sent out to parents.

Click here to download the consultation form

All email responses to the consultation should be sent to the Clerk to Governors This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.