Following the announcement that Halewood Academy is planning on closing its sixth form, local MP Maria Eagle has called on the Principal and the governing body to reconsider the proposals amid concerns that the closure will leave Knowsley Borough with no sixth form provision.
The closure would mean there would be no new admissions to the academy’s sixth form from September 2016 and would be removed with effect from 31st August 2017.
Maria Eagle MP said: “I am deeply concerned by the proposed closure of Halewood Academy sixth form and the lack of proper consultation on this issue which will affect many of my constituents. Should the closure go ahead, there will be no A-Level provision at all in Knowsley Borough outside of Knowsley Community College, which is currently in special measures. That is unacceptable.
It is not right that those pupils who want to continue their education beyond the age of 16 should have to leave the Borough in order to do so. While the responsibility for running local schools has been removed from Knowsley Council by this Government, the Council must stand up against these proposals and do what it can to ensure that there is provision in the Borough which allows pupils the opportunity to continue their education at the same school.
I have spoken to many local parents who are rightly angry and frustrated by the proposal and the potential impact it will have on their children including those who are midway through their A-Levels.
The recent OFSTED inspection did not suggest closing the sixth form – indeed I believe to do so will undermine the school’s future.
I have written to the Principal to raise these concerns and will be meeting with him to discuss the proposals further. I have also written to the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to raise the concerns I have about the lack of sixth form provision in the Borough.
I believe, as do many of my constituents, that more time is needed to consider this decision and the impact it will have locally. I welcome the decision to extend the public consultation deadline to 17th April. Parents and pupils need to be confident that they have had the opportunity to have their say on a decision which will directly affect them.”