School cuts back sixth form

PUPILS at a County Durham school face an uncertain future after being told there will be no Year 12 provision in September.

Woodham Community Technology College, Newton Aycliffe, blames low applications for the decision which has left some students in tears.

The decision effectively means that there will be no sixth-form intake for Woodham this year and job losses have not been ruled out.

However, existing sixth-form students progressing from Year 12 to Year 13 in September will be catered for at Woodham.

Deputy headteacher Martyn Oliver said: "With recent developments in the qualifications on offer to students aged 14 to 19 years old nationally it is recognised that a new style of 16 to 19 provision is required to meet the needs of all the young people in Newton Aycliffe.

"Woodham is working in collaboration with other local educational institutions to develop 16 to 19 courses for the future.

"Woodham is fully committed to ensuring that all existing post-16 students continue to receive an excellent education and that all current Year 11 students have a place on a course of their choice."

The decision has angered some parents who complained that they had been left high and dry.

One father said: "We didn't know a thing about it until our daughter came home in tears and she wasn't the only one.

"I think it's disgusting to drop this on them right in the middle of their GCSEs."

Mr Oliver said that of the 66 applications they had received, fewer than half were expected to come to the college and that students were advised to apply to more than one institution.

He said: "We are absolutely committed to supporting every single student affected and finding them an alternative and suitable destination if needs be."

Anyone requiring further information can contact Mr Oliver at the college on 01325-300328.

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