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Labour oppose sixth form college plan

by jamesbaker on 9 October, 2014

Labour have opposed plans to create a new sixth form college for Calderdale. The plan for the college has been put together by Trinity Academy, who were bidding for governmental money to create the college as a free school. It seems sadly a combination of ideological opposition to free schools, and a successful lobbying campaign by some Head Teachers (perhaps worried their students might leave their sixth forms for a new college) encouraged Labour to pass a wrecking amendment to a Council motion seeking to back the college scheme.

Labour tried to claim we needed more work to build consensus around the future post 16 provision, but last year they stopped the work of the Post 16 working party setup to do just this. In administration on Calderdale they failed to come up with their own plan to tackle this problem, and now they refusing to back plans for this sixth form college.

I went to a sixth form college myself, and it totally opened my eyes to education after having never really got on well in the type of environment offered at a school. Sixth form college’s may not be right for all students, but I do believe that they offer more choice of subjects, and enable teachers to specialize just on teaching at a higher level.

The Council’s failure to back plans for a new sixth form will weaken Trinity Academies bid. Hopefully it will still succeed, but without Council support it runs a greater risk of being turned down. If that does happen I wonder how long students and parents will have to wait until they finally get the choice on whether their child attends a sixth form attached to a school, or a specialized sixth form college.

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