Sixth form could be shut by 2019

Carr Hill High School, Kirkham
Carr Hill High School, Kirkham

The sixth form at Carr Hill High School could close within two years.

A consultation period over the proposed scrapping of post-16 education at the Kirkham school has been launched following a review which began in October.

If approved following the consultation, the sixth form at Carr Hill would close in the summer of 2019, with the school redesignated as providing education for 11- to 16-year-olds only.

In a latter to parents, Carr Hill headteacher Andrew Waller (pictured) said: “The Sixth Form has existed for almost 50 years but in recent times it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a post-16 provision as we face real pressure on budgets and reduced per student funding for 16-19 year olds.

“In the last couple of years we have had to reduce the number of post-16 courses on offer and this has further impacted on numbers which again impacts on funding.

“The provision of post-16 education can only be maintained by subsidising from the main school budget and there are no longer surpluses to maintain this subsidy as there were in the past.

“At a time of financial austerity, we believe it to be both financially and morally wrong to maintain post-16 education at the cost of what we can offer students in Years Seven to 11.

“Consequently, following a review of numbers, curriculum and finance, the Governors reluctantly came to the conclusion that maintaining post-16 education at Carr Hill is not viable.

“Lancashire County Council (the education authority) was asked to undertake a consultation on redesignating Carr Hill as an 11-16 school from September 1, 2019 and the Council’s Cabinet has agreed to that.”

Carr Hill is the third Fylde coast school to consider closing its sixth form. The scrapping of post-16 education at Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College was confirmed earlier this year and comes into effect next summer, while Baines at Poulton recently launched a consultation period. The Carr Hill consultation will run until February 2 and copies of the complete proposal can be inspected at Carr Hill, at the offices of Fylde, Lancashire County and Preston City Councils and Kirkham library. Responses should be sent to sarah.hirst@lancashire.gov,uk. A decision is expected in early April.