Louth

Council appeals Louth sixth form closure

East Lindsey District Council has called on The Tollbar Academy in Louth to reverse the decision to close its sixth form.

Sixth form provisions at Louth Academy are set to close from September 2018, but councillor Adam Grist wrote to the academy’s chief executive to highlight the negative impact of the proposals.

Councillor Grist said the decision will close a local pathway into higher/further education, impact negatively on the flow of local students into employment and on the provision of pastoral care to pupils.

In his letter he wrote: “Although I acknowledge there is a move to centralise sixth form provision on specialist sites, I have grave concerns around the practicality and affordability of this for students in Louth and the surrounding area given the cost of transport and study time lost to travel.

“This will undoubtedly act as a deterrent to fully engage with 16+ learning and will therefore potentially adversely prevent children from realising their full potential.”

Councillor Grist was critical of the fact that there appears to have been very little consultation in relation to this, as well as the timing of it being when Year 11 pupils are preparing for their GCSE examinations.

He posed some questions to the academy adding: “I would be interested to learn what transitional arrangements you will be implementing to support students that will no longer have access to locally provided vocational and academic courses? What support mechanisms have you put in place to support both pupils and parents through this decision?

“Furthermore, I would also ask you to confirm what support arrangements are in place for any staff at risk of redundancy through the announced closure?

“I would also urge you to work more effectively with local partners in advance of any future restructuring proposals, so that we are better placed to understand and communicate the potential impact on our communities.”

Lincolnshire Reporter approached Tollbar Academy’s chief executive David J Hampson for a response.

The Academy said Mr Hampson will not be issuing a response and that he “will respond to Councillor Grist in a professional manner next week”.