Louth

Louth Academy scraps sixth form

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Local councillors have said the withdrawal of plans to provide a sixth form at Louth Academy will have a negative impact on the lives of local children.

The academy, part of the Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, has confirmed it will not open a sixth form, despite pledges when it took over Cordeaux Academy and Monk’s Dyke Tennyson College in 2017.

East Lindsey District Council has hit out at the decision, adding students will be forced to travel for further education.

The nearest school providing post-16 education in Louth is King Edward VI Grammar School.

Louth Academy backed out of plans to open the sixth form in 2018 due to low uptake, but promised at the time to open the facility in September 2019. 

Now, the full withdrawal of plans has once again been put down to low application numbers.

David Hampson, Chief Executive of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, said: “Unfortunately, the trust has had to make a decision not to run Louth Academy Sixth Form from September 2019 as we still do not feel that the number of applicants will be enough to provide a good Sixth Form experience for the students, and additionally it may not be financially viable.

“The academy notified all Year 11 students so that they could consider other Post-16 choices. All Year 11 students were informed of this last term and have had careers interviews with an independent adviser regarding their options for Post-16.

“A Vice Principal at the academy has spoken to all Year 11 students about their options and how to apply for the different providers in the next academic year.

“Louth Academy also hosted a careers event in the Autumn term to give students an opportunity to meet with representatives from Post-16 providers. In addition, the trust is working closely with Grimsby Institute to provide additional information and careers support for vocational courses and apprenticeships.

“The trust inherited post-16 vocational courses, run from the Wolds Centre, when we took over Cordeaux Academy but due to very small numbers, they were not financially viable.

“We completed the existing courses for the small number of students who completed Year 13 in the summer of July 2018 so those students were not disadvantaged.”

Councillor Adam Grist, Portfolio Holder for Market Towns and Rural Economy, said: “We are deeply disappointed to hear of the planned withdrawal of a sixth form provision at the Louth Toll Bar Academy from this September.

“When we first heard of plans to suspend sixth form courses at Louth Academy last year, we expressed our concern that this situation would occur.

“Despite assurances at that time by Mr Hampson, Chief Executive of Tollbar Mat, it is a matter of deep regret that the Trust have now decided it not able to provide a sixth form.

“We believe this decision will have a very direct and negative impact on the lives of local children, limiting their progression into further/ higher education and potential career pathways; also leaving local employers facing skills deficits.

“Forcing students to potentially have to leave town to access further education will surely serve as a deterrent for students looking to access further education.

“I’m in no doubt that the move will hinder local children from fully realising their potential and would urge Tollbar MAT and Louth Academy to urgently re-consider their decision and commit to a full and proper consultation with the community”