Just 49 respond to sixth form consultation

Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College
Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College
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Fewer than 50 people have contacted Lancashire County Council to offer their thoughts on proposals to end sixth form education at Fylde’s biggest school.

The governors of Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College have proposed limiting education there to 11- to 16-year olds from the current 11-18 age range from September 2018 as an economy measure.

Officials at County Hall, as the local education authority, are currently considering the replies received during a six-week consultation period and a spokesman confirmed the total received was 49.

A final decision on whether the proposal goes ahead will be made by the County Council Cabinet on March 8.

The Save Lytham St Annes Sixth Form group, which set up a Facebook presence to protest at the proposals and gathered more than 700 followers, has expressed its disappointment, while Fylde MP Mark Menzies, who lobbied for help at Westminster after expressing his concern at the plans, said: “I was very concerned when I first learned about the proposal, but in the past few months I have spoken to many young people and many have told me that they have chosen instead to go to a sixth form college. It is a different environment that they obviously want to learn in.

“This appears to have been reflected in the number of people who have taken part in the consultation over the proposed loss of A Levels - 49 is not a large number of responses when you consider how many students and parents there are at the high school.

“The principal of Blackpool Sixth, Jill Gray, tells me there are already 104 applications from Lytham St Annes High School students for next year, compared to 82 having taken places there this year. Looking at the college’s value-added scores for its A Levels, we should perhaps be looking at this option as a positive.”

A spokesman for the Save Lytham St Annes Sixth Form Group said: “It’s disappointing and frankly surprising, but if the current parents don’t want to get involved, thereby limiting their children’s choices, so be it.”

Philip Wood, Technology and Performing Arts College head teacher, said: “We won’t hear anything until after the Cabinet meeting on March 8.”