STRATFORD College is dropping A levels from its curriculum.
A dramatic fall in demand following the expansion of local secondary schools has seen bosses take the decision to axe the 12 A levels courses offered. There are currently only around 65 students doing A levels at the Alcester Road college but all will be able to complete their qualifications.
College chief operating officer Lindsey Stewart said: “Numbers have been in decline over the last few years and we want to make the decision now so that those who have applied to do A levels will have plenty of time to review their choices.
“Every applicant will be invited in to discuss alternative programmes, as our vocational qualifications, equivalent to A levels, are recognised by 95 per cent of universities.
“If we cannot find a suitable alternative at the college then we intend to refer those applicants to the many excellent schools in the local area providing A levels.”
Bosses say they are confident the move can be made without having to make redundancies as A level lecturers also teach other subjects.
Mrs Stewart added: “We are working closely with trade unions to mitigate the effect on staffing levels and we are optimistic that planned growth in other areas will allow opportunities for the small number of our excellent staff affected to teach these subjects.
“We believe that compulsory redundancies can be avoided as there will be exciting new further and higher education courses to study.”
From this September the college, which recently completed a merger with neighbouring Solihull College & University Centre, will be offering higher level education courses providing platforms to degrees.
Students will be able to study two year courses in creative media, sport, performing arts and uniformed public services – the later for people training to join the military, police or ambulance service. They will then have the chance to go on to a university to complete a further year and gain a degree.