THE SIXTH form at Leamington’s Trinity School will be staying open – because it’s cheaper than closing it.
The Guy’s Cliffe Avenue school announced in February it was considering closing the sixth form to new students in a bid to save money with the government planning to slash £5.5million from school budgets in Warwick district.
Under the proposals, students currently in the first year of A Levels would be able to finish their studies but pupils sitting their GCSEs would not be able to join the sixth form in September.
But it has now been revealed the cost of actually closing the sixth form was set to cost more in the long run than actually keeping the centre.
Warwickshire County Council said it would not cover the £350,000 cost of redundancies which would leave the school financially ‘in the red’ longer than if the sixth form stayed open.
Head Chris Gabbett said: “We were put under pressure from the local authority to close the sixth form but the decision had to come from the trustees.
“We were then told the authority wouldn’t pay for the redundancies we would have to make. This made closing the sixth form more expensive than keeping it.
“There will still be redundancies but they will be voluntary ones and we will have to tighten the A Level curriculum but I am confident we can retain a strong academic offering.
“We were rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted in January and people choose Trinity because we’re a caring community.
“It is a dark time for education at the moment.”
Pupils had taken a stand against the proposed closure by gathering a 1,300 signature petition in support of keeping the sixth form open and presented it to the county council, and to Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell when he visited the town at the weekend campaigning ahead of the county council elections.
Mr McDonnell said: “Huge credit must go to the school who have led a fantastic campaign against the closure.
“It just goes to show what can be achieved when a community pulls together and it is great news for local people that the Sixth Form will remain open.”