The trustees of The Oldershaw School, have made the decision to go to consultation regarding the proposed closure of the school’s sixth form. The proposal is made in recognition of a changing educational landscape on the Wirral, which sees a number of small in-school sixth forms with very low numbers, increasingly unable to compete with the excellent facilities and offer of Birkenhead Sixth Form College, and the vocational offer from Wirral Met College. Nationally, schools with small sixth forms are finding it ever more difficult to compete with dedicated sixth forms and still deliver a wide curriculum offer, this has resulted in a large number closing over recent years. Of those that still exist, many run with non-viable class sizes and that requires a large subsidy that impacts heavily on budgets, this has increasingly been the case at Oldershaw.
After careful consideration the Trust Board and Leadership Teams feel that the monies subsidising the current sixth form can be better invested in developing teaching and learning and facilities for mainstream 11 to 16 learners. This will enable the school to have a clear focus on compulsory education to ensure that those pupils moving onto the next phase of their education have all the skills and academic support that they need to achieve the best outcomes and be best prepared for the next stages in their development.
Oldershaw School (Ofsted ‘Good’ March 2022) continues to be a heavily oversubscribed school, and in September 2023 only 85% of Year 7 parents who made the school their first choice were able to secure a place. Freeing up the space currently used by the school’s sixth form, would allow the school to admit an additional number of students into Year 7 over coming years and help to meet the demand that exists.
We have provided all our families and school partners with detailed information about the reasons for the consultation and welcome their views which can be given by written response or attending a public consultation on Wednesday 8 November 5.30pm to 7pm. Further information can be found in the letter below along with the designated contact email address.
Steve Fisher – Executive Headteacher