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Academies, already a dictat about sixth forms. Wasn't the promise 'autonomy'? What will happen to children in rural areas or small towns?

(10 Posts)
MillyDLA Sat 16-Apr-16 21:49:07

www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/exclusive-new-restrictions-academies-opening-small-sixth-forms

spanieleyes Sun 17-Apr-16 08:42:09

Ah well, when the Government says more freedom for heads and teachers, it didn't exactly mean it! It meant more central control over schools, as opposed to local control.

AugustaFinkNottle Sun 17-Apr-16 08:47:48

There was never a chance that the government would genuinely leave academies with autonomy, and anyone who has opened an academy school believing that is incredibly naive.

meditrina Sun 17-Apr-16 08:54:01

Children in rural areas probably won't be in any different a situation, because they will still have to travel to a sixth form that acts as a hub for the whole area.

This brings the possibility that there might be more sixth forms, thus giving them more choice.

Minimum of 200 expected pupils isn't that big, and shows they have been listening to some of the (vocal) criticisms of free schools not having to meet a particular level of demand. So this part shows that places must correlate to requirement.

15 subjects seems OK to me too.

I'm a bit wary if the stats over the time frame chosen for this article, because it straddles the raising of the participation age, and comes just before the years when the demographic bulge will rise to 6th form age.

Again, the voices about the shortage of primary, and now heading into secondary, places included 'why didn't they see this coming and plan ahead?' Well, creating places just before anticipated need (which is what the article appears to describe) is what that sort of planning and prior creation would look like.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 09:05:20

Under the current funding arrangements many schools with small 6th forms find themselves subsidising the 6th form with the budget made available for KS3&4 education.
personally, I'd rather see fewer 6th forms if it means my DD gets a better resourced Secondary education.

MillyDLA Sun 17-Apr-16 16:56:54

Again, in rural areas, children already travel mile and miles to small sixth forms. In my home town children travel for up to 30 miles to the nearest but these aren't large enough to be more than 200 or to offer 15 A levels. These would close with the nearest being an additional 15 miles or more. Feels very distant and difficult for families who may have children across the education system given small primary and secondary schools are also at risk.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 17-Apr-16 17:54:42

I'm not sure the distance should be considered a barrier, tbh. Many DCs who are pursuing an academic further education route in sixth form are preparing for Higher Education - which I think a daily commute using public transport plays a significant part in.

The cost of that commute is a different issue, as it should not be a barrier to attendance, and I'd be interested to see how policy regarding school transport is adapted to accommodate these 6th form proposals.

MillyDLA Sun 17-Apr-16 19:44:35

Distance is surely a factor when rural public transport has been cut too. Nearly non existent here.

MillyDLA Sun 17-Apr-16 19:46:14

Distance is certainly a barrier to education if you can't get to school.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 17-Apr-16 19:55:10

Most students in higher education have traditionally live in their college town. Not had to commute for an hour or more each way. Given that there is absolutely no support for transport to the nearest 6th for college in our area, costing parents several hundred pounds each year, I cant imagine the government suddenly putting money into transport.

This proposal makes an absolute mockery of the specialist maths schools that the government were so keen on supporting.

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