NEWS that Sleaford's joint sixth form is to be broken up has been received with widespread disappointment in the town.
After working together for 27 years on the provision of sixth form education in the town, Sleaford's three secondary schools will no longer have a three school joint sixth form after Kesteven and Sleaford High School made the decision to pull out of the arrangement and run its own separate sixth form.
But the headteachers of the three schools have all been quick to give reassurances that sixth form students in the town will not be disadvantaged in any way.
The joint sixth form was originally established in 1983 to enable sixth form students at Carre's Grammar School, Kesteven and Sleaford High School and St George's School (now Academy) to take advantage of the facilities at all three schools.
However, after a series of talks over recent months
about the future of the joint sixth form, the High School has decided to withdraw from the arrangement, while Carre's and St George's say they will continue to work together on sixth form options.
Alison Ross, headteacher of Kesteven and Sleaford High School said: "We very much regret that the existing arrangement has ended but we will continue to work in the best interests of the young people of Sleaford.
"The High School will continue to offer a wide range of post 16 courses for students, as always.
"It is a case of business as usual."
Carre's headteacher Nick Law said: "It is a huge disappointment that we have reached this stage where two schools feel they can continue to work together and one feels they have to pull out. A lot of people actually came to Sleaford because of the joint sixth form.
"This is not a sudden decision. There have been a series of meetings over the past year.
"The pupils at Carre's will not be disadvantaged in any way."
Paul Watson, principal of St George's Academy, added: "The Joint Sixth Form, I am very pleased to say, is continuing and we hope that the HIgh School will in future re-join and we are very sorry that they have felt it necessary
to leave the Joint Sixth Form."
He said that all courses for Year 12s going into Year 13 would be honoured and between Carre's and St George's they would be putting on all the courses previously
delivered by the High School for the sixth form.
Mr Watson stressed: "None of the students in the area need to be disadvantaged.
"The High School students are welcome to join the Joint Sixth Form and access all of the courses.
"The Joint Sixth Form is an excellent concept. In time we hope to get the three schools back together.
"St George's and Carre's are still working together. I am disappointed that the HIgh School's governing body has taken its decision for whatever reason but that's their choice. It is such a shame for the people of Sleaford."
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