Don’t fear over A-levels, says academy boss
SCHOOLS will be fighting over A-level students when Macclesfield College end the courses, a headteacher has claimed.
The announcement that the Park Lane college would stop teaching A-levels at the end of the school year met with criticism from parents and students who feared there wouldn’t be enough room at the town’s other sixth forms. But Richard Hedge, headteacher at Macclesfield Academy, says the government squeeze on post-16 education budgets means schools and colleges are keen to recruit new students, comparing it to a ‘football transfer window’ with ‘players everyone wants to sign’.
He said: “Post-16 provision has become so constrained there is real challenge for anyone running A-levels.
“The pattern of A-level provision will continue to evolve as national changes to qualifications and funding take effect.
“By 2021 when students from next year’s Year Seven are progressing to A-levels, the local picture may well have changed again.
“There is a much greater need for providers to work in partnership.”
He added: “We sent a letter to our students after the college’s decision to stop A-levels and I’ve used the analogy of it being like the football transfer window and they are like the players everyone wants to sign.
“All the schools are desperate to recruit as many students as they can.”
Mr Hedge said last September 56 per cent of Macclesfield Academy students who progressed to A-levels went to Macclesfield College and 44pc to the town’s other sixth forms – Tytherington High School, Fallibroome Academy and All Hallows Catholic College.
Headteachers have also assured parents there will be enough space for students and have already been in talks with Macclesfield Academy about taking pupils.
Tony Billings, All Hallows headteacher, said: “Post-16 education is a changing landscape.
“We have an open sixth form and will be delighted to interview youngsters from the academy. Parents don’t need to worry.”
Francis Power, head of school at Fallibroome, said: “In the current climate we understand why the college’s management team reached this decision.
“We are happy to receive applications from students who hoped to do A-levels at the college.”
Fallibroome’s A-Level open evening is today (Wednesday), from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.