Sixth Form Colleges

Education written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban Conservative, Fareham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many sixth form college corporations have been dissolved in the last 10 years; and in each case for what reason the corporation was dissolved.

Photo of David Laws David Laws The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, The Minister for Schools

12 sixth form college corporations have been dissolved between January 2003 and December 2013. In the majority of cases, the corporation was dissolved as part of the legal process of merger with another further education corporation(s). The exception is St Mary's Roman Catholic College in Middlesbrough. In this instance, the corporation was dissolved and the provision made by the sixth form college was taken on by a neighbouring secondary school, Trinity College. The reason for dissolution is rarely a single issue but is often a combination of factors such as: inadequate Ofsted assessment; falling student numbers; financial viability, and strategies of the local authority at the time to rationalise sixth form provision. Detailed information relating to old dissolutions has not been retained. Where the rationale is known, it is included in the following table:

Sixth form college Date of change Merged provision Reason
Bede Sixth Form College April 2008 Stockton Riverside College Merged to protect the future viability of provision in the locality. Bede was the smallest sixth form college at the time of merger.
Eccles Sixth Form College January 2009 Salford City College Eccles College, Pendleton College and Salford College were merged following a feasibility study on the current and anticipated curriculum and facilities needed to meet the needs of young people, adults and employers in Salford.
Farnham College August 2007 Guildford College
Haywards Heath College August 2005 Central Sussex College
Josiah Mason Sixth Form College August 2006 Sutton Coldfield College
Ludlow College August 2013 Herefordshire College of Technology Forecast future insolvency and falling student numbers. Merger protected the future provision for residents of Ludlow.
North Area College January 2006 Stockport College of Further Education
Park College, Eastbourne November 2003 Sussex Downs College
Spelthorne College August 2007 Brooklands College
St Mary's RC College, Middlesbrough August 2011 Trinity School Provision judged inadequate by Ofsted. Falling student numbers. Transfer of provision protected the choice of Catholic post-16 provision for Middlesbrough.
Tynemouth College March 2005 Tyne Metropolitan College
Widnes and Runcorn Sixth Form College August 2006 Halton Riverside College Part of a local authority-led strategy to reduce school and college provision.

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