Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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32.1 The Chair gave the following communication.
I’d like to inform those present that this meeting will be webcast live and will be capable of repeated viewing.
As this committee will be familiar, during both the Sussex Area Review and the Local Area Review, concerns were expressed about the viability of post 16 provision where numbers of students are below 200 students across the 6th form. In March 2016, guidance was issued by the Department of Education which states: “The Area Review encourages school sixth forms to collaborate to a greater extent to help drive efficiencies. Similar provision in sixth forms is often duplicated in relatively small geographical areas, when it could be delivered in a more joined up way. This may be particularly the case where sixth forms are very small, as some evidence raises concerns about costs, breadth of offer and outcomes for these providers.”
The Governing Body of Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form have carefully considered the position of the sixth form provision Blatch Six, and have concluded that its provision should be closed. I am confident that the governors of the school have considered the variety of options for the sixth form provision over a number of years and recognise much thought will have gone into reaching this conclusion.
Due to the timescales involved, the Executive Director for F, C & L used his delegated authority to make a decision to initiate a consultation, a position I support and therefore a consultation on a proposal to change the age range of the school from 11 to 18 as it is as present to 11 to 16 has started. The proposal has to be taken forward by the Local Authority in accordance with DfE statutory guidance Making ‘prescribed alterations’ to maintained schools (April 2016).
The results of this consultation will be reported to the January meeting of the Children Young People and Skills Committee where a decision will be made as to whether to proceed to the next stage which would be the publication of a statutory notice and a further period of consultation.
Should the sixth form provision close the school will work more closely with Hove Park who will retain 6th form provision in the area.
You will note that Item 33 has the minutes from the last CYPS meeting, together with an addendum to the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2017. The minutes of the 19 June meeting have already been agreed, but Mr Jones has asked that comments he said he made at the meeting be added. I am aware that a number of emails have been circulated on this matter, and I would suggest that when we come to Item 33 that the wording be noted without further discussion and added as an addendum to the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2017.