The future of Sixth Form provision at Kings Norton Boys School is under threat due to lack of funding.
According to Head Teacher Paul Woodhouse the cost of sixth form provision at KNBS is double the amount of funding received from the Education Funding Agency and a reduced number of potential applicants means the sixth form is no longer viable.
The Governing Body have voted to start a four week consultation in January 2017 with a view to ending sixth form intake from September 2017 and with the current cohort of first year six formers being the last to complete their studies at the school in 2018.
The consultation will begin on 5th January 2017 and from February 2nd 2017, Birmingham City Council will have two months to consider the proposal and the views shared during the consultation period. The council is due to announce whether it approves the proposal by April 2nd 2017.
Should the proposal be approved, sixth form provision will be removed on August 31st 2018, while the Year 7 intake will increase from 120 places to 150 places from September 2018.
If the proposals are approved, the school would not admit new students to its sixth form in September 2017. The current Year 12 students would begin Year 13 in September 2017 to continue their studies in the 2017/18 academic year and would be the school’s final cohort of sixth form students.
Full details about the consultation have been shared with staff, parents and students and a number of advice surgeries are due to take place over coming weeks and months.
King’s Norton Boys’ School Head Teacher Paul Woodhouse said: “We understand that the proposal to remove sixth form provision may come as a great disappointment to those who hold our school close to their heart due to its proud history.
“We too share this sense of disappointment, but the decision to begin a consultation was made unanimously by the Governing Body after the proposal was given considerable attention and deliberation.
“The cost of running our sixth form provision is double the funding received for our Year 12 and 13 students from the Education Funding Agency and is contributing significantly to a projected deficit over the next three years.
“An increase in post-16 education provision in the local area is also having an impact, while just 29 current Year 11 students have said they plan to join our sixth form in September 2017.
“The sixth form, therefore, is simply proving to be no longer viable or sustainable.
“The school is committed to ensuring that current sixth form students are not affected adversely by this proposal, while extra careers advice will be available to our Year 11 students.
“Meanwhile, demand for our Year 7 places has been strong over the last few years and the school has a recent trend of being oversubscribed.
“The Governing Body and I believe the expansion of our Year 7 intake would not only help address the local shortage of secondary school places, but the increased funding would enable King’s Norton Boys’ to be financially sustainable and develop into an ‘Outstanding’ school offering a quality education to youngsters aged 11 to 16.
“I want to thank our students, parents and staff for their understanding and patience during what could be an unsettling time, I am grateful for their continuous support.”
Sarah Brown, Chair of Governors, said: “Together with Head Teacher Paul Woodhouse, the Governing Body has been working hard for some time now to find the best solution to times of challenge.
“In Autumn 2015 we explored a number of options to address a projected deficit, including different ways of organising the sixth form.
“At the time, we approved a restructure which saw a small reduction in staffing across the school.
“Despite the restructure, the school continues to face a deficit and we have no choice but to make more difficult decisions to protect the future of the school.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have agreed to a consultation to remove the school’s sixth form provision.
“We would encourage as many people as possible to share their thoughts in order for the council to be able to make a fully informed decision about the future of our school.
“We believe the proposed changes, including increasing our intake in Year 7, will ensure King’s Norton Boys’ School can properly invest in its students across Years 7 to 11 to offer and innovative curriculum – providing our students with the best available opportunities.”