ALMOST all A-level exams are to be scrapped by Huddersfield Technical College – but the controversial move has sparked anger.
Students say getting rid of the courses will rip the “heart and soul” from the college and take away a vital safety net from students who fail to get into Greenhead College or Huddersfield New College.
The college has confirmed it will be dropping the majority of A-levels from its curriculum, leaving only sociology, psychology, biology and chemistry as subjects to study.
But these will only be available to learners aged 19 and over.
The decision has angered students, including two sisters who described it as “‘disgraceful”.
The Examiner revealed earlier this month that the college was considering abolishing the qualifications because of poor students’ results and a lack of demand, despite complaints that the decision would cause the education of many to suffer.
The change will be in place when the new term starts in September and only students who have started their courses will be allowed to continue.
Rachel and Hannah Matthews, who are both taking A-levels at the college, said the decision will be a devastating blow to many.
Rachel, 30, said: “I think it’s disgusting. The decision has left teachers reeling at the loss of much-loved jobs and students outraged at the loss of educational facilities.
“Tragedy is the best adjective to describe how students at Huddersfield Technical College feel.
“The impact of the decision to scrap essential A-levels like English language and literature, maths and history will leave a gaping hole in the curriculum and mean that people lack the basic skills to succeed in life.
“It offered educational facilities to everyone, regardless of age, gender or qualifications, but that is obviously no longer the case..”
Rachel, a single mum who lives in Kirkheaton with her two children, said: “Mature students will really suffer from this decision as no other college in the vicinity offers them the opportunity to study at A-level. The only subjects that will be available to them at that level are very limiting.”
Rachel left school at 16, but later went back into education and discovered a love of English and history which she is now set to study at university. As a working mum, she found the short part-time courses ideal.
Hannah, 19, who lives in Mirfield, said that scrapping A-levels at the college will also have a massive impact on students under 19 for whom the courses will no longer be available to at all.
She said: “Taking A-levels there has really helped prepare me for the future, but if it hadn’t offered the courses then I wouldn’t have been able to do them at all.”
Andrea Machell, vice-principal for curriculum and quality, said: “Falling demand and inconsistent success rates in some areas prompted us to take a close look at the college’s AS and A2 programmes.
“An extensive review has now taken place, supported by the College’s Corporation and we have decided to offer a reduced number of A-level subjects to new learners from September.
“Though we will be offering just a small number of subjects, future learners can be assured that the college does have a wide range of provision that offers a recognised alternative route to university.
“School leavers can study for a BTEC National Diploma which is equivalent to three A-levels and adults can opt for an Access to Higher Education course or variety of vocational qualifications.”