Parents with children at Rastrick High School have given a mixed reaction to plans to close the sixth form in favour of a new post-16 college in Halifax town centre.
Rastrick High headteacher Steve Evans wrote to parents on Friday about a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the school to influence the education of young people of Rastrick and beyond.
The plan is a new college by refurbishing the former Central Library in Halifax town centre.
Rastrick High is working with Trinity Academy Halifax and Calderdale Council on the plan which could see the college opening in September 2019.
Mr Evans told parents: “This proposal is designed to provide a sustainable, outstanding Post-16 provision, spearheaded by Rastrick High School and Trinity Academy Halifax, for all 16-19 learners in our locality.
“It will provide a blended level 3 pathway of qualifications (both academic A level and vocational), designed to meet the needs of all learners, whatever their preferred destinations.”
Mr Evans said the college would be sited in an “extensively refurbished building” previously occupied by the Central Library and “comes with the guarantee of significant funding.”
He added: “This funding will create a space that will become a vibrant learning hub, with links to local businesses and amenities.”
In the run up to September 2019 Rastrick High will continue to provide post-16 education, Mr Evans told parents.
“We will also guarantee that any students enrolled in 2018, onto a two-year course, will have a seamless transition to the new college.”
Mr Evans added: “This is an exciting, joint programme led by two schools with excellent reputations for high standards, and it will deliver the same level of provision in the new college provision.”
Parents with pupils at Rastrick said not everyone would be happy with the plans.
One said: “It’s not going to go down with my daughter who doesn’t want to travel that far.”
One mum said: “My daughter thinks she’s staying for the 6th form at RHS. I will have to break it to her gently.”
Another mum added: “I think it’s a great idea. When my daughter gets to sixth form age I want to encourage her to look at all sixth forms.”
One parent said: “If there is no sixth form at RHS they will focus more on GCSE results which is a good thing.”
Others said that the changes would free up space at Rastrick High which in the summer had to build an outdoor dining area – described by some as looking like a ‘cattle shed’ – due to overcrowding at lunchtimes.
One parent said that it appeared to her that Rastrick High is “obviously wanting the sixth form space.”