ANGRY parents say their childrens’ hopes of getting to university have been shattered.
They have been left in limbo after Kirklees College allegedly axed their course half-way through.
Last April the college sparked anger when it announced it was abandoning the teaching of all A2 level courses for under 18s from September.
But parents of pupils currently studying A/S Chemistry as an addition to the BTEC in Forensic Science course say there was no mention of the plan when they enrolled last summer.
Now 17 chemistry students on the course are facing a wasted year after the college finally confirmed the A/S would not be continued to A2 level next year.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman blasted the move as “not good enough” and vowed to step in.
He added: “Something must be done to see that these young people get a crack at finishing their education.”
Worried dad Bernard Paterson, whose daughter Rea is one of the students affected, said the decision was a disgrace.
He said: “I can’t understand the justification for them axing the course when they are half-way through?
“We have had an email from the head of science at the college saying that all A2 provisions will not be offered next year.
“They’ve not even offered these kids any alternative.
“They’ve taken this course so they can go on to university.
“How they can justify ending it after six months I don’t know?
“I’m not sure if it’s down to funding or if it’s the results but the course is almost full, my daughter got one of the last places.”
Another angry parent from Holmfirth, who did not want to be named, said her son was gobsmacked at the prospect of not making it to university as planned.
She said: “At the time he applied to take A Level Chemistry he had no idea they were planning on phasing out A Levels.
“At no time were we informed that it was only A/S.
“We were told last August that it would run provided they had sufficient numbers.
“But on Monday he was told it wouldn’t run.
“He wants to go on to university to do forensic chemistry and it’s really quite critical for him to take the full A level. We have no idea what we’re going to do now as this announcement comes after all the closing dates for other courses?
“Even if we could find somewhere else it’s highly unlikely to fit in with the timetable for his BTEC Forensic Science. We’re scuppered.”
Chris Sadler, principal at Kirklees College, said the news was not a new announcement as the college had made its position clear last year.
He said: “In May 2008 the college made a clear decision not to offer A2 because of quality concerns.
“This was agreed after considerable consultation internally, with other A2 providers and the local authority.
“The decision not to offer A2 is therefore not imminent or just announced, it was made in 2008.
“Nowhere in the college prospectus for full-time students aged 16-18 does it make any reference to the availability of A2.
“Many students in post-16 schools/colleges do not use the A/S as a progression route to A2.
“The college is not aware of any higher education institution that has a specific A2 entry requirement for a forensic science course if the student holds a National Diploma with Merits. Some universities do require the A/S which is why the college has offered that opportunity.”