PROTESTING parents have won a battle of wills with Kirklees College after an axed course was reinstated.
The U-turn comes weeks after the Examiner revealed students studying A-level chemistry were informed their course would end half way through.
Parents of some of the 17 students contacted the Examiner after they received emails from college tutors confirming the A/S chemistry A-level their children were studying as an add-on subject to the BTEC in forensic science would not continue to the full A2 qualification next September.
The students were taking chemistry as an add-on to their BTEC in forensic science.
The sudden announcement left students in limbo with some believing their hopes of going to university would have to be shelved.
College bosses insisted they had never intended the course to continue beyond the one-year A/S level as they had axed most A-levels in May last year.
But angry parents claimed they had been told it would be offered if enough students enrolled and said the full A2 A-level was vital for their children to make it to university.
Letters of protest were written to college principal Chris Sadler, while Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman slammed the decision as "not good enough" and vowed to step in.
Yesterday (thurs 22) the war of words was finally won when the college informed students and parents they would run the full A2 A-level for one more year.
Relieved dad, Bernard Paterson, whose daughter Rea was one of the 17 students affected, described the decision as a ‘great victory’ and said his daughter was pleased everything had worked out.
He said: "She’s a great deal happier now and feels she’s got a little bit of a more secure future.
"We weren’t sure what direction to take as we didn’t know what sort of timetable she would have. It was going to be a bit of a juggling act.
"But the nightmare is over now. It boiled down to poor communication and they have said from now on they will make it perfectly clear that the A-level chemistry course is a one-year A/S course only."
Mr Paterson also congratulated college bosses for having the courage to reverse their decision.
He said: "It shows a bit of character on their part, admitting they got it wrong, and I admire them for that.
"It’s a victory for the common man. People may not take on the establishment because they think there’s no point but this shows you can get what you want if you try hard enough."
Chris Sadler, Kirklees College Principal, said A/S Chemistry would continue to be offered as a single ‘stand alone’ qualification for adults and for Forensic Science National Diploma students but confirmed the u-turn on A2 level was for current students only.
He said: "I was alerted to some issues related to the way we had communicated a decision made in May 2008 regarding our AS and A2 Level provision.
"I also considered the findings of the internal investigation that I held. It then became clear to me that we did not communicate the change in the courses as well as we might have done, and that we had therefore left room for confusion.
"As some current students were in doubt and had felt misled, I felt it was only right that we do offer the course for this final year of students.
"I offer my apology that the uncertainty caused distress to students and their families and I hope my subsequent decision to run the A2 A-level course for this last year group will be well received."
"I would also reassure parents and students that as we continue to move through a period of significant change at Kirklees College that I will do everything I can to ensure better systems are put in place so that changes are communicated more clearly in the future."