Sixth Form Consultation
July 2023 Update
You will remember that I wrote to all parents back in March to inform you that, following the outcome of the consultation on the phased closure of the Sixth Form, the Governing Board had approved moving to the next stage in the process and making a full submission to the Department for Education (DfE) and Secretary of State for Education.
The DfE have confirmed that they are in support of, and have approved the phased closure plans. As such, we will not be admitting Year 12 students into our Sixth Form in September 2023. As mentioned before, the closure will not affect our students currently studying in our Sixth Form. Our current Year 12 will continue into Year 13 with no changes or disruption to their studies. We also remain absolutely committed to our Year 11 cohort post their exams who have all secured post-16 education places or employment. We are grateful for your feedback as part of the consultation process. We remain disappointed to have needed to make this decision but believe strongly that this is in the best interests of the school.
Please find details here on the outcome of the Consultation on the proposed phased closure of Gildredge House Sixth Form.
Thank you to everyone who read the Consultation and responded. The consultation has now been completed, and the Governing Board has carefully considered all of the views, comments and suggestions.
The families of every student (more than 1,200) and all staff (160) were directly invited to respond to the consultation. It was also publicised to thousands of people more widely through the local news media and through our social media channels. It was important to us that as many people as possible were given the opportunity to be involved.
Of the 128 responses, 42 (32.8%) said they supported our proposal while 86 (67.2%) said they disagreed. Obviously, the vast majority of people choose not to express an opinion. We are grateful that many respondents understood the reason we are making this proposal, and we recognise and understand the disappointment expressed by others. However, while we acknowledge the disappointment, nothing was said that altered our very clear belief that this is the best option for the future success of the school. This is also a view endorsed by the Local Education Authority, East Sussex County Council. It agrees that low numbers in the Sixth Form limits the breadth of curriculum choices that we can provide and that resources could be more effectively focused on the rest of the school.
Gildredge House has flourished over the past ten years to more than 1,200 students and is a vibrant and happy place to learn. It's our duty to not only ensure that remains the case, but also to have a vision for how we build on it for the future.
So, having carefully considered all the feedback, the Governing Board has decided to proceed to the next stage of the process, and will be making a full submission to the Department for Education and Secretary of State for Education.
We would like to repeat that this proposal would not affect students currently in our Sixth Form. The current Year 12 will continue into Year 13 with no changes and no disruption to their studies. If we get Government agreement to close the Sixth Form, all current students will continue to be nurtured, challenged, and inspired to do their very best. The decision will simply mean no new Sixth Form admissions from September 2023. We also remain absolutely committed to our current Year 11 students and will fully support them as they consider their alternative post-16 options.
We do remain disappointed to be making this proposal, but we do firmly believe this is the best way forward for the school. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please refer to the FAQs below.
Frequently asked questions
Please refer to the Sixth Form Consultation FAQs below which provides answers to the most commonly asked questions.