UPDATE 8th October 2015
Latest statement from Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy
Dave Smith, the Principal of Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy (OIEA), said today that, following a constructive meeting between the Academy, the sponsor and the MP for Erewash, Maggie Throup, the Academy will continue to work to ensure that no student in the sixth form is disadvantaged.
OIEA will continue to have individual conversations with the students and their parents, and with other sixth form providers in the area, so that alternative personalised curriculum pathways are found.
As a result of the intervention by Maggie Throup, the Academy is today pleased to confirm that it will support a cohort of current Year 12 students from next September when they move into Year 13, where alternative suitable provision cannot be found at other establishments.
Maggie Throup said: “I remain committed to working with the Academy to ensure the best possible outcome for all current Year 12 students to ensure they will not be disadvantaged by this recent decision. Longer term I am optimistic that the 11-16 students will have the very best education, and I will continually hold the Academy, and its trust, to account to ensure that this is the case. I will still be meeting with the Education Secretary when Parliament returns next week to discuss the situation further.”
OIEA Principal Dave Smith said: “The decision to close the sixth form was incredibly difficult and I share the disappointment of students and parents. The interests of our young people are always our number one priority, and that is why I am pleased that, if a cohort of current Year 12 students are not able to find suitable places at other providers for next September, we will continue to support them.”
Along with many other schools nationally, Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy has had to review its sixth form provision due to a reduction in sixth form funding.
As a result the academy has made the difficult but necessary decision to close its sixth form from September 2016. This will enable the Academy to focus on provision for students aged 11 to 16. Due to the significant surplus of places in the locality and funding pressures, sixth form student numbers at the academy are too low to make the sixth form viable. Headteacher union ASCL has highlighted the issues facing many institutions offering post-16 education, with lower levels “putting the financial health of many school sixth forms and colleges at risk”.
Teaching and learning for both Year 12 and Year 13 students will be unaffected for all this academic year. Year 13 students will complete their studies as normal with the full support of the academy. Year 12 will also be able to complete their courses to the end of this academic year. The academy is liaising with students, parents and other providers to ensure that they can make a smooth transition into other institutions for 2016, at which there are significant numbers of spaces available.
The decision will ensure that a greater emphasis can be placed on the long-term needs of students in Years 7 to 11, and so that they can continue to receive a first-class education.
This year 44% of pupils at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy achieved five A*-C grades, including English and Maths, up 3 percentage points on last year and 20 percentage points up since Ormiston became the sponsor.
Principal Dave Smith said:
“Funding changes have had a significant impact on our budgets, as they have for many schools facing similar decisions, and as such we simply cannot afford to keep the sixth form open.
We have a responsibility to provide an outstanding education for our students and must ensure that we continue to do so. The academy’s Year 11 results are increasing and this decision enables us to put an even greater focus on the quality of teaching and learning for Years 7-11.
We recognise that parents and students will be concerned and that we will do all we can to support them. We are designing an individual progression package for each of the lower sixth students as a priority. They will be able to complete all courses to the end of this academic year and we are working with them to find suitable high quality courses in the local area from 2016.”
Carlton Midgley, Chair of Governors said:
“The governing body has a priority to provide a high quality education to all of our students and this move will enable us to increase the quality of our students’ experiences across the academy.
We are proud of our sixth form achievements to date, but unfortunately we do not have the funding to continue this provision. The academy is working with sixth form students to ensure that their education continues at the high level they deserve.”