Sixth Form Consultation - 21 October to 25 November

Mon 21 Oct 2019

Sixth Form Consultation

From Monday 21 October 2019 to Monday 25 November 2019

Consultation on the proposed closure of the Sixth Form at
Outwood Academy Normanby (formerly Hillsview Academy)

The proposed closure of the Sixth Form at Outwood Academy Normanby
Outwood Grange Academies Trust Board, and the Academy Council at Outwood Academy Normanby, are seeking your views on a proposal to close the Sixth Form at Outwood Academy Normanby. The proposal is that the Sixth Form is closed on the 31 August 2020. No students will be admitted from September 2020. Currently there are no students attending the Sixth Form. There were only three students in the Sixth Form during the academic year 2018-2019, and they completed their courses in June 2019.

Why we are proposing the phased closure of the Sixth Form
A school or college Sixth Form has to be large enough to be sustainable and in order to be able to provide a wide enough range of high-quality courses. Research shows that Sixth Forms with fewer than 150-200 students can struggle to be viable. A Collaborative Sixth Form was established in September 2008 between Nunthorpe School, Gillbrook Academy and Eston Park School. When Gillbrook Academy and Eston Park School merged to become Hillsview Academy in September 2014, the Sixth Form Collaboration continued. However, the Collaboration ended in August 2016 and numbers declined at the Sixth Form site at Hillsview Academy. The decision was taken by Academies Enterprise Trust, the sponsors of Hillsview Academy at that time, to put on hold taking students into the Sixth Form from September 2018. It now has no students.

Outwood Academy Normanby opened in September 2019, following the closure of Hillsview Academy, as it transferring to Outwood Grange Academies Trust. We believe that our focus should be on improving the quality of education in Years 7 to 11. The Sixth Form intake has been extremely low in previous years, with no realistic potential to increase numbers in the foreseeable future. There is a wealth of high quality post-16 provision within the immediate surrounding area, and across the Tees Valley, which already fully caters for the needs of our students after they leave at the end of Year 11. If there was an attempt to maintain the Sixth Form at Outwood Academy Normanby, we would be doing so by taking out funding and educational resources that were intended for our secondary phase students. We do not believe that would be fair or proper. The OGAT Board and Academy Council believe that closure is the only way to sustain the current robust finances and safeguard the future and success of the whole school.

Timeline for proposed closure (if approved)
Proposed Timeline
Consultation period commences: Monday 21 October 2019
Consultation period closes: Monday 25 November 2019
Consultation outcome shared with the Education Skills & Funding Agency and the Regional Schools Commissioner: December 2019
Approval of the Secretary of State: July 2020 (if approved)
Implementation: September 2020

Consultation Process
Any proposal from schools or academies wishing to close a Sixth Form provision must be approved by the Secretary of State for Education. The Department for Education requires any consultation to close a Sixth Form to be published at least four months prior to the planned closure, and that the consultation period must last for a period of at least four school weeks.

The Academy Council of Outwood Academy Normanby, OGAT Board Trustees and the Principal therefore invite comments from all stakeholders on the proposal set out in this paper. All views expressed during this consultation will be reported to, and considered by, the Governing Body after the consultation period has ended and will, on request, be published to parties who explicitly request this information.

How to Respond
This consultation will run from Monday 21 October 2019 until Monday 25 November 2019 and you are invited to submit comments in writing about the proposal to: Mrs Suzanne Chevalier, PA to the Principal, Outwood Academy Normanby, Normanby Road, Middlesbrough, TS6 9AG. Please send any comments by 25 November 2019.
Following the consultation period the OGAT Board and Academy Council will consider any comments received and how to proceed.