30th September 2021
Consultation on the proposed closure of Sixth Form Provision and Changes to Admission Arrangements for Year 12 and 13 at Beckfoot Thornton
Thursday 30th September 2021
I am writing to seek your view on the proposal to close the sixth form at Beckfoot Thornton and to amend the admission arrangements for Year 12 and 13. This will reduce the total capacity of the school from 1595, to 1315. If this proposal is approved, there would be no provision to admit Year 11 students into Year 12 in academic year 2022-23. Current Year 12 students will be admitted into Year 13 in 2022-23 to complete their courses, the sixth form will then close at the end the academic year in 2023 and will not have any sixth form provision from September 2023.
This proposal is made in recognition of a changing educational landscape in Bradford. The Educational Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) approved the opening of two local sixth form colleges in 2019 to specialise in Post 16 provision, creating more and specialised capacity for older learners. Both of the sixth form colleges are now open and more of our learners are opting to attend these colleges rather than the sixth form provision at Beckfoot Thornton. Also, one of the sixth form colleges will shortly be moving into a new purpose-built building based further down Thornton Road which will attract even more students from Beckfoot Thornton.
Most importantly, the changes proposed will benefit the students of Beckfoot Thornton now and in the years to come. Because of the reducing numbers in the sixth form, we have only been able to offer a small range of post 16 options for our students wishing to stay here. Our relationships with the Beckfoot Trust, in addition to the increasingly diverse range of Post 16 providers in Bradford will open up many more pathways for each of our students, be they academic, vocational or directly specialised work related. It is our responsibility to ensure that we secure the right pathway forward for every one of our students entering Post 16 education. The closure of the sixth form will also allow the school to focus exclusively on 11 -16 education and be able to broaden curriculum provision for these students.
The purpose of this letter is therefore to gain your views and comments on the proposal to close the sixth form provision at Beckfoot Thornton and changing the admission arrangements, as part of the overall consultation prior to any decision being made. Letters of consultation will be sent to all local schools, parents/carers, local community, local authority and all other stakeholders.
The consultation period will run from Monday 4th October 2021 to Friday 19th November 2021. After which we submit your responses along with a business case to the Department for Education who will make a decision on the proposed closure of the sixth form.
There will be a consultation evening at school where you will have the opportunity to share your views and discuss the proposals on Wednesday 20th October 2021 starting at 5.30pm.
Any comments or suggestions on the proposal can be made by completing the attached response form included with this letter or alternatively by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, I hope that you will be able to support us with this change. It is an important development, and it will help us to realise our ambition to create a remarkable school for our community to be proud of.
Mr J Richardson