A REGIONAL schools commissioner will have the final say on proposals to close the sixth form provision at Dyson Perrins CE Academy.

We reported in February on governors at the school in Yates Hay Road, Malvern, having begun a consultation over the sixth form’s future, which could mean no sixth form students start there in September.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Mike Gunston said: “You may be aware that numbers in our sixth form are low and reducing for a number of years.

“A small sixth form poses a significant challenge to retain the breadth of courses that our students wish to study.

“There are a number of strong post-16 providers locally so we are confident that our students will be able to access the courses they wish to study.

“Students in year 12 and year 13 will continue as planned.”

Andrew Warren – who has the role of overseeing school academies across the West Midlands – has confirmed to West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin that he is aware of the proposal but has not yet had a formal request to close the sixth form yet.

Harriett wrote to the commissioner earlier in the month to ask what impact this plan may have on other schools in the local area.

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Mr Warren will now review the academy’s submission and consider ‘all relevant factors’ including ‘the impact of the change, any potential risks and issues’ and the ‘availability of places’ at other schools.

MP Harriett Baldwin said: “I have written into the school’s consultation and I understand that the governors will consider all options as part of this process.

“If they do intend to press on with this proposal, the school will need to formally submit the request to the Regional Schools Commissioner, who will investigate this change and the impact it may have on sixth form provision across the area.

“I fully respect the school’s position and welcome the fact that the Commissioner will be able to assess the wider affect this will have on local schools.

“We all want the best possible teaching provision and to make sure parents have the freedom to choose what is best for their children.”

A spokesman for Mr Warren said there is no date for when the final decision will be made, as the consultation process only closed on Monday and will likely be delayed further because of the coronavirus pandemic.