Opinion Former Article

Concern Grows over Torfaen Sixth Form Proposals

The teaching profession in Torfaen is becoming increasingly concerned over the local authority’s proposals to close the sixth forms at Croesyceiliog School, St Alban’s RC High School and Cwmbran High School.

Under its proposals, responsibility for provision of A and AS level study, BTEC and the Welsh Baccalaureate will be transferred to Coleg Gwent and effectively out of the local education authority control.

However, there are a number of significant issue that have yet to be addressed even though the formal consultation period has closed and the two largest trade unions representing teachers in Wales have voiced their concerns.

NUT Cymru Secretary, David Evans, said:

“There is vast resource of knowledge and expertise amongst teachers currently employed at the three affected schools that we are in danger of losing should the proposal become a reality. In recent years that experience has conspired to provide the best life chances to the pupils who have achieved excellent examination results year on year. There is nothing in the proposal that suggests Coleg Gwent will be able to match the high quality of provision, pastoral care or continuity of education that has delivered these rewards in the past and that is a major concern for the youngsters, their parents and the wider community”.

Jane Setchfield of the NASUWT added:

“The proposed post 16 model will increase travelling time for a majority of learners, reduce choice when it should be increased, waste public money unnecessarily on an additional educational facility when it should be reinvested in existing provision High quality teaching staff could be lost to the community with no measurable gains. Parents should be greatly concerned that if these proposals were allowed to continue and become a reality, it could result in a significantly reduced provision for their children in future. We are anxious to work with the Authority and other stakeholders to ensure the best solution and educational opportunities for the young people in Torfaen”

NUT Cymru, Ty Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ.  Tel: 029 20491818
e-mail: cymru.wales@nut.org.uk

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