BREAKING: Lancaster sixth form set to close in 2018

Photo Neil Cross Nicola Hall, head of Central Lancaster High School
Photo Neil Cross Nicola Hall, head of Central Lancaster High School

Central Lancaster High School plans to close its sixth form next year because of low pupil numbers and reduced funding.

The school, in Crag Road, has approached Lancashire County Council about its future, and a public notice of intended closure has just been published.

The school proposes to lower its age range from 11-18 years to 11-16 years, from August 31 2018 due to “concerns about its financial and educational viability”.

A county council report shows the school has low and reducing student numbers and a small curriculum offer in its sixth form.
There are only 62 students in the sixth form, with 24 in Year 12 and 38 in Year 13, and the school believes that not all of the students in Year 12 will progress into Year 13.

Any current Year 12 students who wish to continue into Year 13 will be able to do so and will be supported by the school throughout the remainder of their programme.

Central Lancaster has seen its sixth form funding reduced from £442,316 to £380,837 between 2016 and 2017.

It is a partner in a Sixth Form Federation with three other school sixth forms in the area: Our Lady’s Catholic College, Carnforth High School and Heysham High School Sports College, but the federation is not as strong as it once was and only two students access provision at CLHS through this arrangement.

Of the school’s 2016 school leavers, only 17 per cent chose to progress into the sixth form.

The significant majority - 42.4 per cent, progressed to Lancaster and Morecambe College instead.

Central Lancaster High School and Lancashire County Council have both been approached for comment.