New public meeting to be held for parents of Heysham school affected by curriculum changes

Bay Leadership Academy (previously Heysham High).
Bay Leadership Academy (previously Heysham High).
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Parents concerned at changes to the GCSE curriculum choices at a Heysham secondary school have launched an online petition.

Parents of Year 8 pupils were told just before half-term last month that several GCSE option choices were to be removed from the list of subjects available to study.

Of the optional subjects, only business studies, engineering, health and social care and performing arts were to remain – all at BTEC level rather than GCSE.

And popular subjects including art, IT, music, media studies, PE, construction and hair and beauty had all been removed.

Two public meetings have been held, and parents have now set up a petition, which has already been signed by more than 550 people.

A third meeting is also to be held at The Globe Arena tomorrow, Wednesday, from 6.15pm.

Some parents have now moved their children to new schools where they say they can study the subjects they wanted to take.

On the petition, parents said: “We are a group of very concerned parents and members of the local community.

“A large amount of options and choices, that give young people aspirations, have been removed from the curriculum.

“Tauheedal Trust are a Blackburn-based group of academies. How can they possibly make good choices for local children when they are a very detached, profit making organisation?

“Where is the money from these cuts going? Not into Star Academies (Heysham High) that’s for sure!

“If their plan is to run down and close this very important part of the local community, where will all those children go to school?”

A spokesman for Bay Leadership Academy said the curriculum has now been updated following meetings with parents.

All pupils will complete at least eight GCSEs and two vocational subjects,

“We believe our pupils are capable of, and deserve, the very best,” the spokesman said.

“Our new curriculum offers pupils a good mix of academic and vocational subjects, whilst ensuring that those who need support to secure a ‘Strong Pass’ in English and Maths can receive additional lessons to do so.

“It also ensures that every course studied at the school is recognised by local colleges and universities.

“Achieving good grades in the core subjects – which include English, maths, science, humanities and languages – will give our pupils the best chance to progress to a course and career of their choice.

“Following discussions with pupils and parents, we have increased the range of vocational subjects available that can be studied alongside the core academic subjects. Pupils are able to choose from eight vocational subjects – art, computing – imedia, hair and heauty, husiness, health and social care, performing arts, engineering and sport.”

The petition can be found online here