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Sixth forms may go; 'Super college' plan would add choice for pupils.

Byline: Claire Stoker

ALL school sixth forms in north Liverpool could close to create a "super college", it was revealed last night.

The plan is just one option available to education chiefs as part of a radical shake-up of post-16 education.

A review of current sixth-form provision says it denies young people access and opportunity because of too few subjects, not enough pupils staying on, and not enough collaboration between schools.

Five options for change were put before secondary school heads yesterday.

These were: keeping things as they are, which has been described as not a realistic option; keeping the existing system but with modification; merging De La Salle's sixth form with St John Bosco's on to one site; closing all sixth forms and creating two new sixth form centres; or closing all sixth forms and creating one sixth form centre.

Jim Donaldson, review author and former chief inspector of the further education funding council, says: "Of the options listed, either four or five offer the best solutions."

The review was ordered by Greater Merseyside Learning and Skills Council - GMLSC - now responsible for funding all post-16 education.

Liverpool City Council is working closely with GMLSC and a full consultation with all school headteachers, trustees, and governors starts today.

Director of education Colin Hilton said: "It is vital for the future of our young people that we increase the proportion staying in education beyond the age of 16.

"We have to modernise the curriculum on offer and make it attractive to youngsters - this report provides an excellent contribution to the debate on how we can accomplish these aims."

Paul Holmes, executive director of GMLSC, said: "We are keen to work with all parties to improve the choices available to young people and to raise the levels of participation and achievement."

No change is expected before September, 2004.

Executive member for education, Coun Paul Clein, said: "What is absolutely critical is that we have a full curriculum entitlement, to suit the needs of students with different talents and abilities.

"I believe the likeliest outcome is a single sixth-form college in north Liverpool by September, 2004, which could be a new build, or an adaptation of an existing building."

The affected schools are: Alsop High, Walton;

Anfield comprehensive; Croxteth comprehensive; Fazakerley High; Queen Mary, Walton (due to close summer 2002); Archbishop Beck RC High, Walton; De La Salle RC High, Croxteth; St John Bosco RC high, Croxteth; Notre Dame RC High, Everton.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2002
Words:417
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