Iceni Academy suspends its sixth form for a year because of poor student numbers

Ian Cleland of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Cleland of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A high school is closing its sixth form to new students this September, and may not re-open it if students numbers do not improve.

The Iceni Academy, in Methwold, is suffering from being in an isolated area, its sponsor, the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) said.

According to Department for Education data, its sixth form had 54 students in Year 12, and 42 students in Year 13, this year.

The school has told current Year 12 students who are due to enter Year 13 in September that they can complete their studies at Iceni, as planned, but it will not have a new Year 12.

Ian Cleland, chief executive of ATT, said he believed all the students who had been planning to join the Iceni sixth form next month had found places elsewhere - a number of them at Mildenhall College Academy, which is also sponsored by ATT.

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He said ATT had considered a joint sixth form between Iceni and Mildenhall, so that students would have a wider choice of subjects, but the numbers did not work out.

He said: 'Rather than get rid of the sixth form, it is suspended for this year in order that the youngsters could get a full offer. It would not be right for youngsters not to be able to get a full range of subjects open to them, taught by specialist teachers.

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'At a time of financial restrain, we have to look at things carefully, but the pupils' interests are at the forefront of our thinking, and we want them to have excellent education post-16.'

He said he hoped that numbers coming through would allow the sixth form to re-open to new students in September 2017, and a decision would be made in spring 2017.

He said the school's partnership with Norwich City Football Club would continue.

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