Save our Sixth Form!

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As you have probably read in the letter home (another last pupil post letter!) we as a school are currently facing a crisis regarding our sixth form. The government body the Learning and Skills Council is currently consulting as to the future of education for 16-19 year olds in Medway. One of the more likely outcomes of this consultation is the merging of the sixth forms at Rainham Mark, the Howard and Rainham Girls into one Sixth Form Centre.
This affects not only our school, all schools in Kent and Medway could be forced into similar schemes by the LSC if they are not found to be productive or cost-efficient. Recently there has been a lot of press about schools already facing immediate closure of sixth forms in favour of 'colleges'. It all seems to be part of a bigger government plan to make the education system cheaper to run by replacing sixth forms with colleges.

As the letter we received makes clear all the head teachers of our consortium (Us, Howard and Rainham Girls) are opposed to the move. Mr Decker commented that all the schools have their own strengths and 'traits', RMGS being associated with academic studies while the other schools focus on vocational subjects. Currently there is some overlap; pupils from RMGS can / will be able to next year take several courses at the other schools; and in exchange some of their pupils have some of their options here. Merging the sixth forms would probably mean one sixth form centre, the location of which is unknown, and all pupils would have all their lessons there.

As the Medway Standard reported this could lead to teacher job cuts; which could ultimately mean the loss of good, specialised, experienced teachers. The consultation period will soon be over, and we will bring you more details in our next issue (May) and of course we will stay up-to-the-minute with our website.