WISBECH: Sixth form college at Thomas Clarkson Community College set to be put back a year

GOVERNORS say they cannot start a sixth form at Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech, this September and have asked to move the start date back a year. The shock announcement came today in a report to Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet which pu

GOVERNORS say they cannot start a sixth form at Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech, this September and have asked to move the start date back a year.

The shock announcement came today in a report to Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet which puts much of the blame on the turn over of head teachers at the school.

Hazel Belchamber, acting director of planning and development, says since Cabinet first approved the establishment of a sixth form head teacher John Bennett resigned and the deputy head, Maureen Strudwick, has taken on the role of acting head pending recruitment of a permanent head.

Ironically Ms Belchamber's report was published just days after Ms Strudwick was confirmed as the school's new permanent head.

"The governors have approached the authority with a request that the implementation date be deferred until September 2010 to provide the school with additional time to plan for this important change," says Ms Belchamber.

In the interim governors hope the school will be allowed to continue to provide post 16 education on its site under a franchise agreement with the College of West Anglia delivering A and AS levels.

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The county council says it has committed �3 million to enhance post 16 vocational and practical learning opportunities at the Thomas Clarkson Community College and extra funding will come through the Building Schools for the Future Initiative.

Ms Belchamber said the original date for the sixth form at Wisbech had also been linked to the College of West Anglia's planned relocation to March in September but "due to circumstance beyond the college's control" building work will not be completed by that date.

The delayed sixth form will be discussed by Cabinet next Tuesday.