A SCHOOL looks set to scrap plans to open a new sixth form in Burnley.

Burnley High School was planning to open its sixth form in 2019 after moving to a new multi-million site in Byron Street earlier this year.

However the Chapel Street Trust, which runs the academy, is consulting on shelving the plans citing changes in local education provision, demand for places and funding pressures.

There are also fears that the possible closure of Hameldon Community College next year could add pressure on places in key stage three.

The academy, which opened in 2014, is adding an extra year group each year. It was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in May.

In a letter to parents, the school said: “You may be aware, when the proposal for the school was first put to the Department for Education the initial plans included sixth form provision.

“However, things alter over time and due to changes in local education provision, demand for places, and educational funding, Chapel Street Community Schools is considering very carefully the best possible opportunities and outcomes for pupils at Burnley High School, and after they leave.

“And, because of this, we would like to consult you on a proposal not to open a sixth form provision in 2019 as originally intended.

“In order to deliver the best possible provision for sixth form students, recruiting specialist staff that can not only lead A level courses, but key stage three and key stage four courses to the expected standard can be challenging, particularly for a smaller sized school.

“That means that it is likely we would be only able to offer a small fraction of the courses that other local settings can offer.

“Due to the education landscape in Burnley, and with a local school under consultation to close, the pressure on places in the area for children in KS3 currently is high and we are doing our very best to help where we can. As a result, our staffing needs and recruitment programme currently reflect this urgent demand.”

It added recruitment would also be challenging due to the number of good and outstanding colleges in the area and it would be a ‘much better use of our time, skills and experience, supporting our fabulous young students and developing great working relationships with our local colleagues so that we can signpost the best possible next steps for all our students’.

The consultation event will run on Friday between 3pm and 4.30pm.

James Royal, CEO of Chapel Street Trust, and headteacher Vicky Povey will be there to answer questions.