‘A’ level results and the demise of our sixth forms.
Students, parents, teachers and governors will be anxiously waiting for exam results this week and next as first the 'A' level and then the GCSE results are published on subsequent weeks. It is an anxious time as future plans and careers are held in the balance and we wish the very best of luck to all.
In some Rhondda schools, however, the current crop of sixth form students will be amongst the last. The Director of Education along with the Labour cabinet at RCT Council decided to experiment with the pupils of the Rhondda and Tonyrefail and create "through schools."
Tonypandy, Porth and Ferndale will have their sixth forms taken away with students form those areas having to go to Tonyrefail or Treorchy. From 2018 at Tonypandy, Porth and Tonyrefail, primary schools will be merged with the secondary schools forming 3 to 16 schools, or in the case of Tonyrefai l 3 to 19.
RCT Welsh Lib Dem Chair Karen Roberts, who has been Vice Chair of Tonypandy Community College for well over a decade led the fight against the changes and says
"This, in my opinion, is a bad move for education in this area. There is no proof that these through schools provide a better education as the Education Director insists they do.
"I am so angry to see this school torn apart by having its post sixteen education removed. These students enrich the school community so much, providing strong role models for younger pupils.
"I hope for the sake of the pupils who are going to come through this system that I am proved wrong and it does work, but it seems that our children are being treated like guinea pigs.
"The first idea the Director came up with when he was appointed some years ago was to get rid of all sixth forms in RCT and set up tertiary colleges instead. The Assembly turned him down because of the ludicrous amount of money he wanted from them to carry out his plan. It seems he is now trying to go about this a different way and you have to wonder where he will strike next."
The new through schools are due to open in September 2018.