Casterton College Rutland will not open sixth form in September

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Casterton College Rutland has announced that it will not open a sixth form building in September.

The school, which is closing the campus of Rutland County College in Barleythorpe in August, had previously announced that it would move its sixth form facilities to its campus in Great Casterton to provide much needed support for the Stamford community, but without guaranteed applications the plans have been reassessed.

Principal Carl Smith said: “The decision to not move the sixth form to Casterton has not been taken lightly. We’ve had to assess the situation carefully but governors decided they could not viably commit to the sixth-form without confirmed application numbers.

“There are a few members of staff who may be affected by the decision, but we were already in discussions with New College Stamford to share staff between the two campuses and we’ll continue to do so.

“Financially, the decision is driven by the fact that most school sixth forms are already cross-subsidised by the 11-16 part of the school, but with severe education funding cuts this is now impossible to continue with.”

Casterton College Rutland took over the management of Rutland County College from Tresham in 2009 and in 2012 the college campus was moved from Oakham to Barleythorpe.

But the opening of Harington School at Catmose College in Oakham in September, less than a mile away, greatly affected applications and Casterton said it had no choice but to not run Year 12 classes this year, announcing plans to move the sixth form to Casterton this September.

Mr Smith said: “Rutland County College has been a part of the community for generations, but there are not enough pupils to fill places at two sixth forms in the county.

“We have been victims of our own success as the GCSE results at Casterton are so high, a lot of our students qualify for scholarships or grammar school places.”

The school announced last month that both campuses had been rated ‘good with outstanding features’ by Ofsted and last year its GCSE results put it in the top one per cent of schools in the East Midlands.

The buildings, which were being built specifically for the sixth form will now be used as additional classrooms for the school.

Mr Smith added: “We’d like to thank the community for their continued support of Rutland County College and we will be working with past and present students to ensure it is fondly remembered.

“For now we’ll concentrate on continuing to maintain our position as the highest performing secondary school in Stamford and Rutland and supporting our students in their post-16 applications elsewhere.”