Academy’s bid for Halifax sixth form to go ahead

Trinity Academy's new sixth centre.
Trinity Academy's new sixth centre.

A bid by Trinity Academy to create a sixth form college in Halifax will be submitted today despite Calderdale Council not backing their plans.

Proposals for the 1,000-place college to be overseen by the Academy were revealed in July, and if funding is granted, the college will open within the next three years in central Halifax.

However, the Council has ruled not to support the bid by Trinity Academy.

At Calderdale’s Full Council meeting, councillors were asked back plans for the 1,000 place college.

Coun Andrew Tagg (Skircoat, Con) said that many students were leaving Calderdale to attend sixth form colleges and creating a specialist sixth form college in Calderdale would create jobs and benefit young people.

“If we don’t support this its is unlikely the academy will be successful with its bid.

“We should forget about the self interests and think about the pupils.”

Coun Geraldine Carter (Ryburn, Con) said she did want to see Calderdale miss out on a sixth form provision and if it was a case of getting the ball rolling the Council should support the move by Trinity Academy then conduct a consultation. If it wasn’t in the best interests or support for it, they should pull out of it.

However it was argued by Councillor Anne Collins (Ovenden, Lab) the council should not back the plans and more consultation should be done to look at ways improving sixth form provision.

“This has divided the education community and head teachers in Calderdale.

“There is a real need for change in sixth form level.

“It doesn’t have to happen in a free school but to find other ways like more technical and academic staff in schools.”

Concerns were also raised about the influence and involvement Calderdale Council would have with the proposed sixth form.

Councillors voted not to support Trinity Academy’s bid.

Speaking after the decision Coun Barry Collins (Illingworth and Mixenden, Lab) said: “We need to open discussions with other head teachers for the benefit of all children. It is in everyone’s interest to try and engage with everyone and get the best solution.”