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Sixth form funding slashed in Camden and Barnet

PUBLISHED: 14:03 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:07 07 September 2010

Susanna Wilkey SIXTH forms in Camden and Barnet may be forced to cut courses and places after the government slashed funding – leaving them with an £800,000 shortfall. Secondary schools are calling on Chancellor Alistair Darling to replace the cash cut fr

Susanna Wilkey

SIXTH forms in Camden and Barnet may be forced to cut courses and places after the government slashed funding - leaving them with an £800,000 shortfall.

Secondary schools are calling on Chancellor Alistair Darling to replace the cash cut from funding for 16 to 18-year-olds.

Those affected include Haverstock School, facing a £63,000 cut, William Ellis, £80,000, Henrietta Barnett School in Hampstead Garden Suburb, £70,000 and Camden School for Girls, a whopping £200,000.

Robbie Cathcart, headteacher of William Ellis, which is part of the LaSwap sixth form consortium, said: "We are extremely disappointed and are going to have to put a lot of time and effort into the best way to manage this.

"We have just been advised to wait and see because the Chancellor might do something about it - although no-one is particularly optimistic.

"There will be uproar if nothing is done because they seem to be saying that we will have to cut numbers of students."

Haverstock headteacher John Dowd added: "It is affecting all the schools in Camden and will make a difference to what we can provide for our sixth formers.

"If we have to reduce the number of courses available, it may put some students off which would be a huge shame."

Andrew Baisley, of Camden NUT, said: "Given that we are in a recession and there are precious little jobs for school leavers, it makes sense to stay in school and be better qualified to increase students' chances of getting a job when they leave. This cut will mean restricted courses and restricted numbers of students and more crowded classes. Alistair Darling needs to think again and soon."

Camden Council was told in March by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) that the funding allocation for April 2009/10 would be increased by 2.2 per cent to £16.2million.

Schools made their budgets and decided what courses and class sizes were available for students. Now the government has allocated lower figures requiring budgets to be cut by £0.8million.

Camden Council schools boss Cllr Andrew Mennear said: "We are very disappointed that the LSC has left schools in the lurch in this way at the start of the new financial year."

An LSC spokeswoman said: "It is clear that our letter of March 2 has caused schools confusion and concern, for which we apologise.

"We can confirm that we will be writing to schools and colleges by the end of April.


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