Hoe Valley parents ‘betrayed’ by sixth form delay

PARENTS of pupils at Hoe Valley School say they have been “betrayed” by a decision not to introduce a sixth form until 2023.

Year 10 parents were called to a meeting this week and told the decision had been taken because of the time and effort required for senior staff in setting up a sixth form, funding problems and the need for more time to attract pupils from other schools.

The Hoe Valley School buildings that opened in September last year

In a letter to parents, Lynne O’Reilly, the chair of governors, and Jane Davies, the acting head teacher, said that governors decided at a meeting last month that opening the sixth form any earlier would not be in the best interests of students.

“Since post-16 teaching groups are smaller than in years 10 and 11, the cost of provision is higher even though the funding is lower, making Sixth Forms a financial challenge,” the letter stated.

It added that it would be difficult to attract sufficient students from other schools to a Sixth Form until Hoe Valley had an academic track record and its first GCSE results would not be published until August next year.

One parent told the News & Mail that parents and pupils at the meeting were bitterly disappointed.

“Year 10 pupils and their parents had no forewarning of this body blow,” the parent said.

“On the contrary, many of these families, who have supported the school since its conception in 2014, had received promises in writing that the school would support their children through to the age of 18.  Some parents angrily pointed this out at the meeting, saying that it had been a deciding factor in sending their children to the school.”

Another Year 10 parent said that they were offered the choice of sending students to Woking College, Gordon’s School or St John the Baptist, but questioned whether there would be enough places and that Gordon’s is fee-paying and SJB predominantly for Catholic children.

“We have invested and put our trust in Hoe Valley School but will get only two years of the new facilities,” the parent said, referring to the new building which opened last autumn. Previously, the school was housed in temporary building in Woking Park.

The parent said that Hoe Valley School did have a good academic track record from an Ofsted report that declared it as outstanding.

The Year 10 parent said: “This is a really good school and I had assumed that this teaching would continue for my child into Sixth Form.

“This also affects the Year 8s and 9s; we feel a sense of betrayal.”

For the full story, see the 24 January edition of the News & Mail

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