A-level students at Highbury College told sixth form academy ‘under consultation’

STUDENTS studying A-levels at a city college have been warned they may face having to move to a new school or college halfway through their courses.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 7:14 pm
Stella Mbubaegbu, principal of Highbury College, pictured at the college with students. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Those undertaking subjects at Highbury College have to wait for around a month to find out if they can continue at the Cosham institution or have to switch to classes at Portsmouth College.

The college has confirmed it is consulting with 13 full and part-time members of staff whose jobs could be affected by the change.

Principal Stella Mbubaegbu said ‘current financial constraints’ in the sector and low uptake has forced her to consider the future of the sixth form academy.

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Staff were told in an e-mail that said: ‘Unfortunately, due to low predicted uptake, the sustainability of the sixth-form academy is under consultation with staff, students and their families.’

Students in their second year are not affected and will finish their courses as planned.

But those new to A-level courses in September are hoping to move to Portsmouth College. Its principal, Simon Barrable, said they would be accommodated ‘wherever possible’.

Students are undertaking a mix of 23 A-levels available at Highbury, including English Literature, biology, French, textiles design, and business.

Ms Mbubaegbu said: ‘Unfortunately, given the current financial constraints on the sector and low predicted uptake, the sustainability of the A-level provision is currently under consultation with staff, students and their families.

‘The consultation period will last for 30 days.

‘Until the outcome is known, the 25 students wishing to progress to their second year have been supported to apply for alternative local providers, including Portsmouth College. The vast majority have already been offered places and we will continue to support the remaining students to ensure they have the best opportunities available and can make an informed choice about their next steps.’

It comes after The News reported that Highbury is battling to recoup a £1.4m debt it is owed by the government of a Nigerian coastal state.

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Students have to apply to Portsmouth College. Principal Simon Barrable said: ‘We are committed to work in partnership with Highbury to support A-level students looking to progress to their second year find places, wherever possible.’