Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College revises closure after admitting ‘we got it wrong’

Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College’s closure has been revised with current students being able to complete their studies after bosses admitted “we got it wrong”.

On Tuesday, May 9, the sixth form college confirmed that it would permanently close at the end of the academic year due to a “decline in numbers” over the last three years. The announcement came as 66 A-level pupils prepared to take their exams this month and left 49 first-year students in limbo about how they would complete their studies.

However, following an emergency meeting between the chief executive and chair of governors on Friday morning, the decision has been made to continue teaching at the college until 2024.

Read more: Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College announces closure as students get set to sit exams

Dr Lindsey Whiterod CBE, chief executive of Tyne Coast College, in Wallsend, which Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College is part of, said: “The response to our announcement to cease A-level provision has been overwhelming. It is clear that the students absolutely love studying at the QA and the response from parents, students and previous students has been incredible. The chair and I have reflected on our decision and, simply put, we got it wrong.”

At the meeting, it was agreed that Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College will ‘teach out’ the A-level provision, meaning that the college will commit to the 49 students currently studying their AS Levels. The college have also now apologised for the stress the closure announcement caused.

Dr Whiterod said: “While the model is no longer financially viable and we will no longer run any A-levels at the end of July 2024, we will teach out the remaining students.

“Myself and the chair can only apologise for the stress this has created to parents, students, teaching and support staff who I must personally commend and thank for how well they have carried on supporting our learners after the initial announcement. Myself and the chair wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible to allow students to continue preparing for their exams.

“I am sure there are a lot of questions that stakeholders will now have. At this point in time, my main priority was to make this announcement.”

She added: “We are working with the local council, the funding bodies, my senior team and the Unions and we will make a further announcement in due course. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank other providers in the area for their immediate support.

“The reassurance I want to give now is that no learner will be disadvantaged and will be able to complete their second year with us. Furthermore, the effects of this will not create efficiencies elsewhere.

“We are working to implement additional revision and wellbeing sessions which will continue for as long as is necessary. We will continue to support our students and hope that the speediness of this response will allay any further unnecessary upset.

“Once again myself and the chair would like to apologise to our parents, students and staff.”

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