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Council Consultation on potential loss of sixth form at Milford Haven School

THOSE with a view on the potential loss of the sixth form at Milford Haven School are encouraged to make sure they get involved with a council consultation.

The decision to launch a statutory consultation was taken at full council on October 10.

The school’s governing body had asked for a consultation on closure in the face of falling numbers of pupils and subjects.

Milford Haven School also faces a budget deficit of £120,000 with the cost of its sixth form £245,926 for 2019/20.

Pembrokeshire County Council chairman Cllr Simon Hancock praised a “remarkable, thoughtful, cogent and well-crafted letter” presented by a Milford school pupil prior to the meeting.

Cllr Paul Rapi said it was a “sad day” and was “not the way we should be going with our education” with the likelihood that other schools would soon follow.

He, and other councillors, blamed a lack of funding for sixth forms from Welsh Government meaning schools could not afford to provide the provision.

Milford Haven councillor Mike Stoddart said: “It’s even sadder because all this has been brought about under the auspices of an administration I support.”

He repeated his view that the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Pembrokeshire College on the A-Level provision, which he had strongly objected to, had led to the current situation.

“Once that MoU was signed it was the death warrant for A-Levels in our schools.

“Milford is only the first, Tenby can’t be far behind and so it goes on,” said Cllr Stoddart.

A report to council states that the number of pupils in the Milford Haven School sixth form has fallen by 77 percent since 2010 to 44 pupils enrolled at the beginning of September 2019.

The number of subject choices has also dropped since 2010 from 22 to just nine options, plus the Welsh Baccalaureate.

The future of Greenhill and Ysgol Harri Tudor’s sixth form was questioned by Cllr Joshua Beynon who raised the issue of the need for subsidising school sixth forms to retain them.

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