A spokesperson for Tyne Coast College, of which Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College is part, said;
“This is a challenging time for Further Education. As a business, we regularly review our curriculum. This review shows that our sixth form offer is no longer financially viable having seen a year-on-year decline in numbers.
Despite trying to grow the provision with new A Level options in the 2022/23 academic year, sadly we did not see growth. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to cease our A Level provision at the end of this academic year.
The timing of this decision was made to allow us a meaningful consultation period with Trade Unions and colleagues, and to allow us to liaise closely with other providers and North Tyneside Council to ensure that the 49 AS students impacted have alternative offers from providers in place, ready for the next academic year.
We are meeting with students and parents on a one-to-one basis to provide them with a full package of support going forward. This includes senior members of the curriculum, highly trained careers advisers and our wellbeing team.”
Why has the decision been made to close QA?
As a business, we regularly review our curriculum. The review shows that our sixth form offer has seen a three-year steady decline in numbers and as a result is no longer financially viable.
Why has this decision been implemented so close to the exam period?
In order to support our students as much as we can, we have taken the decision to inform of the closure at the earliest opportunity, to ensure we can support with the transition to a different provider. We can liaise with you – and on your behalf – to identify alternative options. If this was left until later in the summer term, it would not give us the time needed to put these steps in place.
Where can I pick up my results if QA is closing?
You will still be able to collect your exam results as normal on Thursday 17th August. More details will be communicated closer to the time.
What other colleges and sixth forms offer my subjects?
We have compiled a list of other providers in the area and their offer. We have also provided each student with their own spreadsheet, based on what they are studying and where this can be matched. This will form part of the one-to-one guidance meetings. We are also collaborating with the local authority on ways that we can fully support all students.
Can other providers take me for just 1 year or do I need to restart my 1st year?
We will be liaising with providers on your behalf to find the best solution for you. Each students’ circumstances and options are very different, so it is important that this is discussed in the one-to-one meetings so we have as much information as we can to give alternative providers a clear picture.
What are the one to ones for, and can I bring someone?
The one to ones are to go through all of your options in more detail, speak to providers on your behalf and put a plan in place for September 2023. We appreciate there is a lot of information to digest and would really encourage students to bring someone with them to their meeting.
Can I apply directly to a different provider without the support of QA?
Yes, you can. However, we are dedicated to supporting you in finding an appropriate solution, looking at all options with you during the guidance meeting, and working as a point of contact throughout the process.
Is there any financial support if my new provider is further to travel to?
Our support extends to ensuring there are no financial barriers when looking at travelling further to access your A Level subjects.
If I have studied at 2 different providers over 2 years, will this make any difference to the quality of my qualifications?
No, this would make no difference to the qualification, you would just be receiving it from a different provider.