PUPILS who suffer severe, complex, multiple and profound learning difficulties face a 26-mile round trip for sixth form education.

Herefordshire Council have launched a consultation, which is passed, would mean that the last intake of sixth form pupils to Westfield School in Leominster would be in September 2021.

The local authority proposes to commission all sixth form places for young people with severe, complex, multiple and profound learning difficulties at the new specialist sixth form college in Hereford, called the Beacon College.

A five week public consultation on the proposal to close the Westfield Sixth Form, ending on 20 July 2021

Anybody who would like to give their views can complete an online questionnaire HERE


A consultation statement from Herefordshire Council said: "The opportunity to build the new college arose in 2017, when the local authority made a successful bid to the Department for Education for the funding. To find out more about the Beacon College please e-mail susan.woodrow@herefordshire.gov.uk .

"The Beacon College opens in September 2021, and will be run by the Accordia Academies Trust (formerly Barrs Court Trust).

"The only other sixth form that provides the same educational offer for this type of need and age group in Herefordshire is currently Barrs Court Hub on Symonds St in Hereford.

"As an Academy Trust, Accordia Academies Trust will be running their own consultation on the future of the Barrs Court sixth form.

"Westfield Special School currently offers young people between the age of 16 and 19 with severe, complex, multiple and profound learning difficulties a sixth form education at Westfield school. In recent years, the school has had approximately 12 pupils within its sixth form phase across the three year groups (Year 12, 13 and 14).

"It is anticipated that within three years of opening, Beacon College will offer sixth form education to approximately 60 students with these specialist needs. "Herefordshire Local Authority has forecast the potential need for specialist places within this type of SEN and age group in the future: the new college has been built to be able to provide sufficient places for all young people in Herefordshire requiring a specialist sixth form place, including those few pupils who may wish to attend from neighbouring counties.

"In the long term, should numbers increase again, there is adequate space on the new site for the college to expand further."