A Herefordshire senior school will no longer offer post-16 education, it has been confirmed.

Still described on its website as Earl Mortimer College & Sixth Form Centre, the Leominster secondary school was completed in 2010 at a cost of £20.5 million, when it was intended to include a 120-place sixth-form centre to serve the town and wider rural community.

But the school already had limited post-16 provision, having dropped A levels and level 3 qualifications in 2016, and indeed has no sixth-form pupils currently. It previously averaged fewer than 18 sixth-form pupils over the previous four years.


The school ran a consultation in May and June of this year on the proposal to drop the option altogether, saying that the cost of maintaining it “is increasing to an unsustainable level” and was hitting other teaching.

But the consultation maintained that aside from this, “the school is increasing in popularity and its numbers are growing year on year”.

“We believe that the school’s focus should be on continuing to improve the quality of education in Years 7 to 11,” it said.

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The consultation drew 83 responses, of which a third opposed the closure, raising concerns about the extra costs of attending further-away institutions.

Just over half (51 per cent) “appreciated that the sixth form is unviable, and acknowledged that there are stronger local providers”, a Herefordshire Council notice confirming the closure said.

Cabinet member for children and young people Coun Ivan Powell “supports the proposal”, it added.

“There may be a risk that learners from disadvantaged backgrounds may find it difficult to access further education,” the council acknowledged.

“To mitigate this, the school will provide advice and guidance to enable learners to make informed choices about courses and providers.”