COLUMN: Sixth form closure was great shock by MP Maggie Throup

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The recent announcement by Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy that it would be closing its sixth form from summer 2016 came as a great shock and bombshell to everyone.

It is undoubtedly deeply disappointing and worrying for all those affected, not least to new students who began their studies just a matter of weeks ago.

I immediately called a meeting with the academy and the Ormiston Trust to find out what brought it to this decision, but more importantly, negotiate a solution to ensure no student will be disadvantaged by the decision.

This sad situation must not be allowed to affect the future and potential academic attainment of those students in the remainder of the school and I have pledged to hold the academy, and its trust, to account to ensure that this is the case.

Two weeks ago, I was asked to speak at a Girlguiding Fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference alongside three amazing Girl Guides to talk about the findings in the recently launched Girls Attitude Survey 2015.

This survey is the UK’s largest annual study into the views and experiences of girls and young women aged from seven to 21 and members and non-members of Girlguiding.

The views of 1,574 girls and young women were collated, finding that too many are struggling with their mental health and well-being.

The findings give a stark insight into the pressures girls and young women face today – gender stereotypes and sexism, anxiety about employment, fear of physical, emotional and sexual harm, and online threats such as cyberbullying and pornography.

What is also worrying is that the survey showed that parents are not discussing these issues with the youngsters, which is likely to make the problem worse.

I fear that mental health in young people is very much an issue that is being brushed under the carpet – it will definitely not be solved in this way.

Any resident wishing to contact me can do so via email at maggie@maggiethroup.com or post to Bridge House, Derby Road, Long Eaton NG10 1HU.

Unfortunately I am unable to accept visitors without an appointment at this office. However, as soon as I can, I will be opening a community office with open access. The telephone number remains the same at 0115 9722419.