UPDATE: Students ‘abandoned’ as Ilkeston sixth form to close

Omniston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy has told students their sixth form will close.
Omniston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy has told students their sixth form will close.

Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy sixth form students have siad they are now looking for school places to transfer after learning in a shock assembly that their department will close.

The news breaks only weeks after year-12 pupils hoping to attend the school for the next two years started classes, having chosen the school over others in the area or staying on after GCSE.

Now they say if they knew about the plan, they would have gone somewhere else.

It was an emotional day as students at one of Ilkeston’s sixth form academies realised their fate, many lauding the school for its small classes although learning this is the very reason it can’t afford to continue, despite completing a new £7.4 million building in July.

And the angry students have told of their ‘betrayal’ as they learn their education hangs in the balance as they are forced to look for new places only a month into their studies.

Pupils and teachers cried together as they learned the whole department, which received a refurbished building only a few months ago, would cease to exist at the end of the year.

According to a students at the school, news of the closure was broken at an assembly this morning, but has not yet been officially acknowledged on the school’s website.

Year 12 pupil Corinne Barnett told the Advertiser she’ll now have to take a break from her studies to move to another school, as Ormiston told pupils who have already started the sixth form programme they won’t be able to continue next year.

The 16-year-old added: “We’ve only just got settled in and I’m going to have to look for somewhere else, I’m going to Heanor Gate tonight to try and get a place there because there’s no point carrying on at this school. I’m taking English at AS and if I was to move next year I’d need different books, the modules would be totally different.

Corinne, who lives in Shipley View, said she had her career path set out for her and was looking towards studying law at university and being a solicitor.

“I’m worried that my education will be seriously affected by this.”

Other students have told of their ‘fury’ at the news, and multiple sources confirmed the decision was made due to an apparent lack of students in the group and allegedly teachers, some of whom may lose their jobs, only found out about the shock announcement yesterday.

A pupil told; “We’ve been told by a few that they don’t know what they’re going to do, the head of sixth form has already got a new job, and at the end of the year students will have to go to Nottingham or Derby for A-level.

“The year-12s have just started and they’ve just been let down when they’re so passionate about their subjects.”

Another ‘concerned pupil’ said: “This has caused a major uproar and some students feel abandoned and leaving the parents furious and students feeling deserted.”

In an attempt to assure worried students, Kirk Hallam Community Academy is offering appointments to discuss admissions.

Head teacher Martin Ebbage said: “We have been informed this morning that the sixth form at OIEA will close in July 2016 and are currently receiving phone calls from parents.

“We are now urgently arranging appointments for you to come and discuss next steps this evening and tomorrow.”

Visit: www.kirkhallam.derbyshire.sch.uk.

Principal Dave Smith of OIEA was unavailable for comment.

Keep checking for updates as we learn more.