THE future of a school's sixth form has been left in doubt after the school said it was struggling to run it with low pupil numbers.

Governors at Dyson Perrins Church of England Academy have launched a consultation on the future of its post-16 provision.

The move could mean no sixth former will start at the Malvern school this September.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Mike Gunston said: “You may be aware that numbers in our sixth form are low and reducing for a number of years.

“A small sixth form poses a significant challenge to retain the breadth of courses that our students wish to study.

“There are a number of strong post-16 providers locally so we are confident that our students will be able to access the courses they wish to study.

“Our current provision costs significantly more to run than the income we receive from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

“We believe it is only right to ensure the funding we receive for students in years 7 - 11 is spent directly on continuing to improve our provision, to the benefit of all students in these years groups.

“Students in Year 12 and year 13 will continue as planned.”

The letter also said students in their final year, who have applied to join the sixth form at the Yates Hay Road school this September, will be “supported to make applications to other local centres.”

Speaking to the Worcester News, Mr Gunston stressed it was just a consultation process at the moment.

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Cllr Samantha Charles said: “Parents received this letter informing them that their children who were planning to stay on to do A Levels and BTEC courses this year, now have a huge amount of stress and uncertainty ahead.

“The nearest alternative is at The Chase School, Malvern, but their Sixth Form applications deadline for 2020 was on 31st January.”

The school is named in honour of its benefactor Charles William Dyson Perrins, heir to the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce company

The school will be holding a parent forum at 6.00pm on Wednesday, February 26 for parents who want to discuss the proposal.

The consultation period will close at 9am on Monday, March 23.

Are you affected by this news? Contact reporter Steven Collins.