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Small class sizes led to dropping A-levels
THE principal of Wiltshire College has said class sizes of just one or two students led to the decision to withdraw its A-level provision in Salisbury.
Di Dale said it had been a tough decision for the college to make but was one taken in the best interests of students.
The college in Salisbury, which offered A-levels in 16 subjects, had around 30 students due to start next month on their AS-levels and about 25 students moving into their second year.
Ms Dale said: “We have reviewed the A-level offer at our Salisbury campus and have taken this difficult decision with immediate effect.
“The students’ learning experience is an important part of our offer. We feel the very small class sizes (often of one or two) restricts the learning experience for students significantly, which is why we have taken this decision.”
The college said the decision had nothing to do with financial constraints.
Vice-principal of business development Ben Allen said: “The numbers are incredibly small and we felt it wasn’t fair to carry on.
“If it was just a case of running the place at a loss, then we would do it, but when class sizes are in the single figures we can’t provide a good learning experience.
“We are aware that it has caused some consternation among the applicants and we are sorry for that.
“We have contacted every single affected student and have arranged a meeting for them to see a careers adviser this week – we are absolutely committed to providing alternative courses either here or at other colleges or schools – we are not going to leave anybody high and dry.”
The college now plans to focus on its provision of vocational qualifications, which range from construction and IT to business and hair and beauty.
Mr Allen said: “There are no plans for any redundancies – many of the staff teach in other subject areas at the college.
“This will certainly affect staff though and we are consulting with them and working out what it means.”
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