Parents outraged after Northampton College cancels A-Level courses days before the start of term

Northampton College announced it would be cancelling its A-Level syllabus yesterday, leaving 40 pupils having to find alternative options for their sixth form study.
Northampton College announced it would be cancelling its A-Level syllabus yesterday, leaving 40 pupils having to find alternative options for their sixth form study.

Parents have spoken of their dismay at the cancelling of Northampton College's A-Level courses days before the start of term.

Sixth form students at the college were due to attend an induction day today ahead of the start of term in ten days time.

But yesterday principal Pat Brennan-Barrett announced that all of its A-level courses would be cancelled in order to focus on the new T-Level qualification, leaving many parents with little time to find an alternative.

Today's induction will instead be a session to discuss the future options for 40 affected students.

College staff are due to work with the pupils affected in order to find them a place in other Northampton schools or offer them equivalent BTEC qualifications, which the school say will not hinder their chances of getting a university place.

But the news yesterday has come as a shock for those gearing up for the start of a new term.

Pippa Quinzel's son Lugh has autism and wanted to study maths, psychology and media at Northampton College.

"He has been left completely bewildered about this, he is overwhelmed," said Pippa.

"We had very specific plans in place for him.

"He had been over to the college a few times and he was really pleased to get the grades he needed."

Lugh's place at college was confirmed last Thursday when he received his GCSE results. But Mrs Quinzel, 40, from Raunds, said she only received a call at 11.45am yesterday, informing her of the A-Level cancellation.

Now she does not know where Lugh will be studying this year.

She said: "It was nearest college we could find that did A-Levels, it was the only one he could travel to.

"But now we only have a week to consider this."

Ryan Eberhard's step-daughter Maisie Sproson,16, of Upton, was due to study English literature, chemistry and biology.

She wanted to take on academic subjects at a college because she preferred the idea of a college environment, which she felt could prepare her better for work.

"She thought it would be more of an adult step into the real world," said Ryan, 41.

"This really knocked her or six, she had her academic career all planned out."

The principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: "Northampton College will be one of the first providers to offer the Government’s new technical qualifications, T Levels, and will be piloting a programme of ‘Industrial Placements’ to prepare for the change.

"As part of that transition, we have taken the decision to not continue with our current A-Level offering and will instead be focusing on ensuring students can continue their journey into higher education with BTEC diplomas – which are viewed by universities as an equivalent qualification."