PARENTS are concerned about the affect a potential closure of a school’s sixth form will have on their children.

Governors at Dyson Perrins CE Academy in Yates Hay Road, Malvern have begun a consultation over the sixth form’s future, which could mean no sixth form students start there in September.

Lynne Thomas, 48, from Malvern, has a daughter in her last year at the school, who does not want to be identified, and she said she would be disappointed not to attend sixth form at Dyson Perrins.

Lynne said: “My daughter, when she started in Year 7, lacked confidence but the school really supported her. Pastoral care at Dyson Perrins is fantastic.

“Teachers at the school know the children really well and they get quality attention.

“My daughter wants to be a primary school physical education teacher and she wanted to undertake A levels in the sixth form but that might not happen now.

“I feel we should have been told earlier (about the potential closure of the sixth form) and not kept in the dark.”

In a letter to parents, Dyson Perrins 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.

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

When the Gazette contacted the school, headteacher Mr Gunston wanted to stress this is just a consultation process and no plans for the closure have been made at this point.

Another parent, who does not want to be identified, said: “News that Dyson Perrins sixth form might close has probably hit my family harder than most people.

“For my son, we have tried mainstream and special schools, and home schooling before he was looked after by the county medical education team, and finally he was given a place at the eighth place at the autism base at Dyson Perrins.

“That’s eight places, from year seven to year 11. The next autism base is at Pershore High School, then Kidderminster, which is too far away.

“My son has flourished at Dyson Perrins – I didn’t think he would be able to do GCSEs.

“Over the last two-and-a-half years he has developed a blood and immune disorder and he has spent a great deal of time in hospital.

“He has spent periods of weeks, sometimes months out of school and often only manages a part time timetable when he is well enough to attend.

“Amazingly, with the support he has there, he has chosen his options and next year is predicted good grades at GCSE.

“This isn’t just about my son, this is about all of us, our children, our community, our town.

“There are children who for other reasons may not now continue on to sixth form due to this closure.

Malvern Hills district councillor Samantha Charles said: “Parents who 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 for this was on January 31.

"The letter is dated February 10."

Cllr Charles added: “Where are these pupils expected to go, especially with the recent failures of our public transport system?”

The school will be holding a meeting for parents on Wednesday, February 26 at 6pm.