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Sixth-form colleges: we are an endangered species

Chris Thomson, head of a highly successful sixth-form college in Brighton, has become rather good at arithmetic in recent years – particularly subtraction.

A lean streak of a man, Thomson has had to tackle a series of savage cuts to his budget. While spending on schools has been largely ringfenced, sixth-form colleges have been exposed to years of cuts which have resulted in courses being dropped, staff being laid off and enrichment activities axed.

A quarter of sixth-form colleges have already been declared “at financial risk”; if the cuts continue, some will be forced to close in the near future. They are, says Thomson, “an endangered species”.

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