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Sixth form closures

There was fury this week as the axe fell on two North Wales sixth forms.

The NASUWT teachers' union said the closures at Blessed Edward Jones RC High and Rhyl High would "spell the end of sixth forms across Wales".

Jane Hutt, the education minister, approved the closures during a press briefing on Tuesday morning.

But Catherine Britton, head of Blessed Edward Jones, said Ms Hutt's decision "lacked understanding of faith-based education".

Ms Britton said many of her students would opt to travel to a Catholic sixth form in Flint rather than the new sixth-form centre to be administered by Coleg Llandrillo. The FE college will receive Pounds 3.4 million to develop the centre, which is to be called Rhyl Sixth.

But Ms Britton said it would lack faith provision and the college environment was not conducive to her students' learning needs.

There has been strike action at Rhyl High. Protestors said the closures were part of government plans to close sixth forms across Wales and develop a German-style tertiary college system. Teachers' unions warned jobs could be lost.

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