by Jack O'Sullivan WEST LONDON'S Catholic secondary schools are considering the possibility of scrapping their sixth forms and establishing a central sixth form college to meet the crisis of falling school rolls.
They are re-evaluating reorganisation plans in response to Sir Keith Joseph's decision last month to throw out proposals submitted by the Westminster diocese, to amalgamate a number of secondary schools in the area.
This week all the schools received letters from the Westminster Diocese Education Service sounding out their views as to the next step to be taken. Newly appointed governing bodies in the seven Catholic secondary schools in West London (Division 1) will meet in October to tackle the thorny question.
The crucial issue which the WOES asks the schools to address is whether or not they would support the shrinking of their schools to teaching only pupils aged 11 to 16. Under such a scheme the older pupils could move to a sixth form college.
WDES assistant director Patrick O'Connell stressed to the Catholic Herald that no plans had been formulated. But he said that the idea of a sixth form college had to be dealt with at an early stage one way or another, because of its effect on school accommodation.
The WDES kite-flying 'coincided with the opening this week of the newly-reorganised secondary schools in neighbouring Southwark archdiocese. A new sixth form college has opened to serve senior pupils in south-west London.