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Talks Progress To Reopen Haywards Heath Sixth Form College In '3-5 Years Time'

28th February 2018 | By Peter Chapman

School leavers in Mid Sussex may once again have the chance to continue their post-16 education in the district after West Sussex County Council revealed that talks are ongoing with a view to reopen Haywards Heath Sixth Form College in the next three to five years.

After Central Sussex College fell into substantial financial difficulties, the decision was made to close the Haywards Heath campus at the end of the Summer term in 2017. The college's final year was attended only by students finishing up their A-Level courses.

Since the closure, the freehold of the site has returned to the Department For Education. They cleared the debt on the site which then enabled the Central Sussex Crawley campus to merge with Chichester College

Currently, Mid Sussex students face considerable amount of traveling time and expense to continue their education elsewhere when it really should be available on their doorstep. Currently only St Paul's Catholic College offer sixth form provision locally, with these places being very limited to those wanting to join post-16.

At the County Local Committee Meeting on Tuesday 20th February, Education officer Deborah Myers gave a verbal update on the progress being made by the council council and their partners to reopen the college.

You can hear exactly what was said from our audio recording of meeting:

The main pieces of information are that West Sussex County Council are working closely with the Department for Education, Mid Sussex District Council, Capital to Coast Local Enterprise Partnership and MP Nicholas Soames to come up with a proposal that is viable.

Any offering from the new college needs to avoid putting other colleges in Sussex into potential financial difficulties.

It was said that one of the reasons that Haywards Heath College failed is because colleges such as BHASVIC (Hove) Varndean (Brighton) and Collyer's (Horsham) offered the courses that people were interested in.

According to local employers, a college offering STEM subjects would be the skills they are looking for in future employees.

Deborah Myers disappointingly revealed that the plan could take 3-5 years to come together.

Mid Sussex may once have a dedicated Sixth Form College in the next 3-5 years if everything goes to plan.

Spread the word! Haywards Heath College could reopen in 3-5 years.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Do you welcome the possibility of Haywards Heath College reopening in a few years time? What sort of courses do you think it should offer?

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