In Knowsley a lack of A-Level funding has meant that Halewood Academy can no longer afford to provide A-levels despite achieving a pass rate of 63.9%, up from 55.5% the previous year. This September, for the first time, there is no A-level provision in the entire Knowsley Borough. Young people in the area will now have to travel long distances to get the education they deserve.
I thought that the Government understood how serious this problem is. When I met with the schools minister earlier this year he assured me that the Government thought this situation was unacceptable and would look at ways to provide A-Levels by September 2018 at the latest.
Having contacted the Government for an update I have now been told that the need for A-levels is not urgent and that young people in Knowsley can wait until 2020 for A-Level provision to be restored. This is a shocking betrayal of the promises I received before the summer and again shows the lack of understanding the Tories have of the problems being faced in Knowsley and Liverpool. Young people in our area deserve far better.
Knowsley may be the first borough where this has happened but if funding levels stay the same it will not be the last. Funding for 16-18 year olds must be increased before more sixth forms and colleges are forced to close. The Government is letting our young people down, I will not let them continue to do so and will work tirelessly to get A-Levels restored in Knowsley.