Cornwall College St Austell announced yesterday that there will be A-Level courses for students starting in 2019.

The affected students received the message the day before they collected their GCSE results and only two weeks before they expect to start college.

You can read today's live blog about GCSE results across the county here.

The college issued a statement saying that not enough students had applied to study at the site in St Austell, which is part of the Cornwall College group.

A spokesman for the Cornwall College group said, "The application numbers for the first year's group this year are not enough to provide a positive, vivid experience for the learners.

"We regret the interruptions and disappointments that will be provoked by applicants intending to join us in September of this year."

The full explanation can be read here.



Cornwall College in St. Austell
Cornwall College in St. Austell

The payment

Subsequently, further questions were asked as to why the decision was taken so shortly before the start of the academic year and how many applicants were affected.

The Cornwall College group has now confirmed that in 2019 a maximum of 35 students were enrolled in their 20 A-level courses.

This number is about half the number of enrolled persons who attended the same courses last year.

A spokesman for the group said, "Although the numbers for 2019 were ahead of schedule, they included a number of applicants for whom college was not the first choice, which also raised concern about the low numbers in the 2019 class.

"We wanted to ensure that applicants for our first year A-Level program had the opportunity to contact other providers with their GCSE results to secure seats from the GCSE results day.

"A delay beyond the GCSE result day could potentially have resulted in lost opportunity for these applicants.

"There were a maximum of 35 students in 20 classes, about half of what we had at the same time last year."

MP speaks out

Steve Double, a member of St. Austell and Newquay, said he was worried that Cornwall College had decided not to offer courses for Level A students anymore.

He said, "Of particular concern is the way the communication of this decision was handled. It will be communicated the day before the GCSE result day. This is a time when students are often scared enough without having to drop it on their lap.

"I want to assure Cornwall College that they are doing everything possible to support the students who started with them in September.

"In addition, I also approached the ministry ministers in the Ministry of Education to ask if further support could be provided to help students, especially with transport problems.

"I also stay in touch with the Cornwall Council as the 16-year transportation authority to find out what funding solutions can be provided to help students and their families, who now need to travel outside of St Austell, have access Level A courses. "

Alternative provider

Now, Truro and Penwith College and Callywith College in Bodmin have announced that they have contacted Cornwall College to offer places for A-Level courses.

A spokesperson for the colleges Truro, Penwith and Callywith said, "Cornwall College informed us on Tuesday of the withdrawal of its St. Austell A-Level offer and has sought to offer an A-level program to all students who wish to attend Instead, consider taking an A-level with us.

"Cornwall College has provided us with helpful information on probable numbers and potential issues, and we have confirmed that we are able to offer them seats.

"Affected students are encouraged to contact either Truro or Penwith College at 01872 267000 or Callywith College at 01208 224000 or visit the website at truro-penwith.ac.uk or callywith.ac.uk."

There will be open counseling sessions with these colleges that students can attend as well. The details of these are:

Callywith College – Tuesday, August 27 from 1-4 pm

Truro College – Wednesday, August 28 from 12:30 to 14:30

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