I would like to congratulate the Association of Colleges on its important win for the sector.

It flexed its muscles through demanding a judicial review, and the DfE was right to respond by dropping plans to fund what would have been another undersized and unneeded sixth form.

Our discovery that a further Loxford Trust sixth form cleared by the government is potentially operating with under 20 students, raises further serious questions over judgement and scant regard for its own guidelines.

Justine Greening should now review all recent decisions to approve small sixth forms.

They’re poor value for taxpayers’ money and have been flooding an already overcrowded post-16 market for too long.

It would be wrong of the DfE to continue forcing through a decline in the number of established and valued colleges, while dubious school sixth forms are allowed to proliferate.

On a closing note, while David Hughes is being rightly lauded for seeing the legal challenge through, we should also credit his predecessor Martin Doel for preparing the way.

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