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Drop in number of Torfaen students studying at Hereford College

The Civic Centre in Pontypool
The Civic Centre in Pontypool Credit: Cwmbran Life

Councillors heard this week about the number of Torfaen students who choose to go to Hereford College instead of studying in the county.

The information was shared in response to a question from Cllr Janet Jones, Blaenavon Ward, at the full council meeting. She told councillors a  “large number” of students had opted to continue their post-16 education at Hereford College and wanted to know why?

Councillor Richard Clark, executive member for children, families and education, said that closing all sixth forms in the county several years ago was a “members’ decision” to fix the “disparity” among schools. He said that students in West Mon and Abersychan Schools didn’t have sixth forms but students at secondary schools in Cwmbran and at St Alban’s RC School did have that choice.

To replace the sixth form closures, the new Torfaen Learning Zone opened in Cwmbran during April 2021.

Cllr Clark said he had “unverified” figures that showed the number of students choosing to go to Hereford had dropped from 116 in 2019 to 81 in 2023. About 427 students went to Torfaen Learning Zone and about 228 students went to other Coleg Gwent sites.

He said that the most recent results for Coleg Gwent “show a quality”, adding that students have an “individual choice” over where they study, and how he remembers being a “headstrong” teenager himself.

Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw in Pontypool still has a sixth form and currently has 54 students learning there through Welsh.

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Drop in number of Torfaen students studying at Hereford College