A COLLEGE has decided to no longer take students on for AS-levels at its Leigh campus — but did not tell students until they tried to enrol.
More than 80 students turned up at Wigan and Leigh College's Sixth Form Centre after picking up their GCSE results to enrol on the courses they had applied for months earlier only to be told the college was no longer running any AS-level courses.
The college has cited a low number of applicants as the reason for its decision and will focus instead on vocational courses such as BTECs, although current students will be allowed to complete their A-levels at the Leigh Sports Village centre.
A spokesman said: “Wigan and Leigh College has reviewed its AS-level programme at the Sixth Form Centre in Leigh in the light of a very low number of applicants.
“We have taken the decision not to enrol students on to AS-level courses for 2014/15.
“The number of students on the AS-level programme is projected to fall to such an extent that it is no longer possible to guarantee a quality learning experience for students.
“The college has supported AS applicants to find suitable alternative courses either at Wigan and Leigh College or at other providers.”
Parents have said they are angry that their children were left to find places at other colleges a week and half before they were due to start.
One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “I am so angry at the way they have handled it. To not say anything until the day the kids turned up to enrol is disgusting. It is just another service that has gone from Leigh.”
Leigh MP Andy Burnham said: “I was taken aback by the college's abrupt decision and have requested an urgent meeting with the chair of governors and principal.
“I feel very sorry for the young people across the Leigh area who have worked hard to get good GCSEs and made plans to continue their studies in our town, only to be let down at the last minute.
"I will press the college on its future intentions for the Leigh site. I will not accept a situation where young people from Leigh who want to study A-levels should be forced to travel long distances every day to do so.
“That is why it is essential that A-level provision is restored at Leigh Sports Village. If Wigan and Leigh College no longer wish to offer it, then they must make way for someone who does.”