MPs want closing college campus to be kept for education use

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Central Sussex College’s Haywards Heath campus should continue to be used for education.

Such was the message from Sir Nicholas Soames MP after he met with Nick Boles MP, minister of state for skills, to discuss the recently announced closure.

Sir Nicholas said: “I brought the minister completely up to date, but I was very pleased that he was already fully briefed on this very worrying situation for the college, the pupils and the staff.”

He added: “I told Nick Boles MP that I thought the present management had done the very best that they possibly could under the extremely difficult financial circumstances and he understands why the board and corporation at Central Sussex College felt that they could not continue to operate under these circumstances.

“The minister is also aware that these decisions were taken with great reluctance and deep regret for the impact on the students, future applicants and the staff.

“The minister and I agree that we must find a proper educational use for these excellent facilities which lie at the heart of Mid Sussex.

“What form of institution would be the successor is not yet clear; it could be an academy, a free school or indeed another six form college and work will start immediately to find the best way ahead.

“There is substantive work to be done to understand the numbers of potential six-form students and the amount of available space in existing secondary schools and what might be the likely flow from Haywards Heath.

“The minister is very keen for local people and schools to express their ideas so this can be a part of the process.

“Because of the serious financial situation that the college finds itself in it is going to take time to come to a conclusion, but both he and I are absolutely committed to seeing proper educational use for Mid Sussex students at the Haywards Heath campus.”

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