BLATCHINGTON Mill and Hove Park sixth forms are set to merge, if given approval by the city council.

The proposal could see the neighbouring Hove state schools merge their post-16 A-Level and BTEC courses from September next year.

The merger comes after sixth form funding issues, according to the head of Blatchington Mill, where students already share teachers for some sixth courses with Hove Park.

Blatchington Mill headteacher Ashley Harrold said: “As a small college, it has become increasingly difficult to offer suitable breadth of subjects for all students to study.

“Changes to post-16 funding over the past five years have made it impossible to maintain a broad and varied curriculum with the number of students we have on roll at the college.

“For the past two years, we have collaborated with Hove Park School and shared a joint offer of courses across both sites.

“This partnership has been highly successful and the two colleges share the same ethos of excellent pastoral care and support for students.”

“The proposal, which we have asked the local authority to consider, is to formally combine the two sixth forms – for the ongoing benefit of students in Hove.”

The schools have formally asked Brighton and Hove City Council to combine Blatch6 and HP6.

According to the plans the new sixth form will be on the Hove Park Nevill campus in Nevill Road.

Presently the Blatchington Mill and Hove Park sixth forms are among the smallest in the city with 80 and 175 students on the roll respectively.

Hove Park headteacher Jim Roberts said: “The proposed combining of HP6 and Blatch6 based here at Hove Park will ensure students continue to access high quality post-16 provision in a school setting.

“We are very proud of our sixth form and the bespoke culture and ethos that has been established over time to ensure each student is known and supported as an individual.

“Working in partnership over the last couple of years has been an important step forward in ensuring we meet the needs of a variety of students.

“The proposal of a joint sixth form strengthens this commitment and secures this provision for the future.”

Letters have been sent to parents and the new sixth form will take its first students in September next year.

It would not affect students currently studying at the college, who will all be able to complete their courses.

Brighton and Hove City Council was contacted for comment.

A decision is expected from Brighton and Hove City Council in January.