I too am very pleased for the future of the school and for new families that the 3 year Sixth form is being abolished. I agree that anyone considering the school should be very pleased, it is definitely a move for the better.
I actually don't think that expanding the school will be a problem or lead to a significant drop in results. The additional children admitted will probably only be marginally below those who are in the top 120 in ability. I feel that for too long Colyton has been governed in a rather insular inward-looking way, trying to justify past decisions and hanging on to the three year 6th form despite increasingly strong evidence over the last couple of years that it is not in the best interests of the children. It has not be able to take additional students for Sixth form, meaning it has been a closed community.
Giving more children the opportunity of an academic education is a good thing and I'm sure that the new Head will be a breath of fresh air with lots of new ideas (assuming the veteran governors on the board i.e. the majority, allow it!). The Chairs of the board and committees say they need a period of stability on the board for the next few years which considering they have already been governors for 33+ years, 17+ years, 16+ and 13+ years respectively is very stable indeed
so who knows??
I'm visiting this site after a long time to try to get hold of past GCSE papers for a particular subject as the head of department concerned (also a governor) doesn't seem to believe in giving students free access to them, even post-mocks and 3 months before their GCSEs (!) - that does unfortunately exemplify the rather closed, defensive behaviour of a few. There are many great teachers who really try their best for the students though, and not just the super-bright children.
Do apply to the school, I think it has a great future ahead, particularly if parents and the local community put themselves forward to become involved in the governance of the school so that it can embrace the future free of past legacies. The school's league table position is great (but it'll be all change next year anyway) but much more important is the grade per GCSE or exam entry (also on DfE tables)- there's still some work to do there particularly in a couple of key subjects but I think the new head will take everything in hand!
P.S. GCSE papers search successfully concluded.