AN ACCRINGTON school's call to bring A-levels back to the borough is "falling on deaf ears", according to its headmaster.
Mr Alasdair Coates, head of St Christopher's High, said Lancashire County Council was frustrating his bid to extend the school by providing a sixth form college at the old Moorhead School site on Queens Road West.
And he claimed education portfolio holder County Councillor Alan Whittaker was personally blocking the proposal.
Mr Coates said: "There is a huge amount of support for our proposal and we know it's an embarrassment that there's no provision for A-level education in Hyndburn. We've had a local clamour for it but it's all falling on deaf ears at County Hall."
Hyndburn's star pupils currently have to travel outside the borough to study A-levels.
Mr Coates said Government figures showed some of Hyndburn's poorest students had to rule out A-levels because they could not afford to travel to learn.
He said: "It's not good enough and we're in a position to do something about it."
Paul Dwyer, 18, who got outstanding GCSE results at Mount Carmel RC Science College, went on to St Mary's College in Blackburn. He is due to study history at Oxford University in September.
He said: "I would definitely have looked at a sixth form college in Accrington because it's so close. Lots of friends who've had to travel out would also have considered it because it's a natural move."
Describing St Christopher's plans as "simplistic", Councillor Whittaker refused to be drawn on Mr Coates's claims.
But he said: "We want to encourage as many children as we can to stay in post-16 education in Hyndburn and we are exploring all the options with our partners."
Hyndburn headteachers are also largely opposed to St Christopher's plan.
Mr Andrew Bateman, of Moorhead High School, said: "It would be very unfortunate for one school to take on a sixth form role in the area. It would have a negative effect. I think the schools should work in partnership. It would require a big institution to provide a sixth form dedicated to A-levels."
Mr Mark Jackson, of The Hollins Technology College, said he would prefer it for pupils to attend Accrington and Rossendale College, which is about to launch a limited A-level programme combined with vocational subjects.
He said: "St Christopher's fits the grammar school model. That's the perception parents would get. In an ideal world all the students' needs would be met by the college and I don't know if St Christopher's would struggle to provide the breadth of subjects."
Nancy Cookson, Accrington and Rossendale College principal, said if St Christopher's got its way Hyndburn could have too much provision, as the number of 16-to-18-year-olds was "due to reduce significantly in the coming years".
Hyndburn Council's planning chiefs last week granted outline permission to develop the old Moorhead School site, in which St Christopher's has formally registered an interest.