Lord Wandsworth Leaderboard

Pros And Cons Of Moving From Private Education At 6th Form

Pros and cons of moving from private education at 6th FormBy the time your child reaches A Levels, you will have already paid out thousands on their education. By the time their offspring reaches 16, many parents may begin to wonder whether they’ve had as much benefit as they can get from the public school system. Is there really any great benefit to continuing a private education after GCSEs? There are lots of fantastic state sixth form colleges out there, as well as colleges offering a wider base of courses after GCSE level. So do you really need to pay out that extra cash for your child to attend a private sixth form? With university fees looming in the near future, many parents might see A Levels as a brief reprieve for their bank account. But there are many reasons to continue private education through A levels.

When you’re making the decision on post-16 education, it can often be a good idea to look back to the decision you made first time around, when you originally decided to put your child into private school. The advantages of private primary and secondary school remain the same when you get to sixth form level: smaller class sizes, better facilities, better academicresults. As well as this, there are some other considerations when you reach sixth form level.

If your child has never boarded at school before, it may be worth allowing them to board at least sometimes while they’re studying for A Levels. This can help to prepare for university, which can be a major adjustment if your child has not stayed away from home before. Also some private schools have great expertise in the university application and admissions process and this can be of great benefit when it comes to taking that next step.

There is also the wide range of facilities and extracurricular activities available to students in public schools; these extra activities allow children to leave school with a much wider range of skills and interests and to try things that may not be available to students in state schools and colleges. Independent schools offer so much more beyond the classroom, and these benefits can often carry over into academic achievements. For example, improved confidence and more eloquence in discussions are both things that will affect all areas of a student’s life, especially A level subjects that involve discussion or debate.

Many universities now have a proactive policies on recruiting state school students, and this can lead many parents to feel the extra expense of private education for A levels is unnecessary. However it is important to remember that these policies are no substitute for good grades - and a private facility is much better placed to offer you that. In 2015 17% of independent pupils’ A levels were graded at A*, compared to just 6* in state schools and colleges. That is a massive difference, and something to bear in mind. 

Across all year groups, independent schools educate around 7% of children in the UK - but if you look just at 6th form years, independent schools educate 12% in this age group. More people are choosing a private education for A levels, and for good reasons.


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