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Sixth Form Schools and Colleges

What does sixth form mean?

Sixth form is the last two years of secondary education in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and several other countries across the globe. Sixth form students are usually aged 16-19 and study for A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and other qualifications. It is seen as a preparation for university, with qualifications gained being converted into UCAS points for university applications.

Private sixth form colleges

Private sixth form colleges usually offer specialised tuition for 16-19 year olds, but some also offer GCSE subjects for 14 years and older, often in a one-year intensive programme. Many also take some mature students over the age of 19. Some private sixth forms also offer A-Level retakes either as a summer school or a one-year course.

Where can I find a sixth form college?

You will find the majority of private sixth form colleges in London, Oxford, Cambridge and other large cities in the UK.

Accommodation and boarding in a sixth form college

Many private sixth form colleges offer day or boarding places but accommodation is often off-site or with local host families.

Do private sixth form colleges have entrance exams?

Many private sixth form colleges will have entrance exams, but these usually consist of basic GCSE knowledge. A college will often post examples of past exam papers on their website in order to allow prospective students to prepare.

What is the difference between a private sixth form college and a school sixth form?

A private sixth form college is a college in its own right, whereas a sixth form unit within a school forms part of that school. While a private sixth form college usually does not have a uniform, a sixth form department within an independent school may expect students to wear the uniform of the school, or at least to adhere to a dress code of smart business attire. Another difference between the two is that sixth form colleges are mostly co-educational. If you are looking specifically for single sex education you are more likely to find this in a sixth form attached to an independent senior school. In addition, private schools will often offer more in the way of extra-curricular activities than a private sixth form college.

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