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Should all secondary schools now provide 6th Forms?

(26 Posts)
Shewhoisneverobeyed Sun 06-Jan-13 19:10:39

Hi, just pondering this question being that the legal school leaving age has been raised to 18 years of age. It seems mad to me that it can be raised and yet there are secondary schools which do not offer a 6th form. The students instead transferring to larger colleges in another town. Can't seem to find anything online about whether this is something that will be introduced in years to come.

I suspect there will be more college provision.

DS1 has just moved from a rural comp to a 6th form in the next town and it's like a stepping stone to university.They are treated much more like students than most school sixth formers are and there is a huge range of choice for both academic and enrichment. I doubt most school 6th forms could do this.

ohfunnyhoneyface Sun 06-Jan-13 19:17:22

I agree with squirrels. IME sixth form colleges are better.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 06-Jan-13 19:18:24

Hampshire has 6th form colleges.
It seems to work.

lljkk Sun 06-Jan-13 19:19:21

Rather urbanite question. hmm

It would be logistically very difficult around here, a rural area of market towns. Unless the two area 6th forms merged with all the other high schools to become one giant school spread over 7 sites. Or all secondary school channelled to just one of the market towns (equally silly idea).

Worley Sun 06-Jan-13 19:30:34

there wouldn't be enough room at the secondary's here.
all three schools channel them to the sixth form college which is fairly newly opened within the past few years..
I think this is better. I didn't do sixth form at my high school as wanted to get out of there ASAP and a the separate sixth form college would have suited me so well..

LIZS Sun 06-Jan-13 19:34:27

Several secondaries here don't have 6th forms atm but we do have a 6th form college and FE college which give pupils form those schools priority. With a change in emphasis towards more vocational qualifications , some of which start at 14, this is likely to become more common as colleges have more specialist facilities and funding.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Jan-13 19:37:07

A lot of the students at my DSs secondary school chose to go to a sixth form college even though his school had a sixth form.

Shewhoisneverobeyed Sun 06-Jan-13 21:05:16

Yes lljkk I am from an urban area, just wanted to know what the likelihood was being that it is now a legal requirement. Will almost certainly be moving to a rural area in the next few years and wondering what changes in provision Im likely to see. No harm in asking!

Thanks for the replies everyone.

titchy Sun 06-Jan-13 21:46:39

Just a point of accuracy - the school leaving age isn't bein increased. There is a requirement that 17 and shortly 18 year olds will need to remain in education OR training. They could still leave school and get a job as long as there is a significant element of training as part of the job.

titchy Sun 06-Jan-13 21:47:20

Just a point of accuracy - the school leaving age isn't bein increased. There is a requirement that 17 and shortly 18 year olds will need to remain in education OR training. They could still leave school and get a job as long as there is a significant element of training as part of the job.

prh47bridge Sun 06-Jan-13 23:51:39

Titchy is right. The school leaving age is not changing. What is changing is a new requirement that young people, initially up to 17 but shortly up to 18, must remain in education or training unless they have a level 3 qualification (two A-levels or equivalent). Young people will have three options:

- full time education or training
- apprenticeship
- full time employment (i.e. 20+ hours per week) coupled with training

I will only disagree with Titchy on one point. The legislation does not insist that the training is part of the job in the third case, although it seems to envisage that will be the norm.

It is not yet clear whether this will result in a significantly larger number of young people staying on for sixth form.

Startail Tue 08-Jan-13 12:43:23

And the bosses will still lie.

DSIS was promised training, nothing happened she left and went back to FE.

She was lucky Mum and Dad could afford it as I got a decent university grant and she got free transport.

Times have changed, EMG has all, but gone. I can see many DCs having real difficulties.

This is a rural area, we already have out of area pupils and sixth formers paying £700-£900 a year for bus passes.

DD2 would have have had to pay this if she'd chosen to go to the Grammar.

Unfortunately, small six forms can't offer a decent range of subjects and many have either closed or schools have never been post 16.

Choice is limited to a couple of large school six forms, a couple of six form collages and they may be one other FE.

All are already pretty full and badly underfunded, school six form funding has been cut. I know people who work at the large collage and that's trying to cut staff.

I honestly cannot see how they are going to accommodate less motivated, less academic pupils, who don't want to be there and certainly don't want to pay the bus fare or get up at 6am as some of our sixformers do.

The career service has been cut. I cannot see on the job training being monitored and many disadvantaged DCs are going to be no better off.

Quite possibly a lot worse off if they drop out to the black economy because they hated school and resent the education system still nagging them.

creamteas Tue 08-Jan-13 13:37:09

I don't think this will have much impact on the numbers of young people in eduction. What it will do is reclassify the 'NEETs' from undesirable to illegal.

NamingOfParts Tue 08-Jan-13 13:44:01

I agree with Startail. Our 6th form options are:

- a consortium college made up of the four town schools. Students get bussed from one town to another as different subjects are taught at different schools. There is little ambition or pastoral care as students dont 'belong' to one site.

- large FE college but with low ambition and not a full range of A levels - not really convenient and a significant commute away.

- sixth form at one of the out of catchment schools. There were two of these within any sort of commutable distance. One is significantly more academic than the other.

Fortunately DD got into the more academic school but as this is 'over the border' we have to pay for the bus - around £15/week.

DS is hoping to go to join the Army at 16/17. This would mean a long spell of training at the Army training college then trade training after. This is fully paid.

prh47bridge Tue 08-Jan-13 19:15:25

Startail - The requirement is not on the job training. It is for young people in employment to undertake a certain number of hours per year of guided learning (i.e. being taught by a lecturer, tutor or similar) leading to an accredited qualification.

losingtrust Wed 09-Jan-13 10:17:20

I would never have stayed on to do A'Levels if I had to stay at school. Suspect there will be more 14+ academies and sixth form colleges.

Startail Wed 09-Jan-13 14:15:04

Prh47bridge
Who on Gods green earth is going to organise and monitor that!

I am forever lending my phone to a lovely, but intellectually challenged young lad who lives in our road.

He hated school, left wish absolutely no qualifications and has lived in a total muddle going on and off benefits and in and out of temporary jobs ever since.

In theory this scheme should massively aid school leavers like him, but without very well funded mentoring it isn't going to.

A whole pile of new rules and paper work doesn't provide what he needs.

He needs a supportive sober adult to talk to, working transport and a steady income. Sadly beyond any governments scheme.

lljkk Wed 09-Jan-13 16:53:05

I'm also very curious about enforcement. Will parents be fined like they can now if child plays chronic truant?

BackforGood Wed 09-Jan-13 17:09:36

What creamteas said.

prh47bridge Wed 09-Jan-13 22:00:07

It is the responsibility of the LA to monitor and, where necessary, take enforcement action.

If the LA concludes that a young person is not attending the necessary training they must first issue a written notice to the young person stating that they may receive an Attendance Notice unless they start attending appropriate training by a specified date. If the young person fails to comply the LA can then issue an Attendance Notice stating the time and place they must attend to receive training. If the young person ignores the Attendance Notice they can be taken to court and fined up to £200. Alternatively the LA can issue a penalty notice imposing a fine of a level to be fixed by regulations but not exceeding £200 - the regulations have not yet been published.

The LA can enter a parenting contract with the parents but there is no direct enforcement of this. The courts can impose a parenting order which could lead to a fine but will only do so if they believe the parenting order will help to ensure the young person's attendance.

If an employer fails to enable participation the LA can issue an enforcement notice. The legislation provides for a financial penalty if the employer fails to comply. However, a recent consultation concluded that this could discourage businesses from taking on 16-17 year olds so there will be no fines initially. However, the legislation will remain unaltered so fines for employers can be introduced later if necessary.

creamteas Wed 09-Jan-13 22:15:53

Thanks prh . So presumably there is a duty of the LA to provide ensure there are training places for all?

incogneetow Wed 09-Jan-13 22:16:24

I think to offer the range of subjects at a sufficiently high quality, there has to be separated provision. So your 'average' secondary will not have the resources to offer quality A Level courses in all subjects, AND re-sit opportunities for GCSE, AND vocational courses.

In our area there are 5 secondary schools. One has a sixth form. And there is one sixth form college (A Levels). And one FE College. From a financial point of view that it just about viable.

Interestingly government policy is currently encouraging sixth forms in schools, and discouraging sixth form colleges (by reducing the funding they receive per head).

NamingOfParts Wed 09-Jan-13 22:29:32

Which makes no sense incogneetow - the people who currently dont go into education or training are not going to be lured in by yet more standard sixth form offering. These are the people who are ignored by the current mainstream providers.

incogneetow Wed 09-Jan-13 22:32:37

Yes, I agree.

I think a wealth and variety of provision at 16+ level is what makes the system work for many people.

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