Sixth form catchment areas?(10 Posts)
We're due to move back to the UK over the summer after three years abroad. We haven't been able to get state places for our secondary school age DDs and have made the decision to go private until GCSE. We'll be renting initially on our return but then looking to buy. My question is, are schools/sixth form colleges still strict about catchment areas? Or is it based on applicants' GCSE results and pupils come from a wider area? Obviously, this will affect where we look to buy. Any knowledge of this would be very helpful! Thank you.
They do come from a wider area but some 6th form colleges do prioritise candidates from state schools with no 6th form. They may also offer broader subjects and vocational qualifications other than traditional a levels and IB which can attract a wider ability range.
For sixth form colleges the main admissions criteria is usually obtaining the required GCSE results for the subjects a pupils would like to study at A level.
For school sixth forms as well as results they may give priority to pupils who have attended that school for GCSEs (or other named schools that don't have sixth forms).
In practice many pupils do move for sixth form and come from a wider area than the published secondary catchment.
It used to be that the school leaving age was 16, so after GCSEs. There were strict LEA rules about entry at Y7 because everyone was involved but not LEA rules about entry at Y12 because it was voluntary.
Pupils now have to do something until 18 (doesn't have to be school: could be a job or an apprenticeship) but the rules haven't really caught up; they are still operating under the old system.
So the answer is that there isn't one answer unless things change by the time your DD get to that age. You will have to look at each school / sixth form college individually.
It varies. Only four options in my town, the two grammar sixth forms take based on gcse results regardless of where you live, the one comprehensive school sixth form has a catchment area, and the sixth form college (where most students go) has a complicated system involving partner schools, a priority area, linked schools and whether it is the closest 6th form to your house!
I think I am in the same area as you Essexmum ds has been offered a place at the Sixth Form College starting in September. I think we come under the linked school criteria. It all seems a bit more complicated than it needs to be
I found 6th form entry for my dc much easier. You apply directly to each school/college & can hold several offers at once. If your dc has good predicted GCSE grades you may find it relatively easy to get a 6th form place at a school that is virtually impossible to get into for Y7
In Hampshire the State secondary schools don't have 6th form - they go from Yr 7- Yr11. It appears that there is a lot more flexibility wrt to sixth form college application. There are 'linked' schools and this seems to mean that the admissions team interview the prospective pupils at school rather than the prospective pupil going to the college.
I would also say that pupils changing course/college at the end of Yr12 is happening more frequently. These young people begin yr12 again at a different college with a different set of subjects (and possibly qualifications changing from A level to BTEC).
If you have any idea about which county/area you are looking at I'm sure you will get more detailed information.
Thanks very much for all the comments. It looks like a transition back into state 6th form education should be quite feasible which is good news!
Where I live you can't apply for schools until you live here. So you might well get a secondary place once you move here. At secondary you also usually have a better chance of winning on appeal.
None of the sixth forms/colleges I know have any kind of catchment. You can also have a firm offer from more than one. Some school sixth forms do have a limit on incoming student numbers, DCs school limits it to 25 outside students but it also has competition from the sixth form colleges.
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