girls leaving independent schools after y11(33 Posts)
noticed this with a couple of the less selective private girls schools, that half the y11 leaves before sixth form.
is it universal? is it because they want to go off and do vocational qualifications or whatever? or is there a different reason?
doesn't happen at the top schools? Or do they replace with new intake?
There may be many reasons.
At 16 some girls may prefer a co-ed environment.
At some of the smaller schools a full range of A level subjects/alternative qualifications might not be available.
I think there is always going to be some movement at each new stage. Most schools take on some new pupils at the start of 6th form.
Maybe there are good sixth form colleges around? Maybe they're playing canny with uni admission statistics - have a good set of GCSEs then apply as a state school candidate?
Financial reasons, going co-ed, going to a more 6th form college environment may all play a part.
In fact I think it does also happen at some 'top' schools - single sex to co-ed is quite a popular move. Or some girls may want to do the ibac rather than A levels. And then as op says, new students then join the single sex 6th forms - so a reasonable bit of moving about!
I left my state comprehensive school at 16 to do A levels at college instead of staying in the 6th form. It is possible I would have got better grades staying at school but in terms of spreading my wings, gaining independence and making new friends it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
If the school is a "through" school many girls will want a change of scenery and/or co-ed for a couple of years before going to Uni (or whatever). They may also be advised they will not suit A levels or gain the required grades for that school to stay to do A levels (this more likely in selective schools). Financial reasons may also be relevant especially if there is a well thought of state 6th form locally- anecdotal evidence of lower Uni offers for state school applicants may also be influential
Where my girls boarded, at an all girls' school, the number of leavers varied a great deal from year to year. Very few in some years to 60% in my younger DDs year. The school
is selective but was not meeting the needs of the more creative girls. Art was poor and neglected. Many girls sought schools that stimulated and recognised their artistic talents.
Another major contribution to the high number of leavers in DDs year was the stubborn management and lots of girls who lived in London where they could get themselves to a London school in the 6th form. Many wanted co-ed. It was also a school that existed in its own bubble and that did not suit a lot of girls at 16.
My older DD stayed. She was not going to but they changed the A level offering so it ended up suiting her. Most of her friends stayed. She also got a scholarship.
A major influence on girls leaving is the domino effect. They start talking about leaving - a lot. They visit new schools. They talk about it. The grass is greener. Sometimes that is not the case but for my younger DD (who moved to another girls' boarding school) it was a no-brainier and subject driven. Awful Head and Deputy have now gone so I suspect plenty will now stay. The vacancies were taken largely by girls from China so in younger DDs old 6th form (had she stayed) there was about 50% from overseas. The school drove a lot of parents away and replaced them with very academic foreign girls although some of the girls who left were highly academic themselves and got scholarships from their new schools. If a school loses lots of girls all the time, it is not listening to parents. They walk away if not satisfied. There are plenty of opportunities elsewhere.
Some day independent schools don't have sixth form. Some very good state sixth forms are full of ex independent school pupils - Peter Symmonds, Havant College both do very well by ex private kids and give them a non independent school label to improve odds of good offers at UCAS - Havant is in very depressed area but only 5% are local children.
Agree about the domino effect, lots of girls, including me, left my (good) private day school for co-ed because one got the idea in her head and we all followed.
The year below almost no one left. A few girls left for state, their parents had run out of money or they decided the school was snobby. Girls who stayed had a great time and did very well.
At my DD's independent school she was in a year with just 20 girls. Four of them have remained in private education and the rest have gone on to state college and sixth forms. Quite a few went on to study farming and countryside management courses of various types at local colleges. In our case my DD wanted to be in co-ed classes and in the more 'grown up' environment of sixth form college where she would not have to be in school full-time.
I teach in a private school which was girls-only at one time. Back then, although A-Levels were offered, most girls changed to another 6th form college because of all the reasons stated above combined. In no particular order, since each girl valued them differently, the factors were greater independence (parents valued this), greater choice of courses, more pupils in courses, variety of teachers/styles, saving on fees, meeting new people (and boys!). I don't think many of our families were worrying about their UCAS position. The school was not posh, so there was no 'brand name' effect to consider.
Currently, that private school is co-ed but usually half or more of the year 11s leave and for all the same reasons. There are several good colleges across the area and often pupils have a shorter commute to one of these. Also, our 6th form is run tightly: most 'free' lessons must be spent in the study room at one's desk and, being rather remote, sloping off into town is not feasible.
I think our parents really like the idea of college as transition: pupils spreading their wings before going off to the wide world of uni.
LOL, would be very surprised if anyone goes to Peter Symonds on the view that because it is a "state" school they will benefit from a lower graded UCAS offer.
I think there are many different dynamics at play. Here in London, I have heard that several of the GDST schools have large losses at 6th form. I suspect one of the factors will be that a fair few of the girls will have been there since they were 4, and a mixed 6th form has an appeal. A friend told me that just under 30 girls went from WHS to KCS recently (don't know if that was last year or preceding year).
We also know a few girls who live in London and are at girls boarding schools who are agitating to come back to London for 6th form - no particular reason just that what appealed to their parents as ideal for 10 and 11 year olds (lots of wide open spaces, fresh air, way from the grime and bustle of London, no boys) doesn't necessarily appeal to 16 year olds who probably have a stronger voice in the decision at this stage..
Indeeded I know several current and past pupils who are under the impression that PGS/Churchers/PHS students are disadvantaged at offers and that Peter Symonds being 'state' sees applicants receiving more favourable offers. Not true but the myth continues.
Actually you will find girls from the top girls schools do leave after Y11. Pupils from St Pauls Girls will go to Westminster, and others will go to schools such as KCS in Wimbledon. Generally the girls get restless and think coed schools will be more exciting. Some do very well but others would probably do better if they hadn't moved.
yes but that is private to private, it seems with the lower ranked schools it's more likely to be private to state sixth form.
My God-daughter left her private girls' school after GCSEs to go to state 6th form as her parents simply couldn't afford it and the bursary on offer didn't cover it. Sadly it hugely unsettled her.
My DD attended a non selective private secondary school.
She left after year 11 to go to a much more selective sixth form. Another friend went termites boarding and three went to state school.
@Crumbs1 "Not true but the myth continues."
How do you know it is not true? I'm not saying it is true; I can well believe the pupils' impressions are formed on weak, if any, evidence, but I'd like to know what evidence you have for your position?
We have one of the best 6th form colleges in the country not too far from us. An awful lot of students who have been privately educated up to year 11 go there because:
a) It is state run and therefore there are no fees
b) It offers a much, much wider choice of A level courses
c) They want to mix with the opposite sex
d) It is ofsted outstanding and offers a higher quality of education than the private schools do at 6th form.
e) They fancy a change of learning environment
I think the "lesser" girls' school is also an interesting case. It may be parents have chosen these schools because they are cheaper. If they struggle to pay fees then a state 6th form will be a blessing. From my DDs very expensive boarding school, I can think of only 3 who transferred into a state 6th form. Each one was money driven. They were struggling to pay the fees and owed money! The vast majority continued to independent 6th forms. Most wanted co-ed but not all.
I have also been canvassing views from mothers whose daughters have left/ are leaving from Year 11 to go elsewhere for A Levels. The reason most often given is that their daughter has been in the school since she was 4 years old and she simply wants to experience school somewhere else. Another reason is often that they want to study A level subjects not on offer at their existing school e.g. drama or media studies. Another big reason (as a previous poster has mentioned) is that by applying for university places from a 6th Form College/ state school you can possibly increase your chances of getting into your first choice university by boosting their quota for students taken from the state sector.
Don't you have to say where you studied for your GCSEs on the UCAS form?
Disclaimer - last helped DS complete his form 5 years ago, so I may be mis-remembering
The school I taught at last, before retiring, is a grant-maintained girls' school with a high academic standard although some less academic girls are also admitted.
It has a partnership arrangement with the boys' school though, so sixth-form classes are mixed and there is a wide range of A levels on offer. Depending on their subject choices, they may have some lessons at one school and some at the other. (They are allowed ten minutes to walk between schools.) Occasionally they may have some lessons at each school for a single subject (a lot of A levels are taught by two teachers anyway).
Most girls (> 80%) stay for sixth-form. The less academic generally don't.
doesn't necessarily appeal to 16 year olds who probably have a stronger voice in the decision at this stage..
My understanding is that they have absolute voice (unless they want to go to an independent school and expect their parents to pay for it).
Although the educational participation age has been raised (for most students) to eighteen, the school leaving age remains as it was (after GCSEs) and parents' responsibility to ensure their children are educated ends at that point. The responsibility to continue with their education then becomes that of the student, so they can, as I understand it, make their own choice and arrange it themselves.
There are very few universities that actively seek from the state sector and make lower offers. Those that do may have a list of the worst performing schools and make lower offers for those students, not all state students. They don't necessarily offer below the standard offer for every state student when they represent a high percentage of applicants. Who says all the best students are in private schools anyway?
Lots of schools are not through schools either and plenty recruit from 11 years old, not 4 years old. However, seeking new experiences, co-ed, choice of A levels, money, and peer pressure are the most obvious reasons.
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