What is a Sixth Form College?

A Sixth Form College, in the most basic sense, is where a student chooses to complete the optional final two years of Secondary Education. The traditional Sixth Form is attached to a School and the majority of its student’s filter on from the school itself, with one or two joining from elsewhere; the students generally range between 16-18 and study A Levels.

During the late 1960’s Sixth Form Colleges were introduced, Further Education Colleges also started appearing; these were state funded and started offering other types of courses such as BTECH and GNVQ. Their student intake was and is, to this day, incredibly large with some such as Richmond Upon Thames tertiary College taking up to 5,000 full time students.

Private Independent Sixth Form Colleges such as Ashbourne also started forming about this time; these still carried some of the ethos of traditional Sixth Forms: small intakes with a community-based approach and with strong student-teacher bonds.

Sixth Form Colleges are responsible for the employment of all their staff and teachers, meaning they select the staff right for the College itself, and the Independent ones have complete control of what is taught helping them to create the exact teaching style they want.

Ashbourne is an Independent Private Sixth Form College. Not only can the students choose from an extensive range of A level subjects, they can also choose to study a one-year course or an 18-month course. Ashbourne hereby provides an amount of flexibility to tailor around the student’s personal needs. GCSE’s are available to study at the Ashbourne, meaning that some of Ashbourne’s intake is slightly younger than a traditional Sixth form College. Equally Ashbourne will accept a handful of students who are slightly older than typical Sixth Form students.