Below you will find specific information on London Sixth Forms.
There is a huge range of Independent/private schools spread out over Great Britain, Ireland, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Private or independent schools are fee-paying schools. Although these terms are used interchangeably, there is a slight difference. Independent schools are those that do not receive funding from its state government. Private schools are however independent schools that are overseen by a board of governors or trustees. Most of them are members of the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate).
Private schools are run by governors and independent of many regulations that apply to state schools. The biggest of these regulations that they are independent of is the National Curriculum.
In England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Common Wealth countries a Sixth Form refers to the last 1-3 years of schooling. This is usually between the ages of 16 and 18. A Sixth Form education is to prepare for A-level exams, at the end of Year 13.
The word comes from an earlier system of schooling in England and Wales. The first 5 years of secondary schooling were divided into forms. You would move up a form every year until the fifth form. If you stayed on at school to prepare for A-levels you would then go onto the sixth form. This system was changed from the 1990-1991 academic year. School years are now chronologically numbered. Schooling starts with Reception (year turning 4) with Year 1 (year turning 5) following.
For most schools, Sixth Form, therefore, consists of Year 12 (Lower Sixth) and Year 13 (Upper Sixth).
Although most English Private Secondary schools have a Sixth Form as part of the school, these can also be independent.
Although Sixth Form is not compulsory in England, children of that age need to still be in formal education. There are therefore a few choices after writing GCSE’s at the end of Year 11:
- Attend Sixth Form in preparation of University/Academic qualification
- Vocational training
- Advanced Apprenticeship