Why Study at a Sixth Form College?


Although there may be benefits in staying with teachers with whom you are familiar in the sixth form of your own school, and we respect that, the advantages of moving to a sixth form college are not often explained clearly enough. They are:

  • A much wider choice of courses, and combination of courses, are available because colleges are bigger than school sixth forms and can afford to run more courses and more classes within each course; it is this that makes virtually every combination possible 

  • Teachers only concentrate on the courses and programmes that are for 16-19 year olds and therefore develop particular expertise and specialisms at that level. At St Charles College, for instance, virtually every department includes teachers that work as examiners or assessors for the relevant examination boards 

  • Students who have already made the adjustment from one institution to another at 16 are better equipped to make the change to university or employment later. You will already have developed the confidence, initiative and maturity that goes with embracing change and dealing with it successfully

  • Sixth form colleges are organised to retain the support systems and culture that enable teachers to intervene in a regular and timely way ensuring that students stay on track with their studies and achieve to their maximum. All students at St Charles, for instance, will see their Group Tutor at least once a day and often for more extended discussions. These systems are described in more detail in other parts of the website 

  • At the same time, college study allows for greater independence in terms of managing workload, deadlines and study patterns. This is a very effective preparation for university and professional life where much value is placed on skills of self-management 

  • The network of 94 sixth form colleges across the country make up a highly successful element in the country’s educational provision. On average they achieve better OFSTED grades, better value-added assessments and better success rates than all other forms of provision, including school sixth forms, academies and Further Education Colleges.



All staff, parents and visitors have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of students. Please click here for more information on safeguarding.