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Sixth Form College Summary

Type of school for students aged 16 to 19 which offers advanced school-level qualifications

Sixth form college also known as sixth form school  

A sixth form college is an educational institution in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Belize, the Caribbean, Malta, Brunei, and Malaysia, among others, where students aged 16 to 19 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A-levels, Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, or school-level qualifications such as General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations. In Singapore and India, this is known as a junior college. The municipal government of the city of Paris uses the phrase "sixth form college" as the English name for a lycée.In England and the Caribbean, education is currently compulsory until the end of year 13, the school year in which the pupil turns 18 (previously in England, education was compulsory only until year 11 before August 2013 and until year 12 between August 2013 and 2015). In the English state educational system, pupils may either stay at a secondary school with an attached sixth form, transfer to a local sixth form college, or go to a more vocational further education college, although in some places there may in practice be little choice which of these options can be taken. In the independent sector, sixth forms are an integral part of secondary schools (public schools), and there is also a number of smaller-scale independent sixth form colleges. In Wales, education is only compulsory until the end of year 11. Students at sixth form college typically study for two years (known as Years 12 and 13 – Years 13 and 14 in Northern Ireland – or lower sixth and upper sixth). Some students sit AS examinations at the end of the first year, and A-level examinations at the end of the second. These exams are called C.A.P.E. (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) in the Caribbean. In addition, in recent years a variety of vocational courses have been added to the curriculum. There are currently over 90 sixth form colleges in England and Wales. Most perform extremely well in national examination league tables. In addition, they offer a broader range of courses at a lower cost per student than most school sixth forms. In a few areas, authorities run sixth form schools which function like sixth form colleges but are completely under the control of the local education authorities. Unlike further education colleges, sixth form colleges rarely accept part-time students or run evening classes, although one boarding sixth form college exists.

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