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Wednesday, 11 August 2021 20:15

GCSE in Kent and Medway; 2021 and the Sixth Form

My best wishes to all who are receiving their GCSE results today, may they be what you wish for.

Most of you will have decided the next step to take in September, be it staying in your own school or transferring to another, for A Level or vocational courses, or a mixture of the two;  leaving to go to college to take a vocational course; part-time college education, along with employment (which may include an apprenticeship) or volunteering more than 20 hours a week. The law now requires all young people in England to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday. 

Sadly, other young people will find themselves missing out on their chosen option, and some will change their minds at the last moment. Whilst many doors will now have closed, others do remain open, and I have written several articles exploring these via links through my Information Article on Sixth Form Admissions and Appeals, which opens up into other possibilities, here. Probably most relevant and certainly most popular is my December 2020 article on Sixth Form Courses in Kent and Medway Schools, which offers an extensive analysis of provision, opportunities and movement.

As with A Level, we can expect similar grade inflation this year, biased towards those who have had the most schooling, in school or remotely. This will put increased but unpredictable pressure on many Sixth Form courses, as schools won't have the flexibility of universities to expand to meet increased demand.  

I am afraid I no longer have the background to comment in any detail about options outside school, but my clear recommendation is to seek independent advice on your situation if possible. Your parents and school will certainly have their own recommendations knowing your personality and abilities, which you should take note of, but extra expertise in the field is invaluable. The Kent Careers Service has long been disbanded on the mistaken view that such independent support was not necessary, and there is now political discussion about belatedly replacing it. In the meantime, the independent charity CXK attempts to fill the gap across the county, although I have no data to show how effective it is.

There was a time, nearly twenty years ago when I was proud to be Chairman of an effective Independent Kent Careers Service, and I have watched sadly as the service has been eaten away, not being seen as a political priority. At this unique time for young people, as they struggle with the challenges brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic, the need for such advice has never been greater.

Last modified on Friday, 19 November 2021 06:39

1 comment

  • Comment Link Thursday, 12 August 2021 16:28 posted by Janet Downs

    The disbanding of county-wide professional careers services throughout England was a serious mistake. Michael Gove, when he was SoS for Education, thought that careers officers were 'self-interested' parties offering no advantages. He was mistaken and his error has effected the lives of thousands of young people. PETER: hear, hear, Janet. On the ball as usual.

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