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Friday, 19 November 2021 16:42

Sixth Form Courses in Kent and Medway Schools 2021


East Kent Schools

Two schools dominated movement between schools at Sixth Form Level, The Canterbury Academy and Simon Langton Boys Grammar, two schools which already co-operate at GCSE level, between them attracting over one in seven of all transfers between Kent schools at Sixth Form level. Both draw strongly from across the District, as well as other Canterbury schools, with Simon Langton taking on over 30 students from Dover and Folkestone grammar schools, and Canterbury Academy. However, Canterbury District also has two other N/S schools with strong Sixth Forms, Herne Bay and St Anselm’s, although both are mainly catering for internal students.

Thanet sees most A-Levels taught in the two grammar schools, although Ursuline College and Sandwich Technology School to the south both pick up students from Charles Dickens and King Ethelbert schools which have no Sixth Form (King Ethelbert offers the Sixth Form International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme, but it does not show up in the school census records for some reason). .

Dane Court Grammar, one of four in the county offering the IB also loses students looking for a more traditional course, so Chatham and Clarendon Grammar picked up 30 from Dane Court this year, from amongst the 111 students it admitted from across the District, including 23 from St George’s. It admitted a group of 12 international students as part of a regular programme, in Year 12. Sir Roger Manwood’s also recruited six from Dane Court.

None of the Dover and Folkestone schools recruit strongly from local non-selective schools, possibly because of the high proportion of pupils recruited into Year Seven via the local Tests instead of the Kent Test. Astor is yet another school in the East of the county with a strong contingent of foreign students, mainly organised by an agency placing EU students in this country. Brockhill is the only local N/S with a strong Sixth Form. Completely incidentally, 36 years ago, I carried out a Research project on the Sixth Form at what is now the Marsh Academy in New Romney, including its destination pattern for Year 11 pupils after GCSE, for my M.A. course in Curriculum Studies in Education, having been granted a year's secondment by KCC (those were the days!) which surely confirms my long term interest in such matters!   

In Swale, by some way the largest Sixth Form is at N/S Fulston Manor, with 135 students following through to Year 13 attracting 68 from other schools into Year 12.  These include 19 from neighbouring Highsted Grammar and 14 across from Westlands which surprisingly only has a small Sixth Form. The Sittingbourne School had a Year 12 of  116 students, with 20 coming from other schools, including more than five from Fulston and Westlands. The controversial Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, the second largest school in Kent, attracted 83 Sixth Form students in 2020, over 80 for the first time in many years. 

The only one of the three Swale grammar schools with significant external recruitment into Year 12 is Queen Elizabeth’s with 35 coming in from other schools, including eight from Highsted which had the second-lowest staying on rate of any grammar in the county.   

Not surprisingly eight of the nine Kent grammar schools with the lowest proportion of students in Year 12 as against Year 11, are from East Kent, Dover Boys Grammar suffering the most, with just 41% staying on, the Sixth Form being only 50% of the size of Year 11, swelled slightly by six girls from Dover Girls Grammar, although 11 went the other way.

One huge factor across East Kent which I have not taken into consideration is the very strong East Kent College, offering FE courses, but not A-Levels, across the county. It began life as Thanet FE College but in recent years has swallowed up the Colleges in Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone, Ashford and Sheppey, runs GCSE courses for Year 10 and 11 pupils in Broadstairs and Folkestone, and runs a Primary Academy Trust for schools along the North Kent Coast.

The next page looks at Movement across Mid Kent Schools in the Sixth Form

Last modified on Saturday, 27 November 2021 23:22

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