A Sixth Form college is where students aged 16-19 typically study for qualifications, such as A-levels, Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) and International Baccalaureate Diploma or qualifications such as General Certificate Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations.

Young people are now in education until 18-19. It makes sense for Platanos College to be an all-through education provider. The possibility of staying on into our Sixth Form will be the culmination of a Platanos pupil’s school career. At present pupils do not have the choice to remain at the College after 16. Over the last few years, there have been increasing demands and interest for the school to provide a Sixth Form for our Year 11 pupils, following the end of Key Stage 4.

The reasons that this is a positive proposal for students, and our wider community include:

  • We know from feedback over the years that some of our former pupils do not thrive after moving to another setting. An existing outstanding secondary provision provides a smooth transition and continuity to their education as well as a strong foundation for further education.
  • Pupils speak about the familiar location, the good and friendly teachers, the pastoral care and the existing friendship groups.
  • A familiar and a strong community environment at the College. This enables continuity in their welfare and pastoral support. A Sixth Form would perpetuate high aspirations and provide role models for lower year groups.
  • Staff view this provision is an opportunity for career progression and professional development, both for existing staff with experience and aspiring staff new to the profession and to the College.
  • Feedback from current staff indicates that the vast majority of staff (98%) strongly support the establishment of a Sixth Form provision.

These reasons are particularly relevant for the two-thirds of pupils who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of those have also experienced complex or challenging social environments with unique needs and the school has over many years developed an expertise in nurturing and catering for our pupils. Providing a Sixth Form provision extends the educational and community support that our pupils might otherwise lose and prevents our disadvantaged youth, particularly our vulnerable girls, from potential exposure and risk of negative influences.

We are seeking to launch our Sixth Form in September 2020.