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Sixth-form colleges are still a big, tight-knit family

Far from heralding the end of an era, the move to allow academy conversion has shown that collaboration between institutions is alive and well

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After the move to allow sixth-form colleges to convert to academy status was announced last November, one or two people on the fringes of the sector predicted that this would lead the family of colleges to fragment.

But this group is proving to be strong and united. Members of the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association (SFCA) are not immune to the turbulence that is besetting every phase of education, from early years to universities. But they are addressing common issues with the moral purpose that you would expect of a close-knit collaboration that has so often been described as a family.

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