Private school Harrow launches virtual sixth-form

Prestigious independent school Harrow is working with Pearson to launch a virtual sixth-form in September 2020

Kate Parker

GCSE results day: Advice for heads of department

Harrow School has announced plans to launch a virtual sixth-form for international students.

The virtual sixth-form will deliver A levels in chemistry, physics, maths, further maths and economics from 2020.

All classes will be taught through video-conferencing, with up to 15 students per teacher, and will cost £15,000 per year. 

Background: Schools consider 'virtual' A levels that don't need classroom teachers

Opinion: Virtual reality: not the edu-fad it is made out to be?

Tes magazine: Virtual reality in schools: beyond the goggles

Education company Pearson will be providing the technology and A levels through its exam board Edexcel. Students will also receive one-to-one academic tutorials, coaching sessions and be encouraged to complete self-study lessons.

Edtech: virtual lessons

The courses will be offered exclusively for international students – but will be open to both boys and girls, as long as they pass an admissions test. 

Harrow School online principal Heather Rhodes said that the school was adapting to a rapidly changing world, and that the virtual nature of the courses would appeal to families working abroad who required flexibility. 

“We live in a rapidly changing world, and education must too adapt to the new challenges this presents, and reflect young people’s lifestyles and aspirations. It’s a privilege to be at the forefront of this new chapter of education," she said. 

The school expects to see pupils apply from all across the world, including China, Russia , Nigeria, the UAE and Hong Kong.

In Pearson's Global Learner Survey, published this week, 76 per cent of learners from 19 countries agreed that more college students will attend school virtually instead of a traditional "bricks and mortar" institution within 10 years.

The income from the sixth form will be shared between the school and Pearson – and Harrow says that the money made will support bursaries for disadvantaged pupils. 

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

headshot KP

Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

Latest stories