The debate on the comparative success of sixth-form colleges and comprehensive sixth forms is one that cannot be left to data analysts alone. While it appears that sixth-form colleges are slightly superior, I suspect the figures used do not take into account retention rates.
Our local sixth-form college has a very significant disparity between the number of students sitting AS levels and those who continue on to A2, while few of our local schools have anywhere near a similar drop-out rate. As they serve local communities, they are less likely to divest themselves of students on the margins of success. This comprehensive ethos is often missing in large-scale sixth-form colleges.
Brian Waite Reading, Berks