Sixth-formers need variety

9th March 2001 at 00:00
THREE broad reasons have been put forward to support a move away from school sixth forms in favour of large sixth-form colleges: choice, quality and cost (TES, February 23).

The choice argument is misleading. Within the city of York there are four 11 to 18 comprehensives and one large post-16 college. The school sixth forms offer different strengths and a distinctively different ethos and style of learning. If the school sixth forms are removed there will be less choice, not more.

As far as quality is concerned, I am confident that value-added lague tables will reveal a very different picture from the raw results used in your special report.

Sixth-formers at Fulford school are engaged in a range of activities that enhance the learning experience both for them and younger pupils. This is active citizenship.

That leaves us with cost and here we find government policy stripped to its core - a money-saving exercise. But saving money in this area would be a false economy for the nation in the long term.

Rob Williams

Head of sixth form, Fulford school

Fulford, York

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