Sixth sense

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
Nearly every secondary school in the county is working with its local further education college to ensure students get a better deal at 16-19. Sixty nine of the 77 secondaries are signed up to consortiums with their local colleges. The aim is to improve results, encourage more students to stay on and cut expensive sixth-form teaching costs.

Hertfordshire has long been in the vanguard of co-operation between schools and colleges. There is no tradition of large sixth forms. Schools were limited to five-form entry to have a closer sense of community than larger schools.

"Our focus is the perceived needs of the students rather than the needs of the college or school," says Mike Griffin, former head teacher of The Cavendish School, Hemel Hempstead, seconded to encourage all schools to join consortiums. "The emphasis is on collaboration rather than competition between intitutions."

In one St Albans consortium, three schools and the local college run a single sixth-form timetable. In another area, English and geography are scheduled at the same time so that students can swap between these popular subjects in the timetable carousel. Students are transported between different sites by buses supplied by the University of Hertfordshire. In Harpenden, there is a taxi service to run students between sites.

Two factors have given the move to collaboration a greater urgency. One is the finding, highlighted in last year's Ofsted report that GCSE results - 55.4 per cent gained five top grades or more-are not being matched at A-level. The other is the way sixth-form studies are paid for - from next Easter, all students, in schools and colleges, will be funded by the Learning and Skills Council with the aim of equalising costs.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now