Full-time Education: Choosing a Provider

As one of our own students, we naturally hope you will choose to stay with us to complete your Post-16 education. However, we know that some of you will be looking for alternative providers that better suit your plans.

There is much to be said for sticking with what you know best: you know your teachers well, you are comfortable in the environment and you know that you will be well looked after for the next two years. We have a dedicated Post-16 Team of staff with expertise in developing and supporting Post-16 students, as well as facilities and systems that allow increased freedom for students and opportunities to take on responsibilities that make them both more employable and more attractive to universities.

We also provide one of the widest choices of courses of any school in the area. We offer, in roughly equal numbers, traditional A level courses, IB diploma courses and BTEC vocational courses. Students can combine qualification types in a way that few schools allow but which provide students the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the skills that employers and universities highly value.

We are also a large and successful sixth form, with more than 250 students from a diverse and multicultural background and a strong track record of very good results, especially in IB diploma and BTEC vocational courses.

We are recognised for how well we support our Post-16 students into their preferred destinations at the end of Year 13. In a typical cohort, two thirds of our students go on to university and one third go on to full-time employment or an apprenticeship. Our pastoral care is recognised as second to none.

You might have decided that you’re ready for a change of environment, you would like to experience different teachers or you want to study courses that we don’t offer.

Some of our highest achieving Year 11 students decide that they would like the chance to study in a grammar school. Sometimes, this is because they want to take a unique qualification suite (such as the full IB Diploma Programme) or need to study certain types of qualification that prepare them for particular courses at university (such as needing to take A level science qualifications to progress to the study of medicine at university).

If you decide to apply to a school other than The Leigh Academy for Post-16, you need to visit their open evening in the autumn of Year 11 and check the courses they offer and what their entry requirements are to make sure that it is the right place for you.

To find out when other schools are holding their open evenings and to apply for a place, use your Kent Choices login (delivered to you via school in September/October of Year 11) via this link: Kent Prospectus

There are some obvious appeals to going to college for Post-16: you don’t have to wear a uniform, you have a lot more unstructured free time than you do in a school and college campuses usually have excellent facilities for vocational courses that schools can’t offer.

With far less contact time at college, you’ll be able to manage a part-time job easily but you will need to be very self-disciplined about keeping on top of your work, as college lecturers won’t chase you in the way that your teachers at school do.

Most college courses start recruiting students in the autumn of Year 11 and the popular courses fill up fast, so it’s important to apply and get an interview early.

To find out about colleges near Dartford, contact North Kent College via this link: www.northkent.ac.uk/ or South East London Colleges via this link: www.lsec.ac.uk/