The Future of the Sixth Form in a rapidly changing landscape

08:30 - 16:00, 18 June 2019 Manchester

The nature of sixth form education is changing rapidly. Recent surveys have shown that many school sixth forms are increasing class sizes, limiting the subjects on offer and reducing contact time. The new Common Inspection Framework starts in September with implications for sixth form judgements. In addition, the competitive landscape is changing, with school sixth forms closing, sixth form colleges converting to 16-19 academies and FE colleges closing, merging and running MATs. Against this background, major vocational qualification changes are on the near horizon. 

Delegates will:

  • develop a deeper understanding of the national post-16 landscape, particularly the changes to both academic and vocational qualifications

  • increase their thinking about the new pedagogical, assessment and accountability challenges that the demise of AS levels and the move to linear A levels might bring

  • be brought up to date on the threat to the applied general qualification and other implications of the post-16 curriculum review 

  • fully understand the opportunities and challenges of the new T levels, their funding, assessment, content, employer focus and work placements

  • consider what might constitute a “broad and balanced” curriculum within their own sixth form context

  • fully understand sixth form funding and how this impacts on their financial viability 

  • clarify their thinking on what future high quality post-16 provision might look like in their own school, academy or college

This course is essential for heads of sixth form, senior leaders and all staff with budget or curriculum responsibility in the sixth form.



Kevin Gilmartin
ASCL Post-16 and Colleges Specialist

Julia Harnden
ASCL Funding Specialist

Stephen Rollett
ASCL Curriculum and Inspection Specialist



Registration and refreshments


Welcome and Introduction


Session 1 | The Changing Sixth Form Landscape
An overview of national changes in sixth form policy, curriculum and accountability
Kevin Gilmartin, ASCL Post-16 and Colleges Specialist


Session 2 | Sixth form funding and curriculum affordability
With sixth form funding at an all-time low how can you test your sixth form curriculum plan for viability and sustainability?
Bring along your calculators for this interactive session on how your numbers add up.
Julia Harnden, ASCL Funding Specialist


Refreshment break


Session 3 | 2019: An Ofsted Odyssey
With Ofsted’s new inspection framework due to start in September 2019, what are the significant changes and themes?
What do you need to have in place to meet the new criteria?
Stephen Rollett, ASCL Curriculum and Inspection Specialist




Session 4 | The vocational revolution – Goodbye BTEC, Hello T levels?
T levels are now only a year away. Right now, we are in the middle of a far-reaching consultation that will decide the future of the Applied General Qualifications (AGQs) and other post-16 vocational qualifications.
What are T Levels and how might the transition year work? Where will this leave the applied general qualification?
And crucially perhaps what impact will this have on your sixth form provision, enrolments and funding?  
Kevin Gilmartin, ASCL Post-16 and Colleges Specialist


Refreshment break


Session 5 | Q and A Panel
Delegates have the opportunity to ask questions about any of the topics covered today or any other post-16 issues




£280 + VAT