Information on Schools and Colleges

The Harris Federation encourages all of our Year 10 and 11 to consider staying on at a one of the Harris academies for sixth form.

However, we appreciate that school sixth form is not for everyone and some of our students will prefer to move to one of the local colleges or an apprenticeship. It is important that all students thoroughly research their chosen route by attending open evenings and finding out the content of the different subjects/courses that are on offer.

Research into your chosen route is critical.


 Some of the benefits of staying on at Harris

  • You are familiar with the environment and the teaching staff.They are already invested in you and care about your future success.
  • There will be minimal adjustment if you choose to stay which is a good thing in terms of getting off to a flying start.
  • Often, the curriculum allows you to remain at your chosen academy and select a subject at one of the other sites offering you the opportunity to continue in your academy while experiencing a new site.
  • In all of our sixth forms, you will find the strength of a federation.We have the same teaching standards, the same data analysis, the same opportunities and we share the same expertise across all of your academies.
  • We have a wealth of enrichment opportunities.
  • We have a very strong and broad alumni group, committed to help you achieve your future goals.
  • The Harris Experience Advanced programme runs across all of our sixth forms.This includes our Oxbridge and medicine programmes and lots more besides.
  • We have been rated outstanding by Ofsted.
  • We have more than 80% of our students progressing on to university which is more than twice the national average.

Click below to find out more about Harris Sixth Form:

Harris Sixth Form

Should you decide that Harris is not for you, then you may find it helpful to  look at some of the links below which are in your area:




USP Palmers College

South Essex College



Sixth form schools within the borough

Sixth form colleges and further education colleges


Harris Professional Skills Sixth Form

Students who are borderline to achieve the grades for sixth form should choose an alternative.

Harris Professional Skills sixth form would be an excellent back up plan for students wishing to stay in the Harris Federation.

This is an exciting new sixth form based in South Norwood, offering a vocational route for both level 3 and level 2 courses.


  • Offer a Level 3 Vocational route which may be preferable.
  • Offer a Level 2 route for students who would like to re-sit their GCSE’s


Moving to an alternative sixth form

Some students prefer to look at an alternative to a Harris academy for a number of reasons:

  • Sixth forms may have a speciality ie the Brit School
  • Other sixth forms may have the subjects that you have chosen in different blocks.
  • You may feel that you the location of another sixth form is preferable.


Useful points with subject choices

  • Choose subjects which you enjoy.
  • Choose subjects which you are good at.
  • Choose subjects that will help you long term in your chosen career.
  • Research into chosen careers and universities to ensure that the subjects chosen open the relevant doors.
  • If uncertain, contact your Career Adviser in your academy.
  • Establish the entry grades for each chosen subject. Is this realistic?


Useful tips to avoid

  • Do not choose a subject because you like the teacher. There is no guarantee that they will be teaching you in Year 12 and 13.
  • Do not choose a subject because your friend or even a parent or relative has chosen it/did it in the past.  You are a unique learner and will have different learning requirements from others.  Make sure you talk to current advisers and make choices based on your own strengths.
  • Do not choose a subject because it sounds interesting. Do your own research.


College and Sixth Form College

There are a wide range of different colleges to consider:

Some offer the traditional A Levels which allows the continued diversity, where some colleges will only offer a range of vocational diplomas. Please look into the course content as this is important when choosing a vocational diploma.

Colleges offer different entry levels and it is important that you are familiar with your predicted grades. Colleges offer flexibility. If you are unsuccessful in gaining the required grades, then an alternative entry level course can be offered.  

It is important that the you attend Open Evenings to find out more about the courses that they are considering before an application is made.




North Kent



With the raising of the participation age, students do need to stay in some form of education.

An apprenticeship is an alternative for those students who would like to enter the workplace while continuing with their education.

It can be a practical way of learning as they will be work shadowing colleagues and observing while having the theoretical back up of a college or Training Provider. There are an increasing number of apprenticeships in a wider variety of careers.


Benefits of an apprenticeship:

  • Apprentices are paid. The minimum hourly rate is £3.70 an hour which rises to £3.90 an hour in April 2019. The salary rises as you progress through the apprenticeship.
  • You will be learning in a practical setting.
  • You can achieve an undergraduate degree through an apprenticeship scheme at no cost to you while earning.


Negatives of an apprenticeship:

  • You are choosing a career pathway at 16 with just GCSE’s to fall back on.
  • You will be studying while working full time.
  • No further long holidays.
  • An apprenticeship can take longer to enter certain careers.


Should the apprenticeship route be the first choice for son/daughter we would recommend that they sign up on the Government website so that they can be informed about relevant opportunities? Not only would we advise registering with the apprenticeship website but there is a wealth of information that one can find out about apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are a hands on way of learning and working towards additional qualifications. However, it is important to understand that there is no guarantee of a job at the end of the apprenticeship, the hours can be quite lengthy and the holidays are reduced significantly as the young person has entered the workplace.


All students choosing to apply for an apprenticeship must have a backup plan of either a Post 16 provision or a College place.

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