6th forms in schools and colleges
These research papers make interesting reading on the pros and cons of school sixth forms and college-based 6th forms.
There’s not a huge amount of research into this, and there is only anecdotal evidence as to the reasons for the differences, but the take home message is that the best performers are specialist, stand-alone 6th form colleges. School 6th forms come next, although smaller ones perform less well. Sixth forms which are part of FE colleges do the least well. Of course these are all generalisations, and interestingly the differences are most marked for more able students. At lower levels of ability the differences are less marked.
And here’s a view from the LSE on the challenges of mixing A-levels and vocational courses. On page 23 the authors worry that chopping up vocational courses into chunks that can be combined with A-levels may reduce the value of the vocational education.