Have you been teaching younger students for a while now and want to start working in a sixth form college and make the switch to older children? Or are you just beginning your teaching career and looking for sixth form college jobs? Either way, here are some of the basics for you to go through before you start looking for ‘sixth form college jobs near me’.
The thing is:
Further education represents the transition between compulsory education and further academic advances and, as such, is an essential part of the process. It represents the final stretch for students who want to join the workforce soon, and a jumping board for students who wish to go to university.
Whatever the case, teachers and staff play an important role in both group’s life and academic achievement.
Many of those who are teaching sixth form agree it is just as challenging as any teaching job but in some ways more rewarding. The students are older and more willing to be there in the first place, which contributes to the atmosphere and the spirit of learning. This is why many people in sixth form jobs and FE jobs prefer those to primary or secondary teaching roles.
So, without further ado, let’s have a quick look at the current vacancies in the sector.
Popular Sixth Form College Jobs in 2020
What Is a Sixth Form College in the UK?
Compulsory education in the UK ends at the age of 16, and students can decide to complete their education at that point. However, most students pursue further education. For some, that means taking vocational courses that will prepare them for work, giving them the necessary basic skills for their chosen profession. For others, this time will be spent in preparation for university and further academic advancement.
These two years in the school systems of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and, rarely, Scotland, are called sixth form. Students aged 16 to 18 can attend courses taught at schools they previously went to or separate sixth form college institutions. During these two years of education after getting their GCSEs, students will be preparing for their A-level exams or their equivalents.
A Bit of Background
The first sixth form colleges were first established in the 1960s and grew increasingly popular over the years. After the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, they were funded by the Further Education Funding Council for England (FEFC) until it was dissolved in 2018. At this point, the funding and supervision of sixth form colleges was transferred to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).
The Sixth Form Colleges Association is a national network of peers, made up of heads of sixth form colleges across the UK. Any sixth form can join, use the online platform for curriculum and senior leaders, and attend national conferences and regional curriculum workshops. Sixth form colleges do not charge tuition for students under 18 but can introduce fees for books and materials, exams, or registration. The requirements vary and range from 4 or 5 C grades to at least six GCSEs at grade A for the more demanding institutions.
Looking at numbers, there are currently 90 sixth form colleges in England and Wales, out of which 62 are in England. In Northern Ireland, FE is offered by six multi-campus colleges.
Up to 88% of those are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, and the results speak for themselves. Over 67% of sixth form college students continue their education at university, and 19% go on to attend the top universities in the UK. Click To Tweet
Sixth form in Wales also offers the Welsh Baccalaureate and Key Skills qualifications. The Welsh Baccalaureate/Bagloriaeth Cymru is implemented in schools across Wales and offers a broader set of skills compared to classic programmes, such as communication, numeracy, digital literacy, planning, organisation, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, and personal effectiveness.
Scotland has an independent school system with its own education and examination methods focused on the Scottish Baccalaureate. Still, some schools in Scotland follow the system used in the rest of the UK, and some even combine the two. Students aged 16 to 18 in Scotland will progress to Higher Grade and Advanced Higher Grade in years S5 and S6, (equivalents to lower and upper sixth form in England) with Highers being similar to AS levels. Advanced Highers help with getting into a university or the workforce.
An International Baccalaureate Diploma can be obtained in approximately 200 colleges and schools across the UK. It gives students the ability to move between international schools, as it effectively combines different nations’ systems without having a foundation in any particular one. Three subjects in the IB programme are the equivalent of A levels and three are AS levels. In case a student doesn’t manage to accomplish getting a full IBD, they will still have a certificate for the subjects taken.
The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) provides a certification equivalent to levels 1 and 2 of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), A-level 3, and university levels 6 to 7 in vocational subjects.
Next, we’re going to dig deep into some of the most popular sixth form college jobs.
Sixth Form Lecturer
A Sixth Form Lecturer is a further education teacher who specialises in one of three things. These include vocational training and apprenticeships, where the students are getting ready for entering the workforce; academic education that leads to GCSE and A-levels in English and maths; and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
As a Sixth Form Lecturer, you will be:
- Teaching students of various levels, backgrounds, ages, and abilities.
- Teaching groups that vary in size.
- Preparing tests and marking work.
- Tracking students’ progress during the course.
- Filing records and keeping the database up to date.
- Providing feedback to students and parents.
- Providing mentorship and pastoral advice.
- Planning and delivering lessons according to the subject curriculum.
- Supervising workshops and visits to employers.
- Developing course material.
- Researching new developments in teaching in your field.
- Attending and oversee examinations.
- Conducting one on one teaching sessions.
- Attending staff meetings.
- Organising parents’ evenings and events.
- Carrying out a variety of administrative tasks such as interviews with new students, admissions, etc.
Key Skills and Competencies
While you can teach sixth form as an unqualified teacher, getting a qualification increases your chances of getting hired.
There are several ways to get your qualifications and several levels to choose from. Keep in mind that It’s possible to go into any level before completing other levels.
- Level 3 Award in Education and Training – This a non-placement knowledge-based course that will guide you through lesson planning, essay writing, group lessons, and micro-teaching. You will need this qualification before you start to teach.
- Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training – During this course, you will need to log in 30 hours of your classes. The course will guide you through your practical teaching skills, and you will learn about lesson planning and delivery, progress assessment, and the use of resources in education and training.
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training – For this level of qualification you will need to have 100 logged teaching hours. You can specialise in literacy, ESOL, mathematics, or teaching students with disabilities. You will learn about developing teaching, assessment, action research, and inclusive practice.
- Level 5 integrated specialist diplomas – This is a specialist course where the 100 logged teaching hours need to be within your specialist subject field.
- Another possible path to teaching six form is taking a two-year Learning and Skills Teacher Apprenticeship, which combines Level 5 DET course, Level 2 safeguarding qualification, and English and maths Level 2. Teaching academic courses requires a degree, while for vocational subjects, you will need Level 3 vocational qualification and teaching experience.
- A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in post-compulsory education offers courses that are full or part-time and has Level 5 qualification components with units at Levels 6 and 7. It is assessed at those levels. A degree in your chosen subject will be required as well.
- It is also possible to take a Certificate in Education (Cert Ed), which is at Level 5 requirements without a degree. For this, you will need a Level 3 qualification in your subject.
As a Sixth Form Lecturer, you will need to have:
- In-depth knowledge of your subject and understanding of the curriculum.
- Expertise in your professional area if you are teaching vocational courses.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Good organisational and time management skills.
- Attention to detail and punctuality.
- Great interpersonal skills.
- Resilience, determination, and commitment.
- Empathy, enthusiasm, and patience.
- The ability to relate to parents and students from different backgrounds and of different ages and academic levels.
Salary and Job Outlook
As a qualified Sixth Form Lecturer, you can expect to earn between £24,702 and £37,258 per year, while those that are not qualified will be receiving an average salary of around £19,758 to £23,325. The expected salary for experienced teachers ranges from £37,258 to £41,928 per year. Most senior positions come with a salary of around £90,000.
Salaries depend on the region and the institution and vary depending on your experience or the demand for the subject. When it comes to part-time roles, they are paid anywhere from £15 to £30 per hour.
The full-time position workweek is usually 35 sixth form college teaching hours a week, with the possibility of evening classes and meetings. It may include not only classroom time but also visits to employers, field trips, and study visits if your subject so requires. Teachers must be available 195 days (190 teaching days plus up to 5 in-service or INSET training days)
Many six form teachers will work at various institutions and combine this type of teaching with other teaching jobs.
Sixth Form Learning Support Assistant
A Learning Support Assistant is an individual tasked with providing teaching and development help and support to students who have learning difficulties. They assist in reading, understanding, English, and numeracy, and they have individual learning sessions with students. A Sixth Form Learning Support Assistant will carry out certain administrative duties and take on a mentoring and a supervisory role to those under their care. They are allowed to supervise the classes provided they have the required qualification but should not be teaching a class according to the National Union of Teachers.
Some of the duties of a Sixth Form Learning Support Assistant are:
- Supporting students with learning difficulties and disabilities to ensure they reach their full academic potential.
- Designing and delivering lessons for one on one or small group sessions.
- Providing help reading and understanding the course content.
- Providing mentorship and pastoral support.
- Overseeing classroom and break time activities.
- Promoting independent learning.
- Collaborating with other members of staff on improving the teaching methods and removing learning barriers and obstacles.
- Monitoring students’ progress, keeping records of difficulties, providing feedback to teachers and parents, suggesting a course of action, and reviewing results.
Key Skills and Competencies
- Institutions set their own requirements for learning assistant positions, but the candidate will usually be required to have GCSEs grades 9 to 4, from A* to C, in English and maths.
- NVQ Level 2 or equivalent qualifications in maths or English.
- Higher Level Teaching Assistant qualification is an advantage.
- As a candidate for the role of the learning support assistant, you will need to have extensive knowledge of a range of learning difficulties and disabilities.
As a Sixth Form Learning Support Assistant, you will need to have:
- Experience in supporting young adults from different backgrounds and with different challenges and abilities.
- An inclusive and dynamic approach that promotes diversity.
- Experience planning and delivering lessons tailored to personal or small group needs.
- Patience and empathy, the ability to relate and connect with students and their parents or caretakers.
- Organisational and time management skills, punctuality.
- High integrity.
- Resilience, passion, and determination.
- Solid digital knowledge and proficiency in MS Office.
- The ability to self motivate and self manage your workload.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
- Ability to work in a larger team.
- Willingness to continue professional development.
- Willingness to work flexible hours.
- Experience in handling challenging behaviour.
Salary and Job Outlook
An average salary for a Learning Support Assistant in Further Education is £15,571, ranging from £12,000 to £20,000. In the London area, you can expect to make around £1,150 per month.
Top UK Regions for Sixth Form College Jobs
Most sixth form colleges are located in England, and that’s where most jobs can be found. London, the West Midlands, and Greater Manchester stand out, followed by Wales.
If you are looking for sixth form college jobs in Manchester, some of the institutions to consider submitting your application to are Aquinas College in Stockport, Ashton Sixth Form College, Bolton Sixth Form College, Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College, Clarendon Sixth Form College, Connell Sixth Form College, Holy Cross College, Loreto College, Oldham Sixth Form College Pendleton College, Rochdale Sixth Form College, St John Rigby College, Winstanley College, and Xaverian College.
Due to the large number of sixth form institutions, the Greater Manchester area has more offers when it comes to sixth form English teacher jobs than the rest of the country.
The average salary for sixth form college jobs ranges from £24,765 to £40,418 per year without allowances. Responsibility allowances for teachers in sixth form jobs range from £1,000 to £10,000.
Teachers working at sixth form college jobs in London have allowances that differ by city area, so teachers in Inner London typically receive £3,966, while the amount for Outer London is £2,643, and on the Fringe it’s £1,047. Sixth form colleges in England will get a 1% pay rise in 2020, or an increase of £250, looking at a larger sum.
Sixth form colleges and school sixth form provide the students with further education and prepare them for work or further studies.
Working in sixth form college jobs, you will be teaching or assisting in a more relaxed atmosphere than at the primary or secondary school levels. The students are older, and you will get to be a part of their crucial years when it comes to the development of their further academic or work life. You will guide and mentor young adults towards their degrees and certifications.
If you decide to teach vocational subjects, you might be able to enjoy a more hands-on approach to teaching in some of these college teacher jobs, as you will be tasked with guiding and supervising many projects and practices outside the classroom.
At the end of the day, though, a teacher must be patient, resilient, and dedicated no matter the age group. Furthermore, organisational skills and in-depth knowledge of your subject are a must. Last but certainly not least, you need to have great interpersonal skills, which would make you a valuable addition to any team and allow you to thrive teaching sixth form.
And now that the wonderful job opportunities waiting for you in sixth form colleges, it’s time to take on the market with the help of Mark in Style. Happy job hunting!
Is sixth form the same as college?
The difference between sixth form and college is that sixth form is, in many cases, smaller, more supportive, and more structured, offering sometimes a higher standard than a further education college. Choosing to stay on for sixth form in your secondary school has some advantages over going to college. You will be staying in a familiar environment with the teachers you know and the friends you already have. This may be a great benefit to students with disabilities.
Is college better than sixth form in the UK?
The main advantage of college sixth form compared to school sixth form is the number of courses that are offered. While school sixth form courses are quite good, individually, you might find what is better suited to you at a college sixth form.
Additionally, schools offer AS and A-level courses, while most sixth form colleges include the BTEC and vocational courses.
Colleges and sixth forms also provide a more open, informal, and free environment compared to school sixth forms. They also allow for a change of surroundings, pace, social groups, and an overall feeling of progress that comes from stepping out of the familiar and venturing further into a new group of people and tasks.
The main thing is:
It is great preparation for university, as you have to self manage more and study independently. With freedom, you have to be responsible and function autonomously.
How much does a sixth form teacher earn?
The average sixth form teacher salary in the United Kingdom is £33,280 per year, which means you will be paid £17.07 per hour. The range of salary is from £24,765 to £40,418 a year without responsibility allowances that go from £1000 to as much as £10,000. The starting salary for inexperienced entry-level positions is around £9,212 per year, while years of experience will allow you to earn up to £56,575 a year.
What is the best sixth form college in the UK?
Let’s have a look at the list of the best sixth form colleges in the UK. In the lead, we have Oxford International College as the best 6th form college in the UK, an institution whose students are known to be extremely successful at securing a place at Oxford University later on and positions in desired companies. In second place is Cardiff Sixth Form College, followed by Bellerbys College Cambridge.
Next on the list, we have Abbey College Cambridge, Brampton College, Bath Academy, Abbey College in Manchester, and Hurtwood House. It’s King’s College Maths School in London in the tenth place of the best sixth form colleges.
The best sixth form colleges in London are Brampton College in North West London, London Academy Excellence, London Brookes College, King’s Maths School, Newham Sixth Form College, Westminster City School, City of London Academy, Albemarle College, and Ashbourne College.
The best sixth form colleges in England, which bring with them the most desirable sixth form college jobs, are Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, Greenhead College in Huddersfield, Woodhouse College in Finchley, King Edward VI College in Stourbridge, St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form Centre in Harrogate, Runshaw College in Leyland, Plymouth College of Further Education in Devonport, Peter Symonds’ College in Winchester, Winstanley College Billinge, and The Sixth Form College Farnborough.