Tutorial & sixth-form colleges

These can be day or boarding and are usually co-ed. They usually take students from the age of 16 for AS and A-levels or additional GCSEs, and they may also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB). In addition, they often offer one-year A-level courses and Easter revision courses and also attract 18-year-olds wishing to retake A-levels to improve their grades. The fees charged are often based on the number of subjects studied; they are not cheap.

They tend to treat students like young adults, whilst giving close supervision to their academic work. Mostly they have fewer rules than schools, and a lot less community spirit and extra-curricular activity. This makes them a good option for those who have had enough of school discipline and tradition.

There are two accreditation systems for tutorial and sixth-form colleges and you can get a list of accredited colleges on both their websites: the BAC (British Accreditation Council) on www.the-bac.org and CIFE (Council for Independent Education) on www.cife.org.uk.