SIXTH form colleges have squeezed general further education and tertiary colleges out of all but 11 of the top 50 post-16 places, according to the Department for Education and Employment. General further education colleges say that this is because sixth forms tend to cream off the brightest students. Colleges stress that, given initially low levels of student attainment, general further education institutions do a remarkable job in adding educational value. This is not reflected in crude league tables, they say.
Using the average point score for students attempting two or more A or AS levels, a DFEE league table of the top 50 further education sector colleges shows that Runshaw College, in Leyland, Lancashire, produced the best general further education colleges results. Students averaged 19.9 points, up from 18.3 points last year. The national average, including schools, was 17.3.
The other top performing general further education colleges were, in descending order: Truro, Alton, Strode (Somerset), Weymouth, North Shropshire, North Devon, Preston, Selby, Braintree and Royal Forest of Dean.
North Devon College achieved its 31st placing, seventh out of the 11 general further education colleges in the top 50, with an average points score of 17.8. It was achieved despite one of the lowest levels of college funding in the country.
Principal David Trueman said: "I believe we are the tenth worst funded sixth form consortia in the country. I am seriously concerned that we may not be able to continue to produce these results with the resources we've got."
It appears from the DFEE's full college league table that, as a whole, Greater London institutions, including sixth forms, have some of the lowest A-level achievement rates in the country. The average regional points score per candidate taking two or more A or AS level qualifications was 10.3, seven points below the national average. A random comparison with colleges in North and South Yorkshire and Humberside shows that institutions in this region averaged 13.2 points per candidate.
* Sixth form consortia are shown in the tables below with four asterisks. No data is produced for Scottish colleges, but there will shortly be data for colleges in Wales.
The table is not available on this database.