This course is designed for all heads of sixth form who are aspiring to excellence. The sixth form in a school carries a separate judgement in the Ofsted framework.

Effective teaching and a rich curriculum at post-16 is crucial to the life chances of young people as they seek to move towards an increasingly competitive higher education and employment environment. The course is designed to provide detailed guidance to the head of sixth form to deliver outstanding outcomes for their students in every aspect of the sixth form.


  • Learn how outstanding leadership can be achieved in the sixth form
  • Take away practical ideas from an outstanding sixth form (graded 2018)
  • Obtain strategies to improve achievement and challenge/support underachievement
  • Gain a deep and full understanding of the new Ofsted framework for a sixth form leader in terms of demonstrating progress
  • Learn how to hold your staff to account and motivate them
  • Understanding the importance of culture, ethos and climate in an outstanding sixth form
  • Understanding the impact of effective quality assurance and using data effectively


  • Current heads of sixth form
  • Heads of sixth form preparing for inspection
  • Senior leaders aspiring to make their sixth form excellent
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 10.05am
Welcome – registration and household arrangements

10.05 – 11.30am
Getting the culture right for an outstanding sixth form

  • High expectations coupled with powerful support: ensuring that the correct principles are in place to move to outstanding
  • What is our moral purpose? The importance of staff, students and other leaders feeling valued
  • The Ofsted framework
  • Quality of education – getting the curriculum right. Teaching and learning to achieve high outcomes and excellent support destinations
  • Key leadership skills to achieve outstanding behaviour and attitudes to learning
  • Success in a sixth form: setting the vision and standards to become outstanding
  • Sixth form line management: support from the senior management team, the school improvement plan, maximising achievement in all subjects
  • Successful transition from GCSE to A-level: managing the demands of A-level linear continuous assessment in line with national standards
  • Post-16 schemes of work to establish effective assessment practice, differentiation and work experience in line with the Gatsby benchmark expectations

11.30 – 11.45am
Discussion: coffee break

11.45 – 1.00pm
Aspirational target setting

  • Setting high level student expectations: how to lead to ensure students are working at Key Stage 5 standard across the sixth form
  • Academic monitoring
  • The teacher student dialogue – regular review, reinforcing high expectations of the institution, subject specific support, the consistent experience of self-review
  • Action plans to support academic underachievement: student contracts – academic and attendance, attendance monitoring, working with parents
  • Practical ideas to support effective target setting for years 12 and 13 to improve performance
  • The eight Gatsby Benchmarks and delivering them to outstanding standard
  • Vocational study, supporting students with work experience and HE pathways within the sixth form study programme
  • Promoting students’ responsibility for their learning: supporting independent learning, encouraging resilience and research, using student voice to inform better teaching

1.00 – 1.45pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.45 – 3.00pm
Student tracking/assessment and using the data effectively

  • Recording student data: strategies to raise achievement with targeted students
  • Shared teaching groups how do you record? Recording grades that are meaningful
  • Strategies for setting challenging targets for the more able
  • Case studies – successful mock examinations, student self-evaluations and how to link pastoral support with curriculum after mock examinations
  • Students at risk – strategies to support disadvantaged students, subject improvement plans, study and revision skills

3.00 – 3.15pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

3.15 – 4.00pm
Leadership and vision

  • Evaluating the qualities and actions of an outstanding head of sixth form
  • Evaluating your sixth form – what do you do well, what are the gaps?
  • Learning walks – the evidence Ofsted required
  • Methods of recording; non-critical feedback; triangulation to support teaching and learning
  • Faculty meetings; how to document deep questioning and cascade results
  • Work scrutiny – understanding the Ofsted focus on written feedback
  • The loop between curriculum and pastoral, including model answers
  • Sixth form enrichment to widen participation and remove barriers to success

Anne King

Anne  initiated the school sixth form in 2013, introduced and developed both the curriculum and pastoral programme. In April 2018 the sixth form was inspected by OFSTED under the new framework and was graded outstanding in all areas. She is a member of the senior management team and has whole school responsibility for C.A.I.A G and in less than a year has completed six of the eight Gatsby benchmarks.

View all courses led by Anne King >

change management