Large school sixth-forms produce the best A-levels

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The Independent Online

Big is beautiful when it comes to getting the best A-level results, research reveals today.

Big is beautiful when it comes to getting the best A-level results, research reveals today.

Figures published by the Government show that the greater the number of pupils in a school or sixth-form college, the higher the grades.

This year's A-level results show that pupils in a final year of fewer than 50 pupils are likely to score, on average, 242.6 points - the equivalent of three C-grade passes - whereas those in schools with more than 250 pupils in the final year score 303.3, or three B grades.

Ministers have urged more schools without sixth forms to apply to set them up in the Government's five year-plan for the future of education, which indicated that smaller school sixth forms were preferable to students undertaking longer journeys to get to school.

John Brennan, the chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: "Small is not beautiful. Small sixth forms are unable to provide the quality of specialist teaching and choice of subjects which larger institutions can."

Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for Education, defended the government proposals. He told the conference he wanted to ensure pupils had a choice between schools with sixth forms and sixth-form colleges.

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