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There’s an energetic buzz about the place. There are no uniform rules, no prefects or head boys and girls and self-expression seemed to be the order of the day. The range of A level subjects on offer would rival many an independent school. We were truly wowed by the quality, breadth and maturity of the artwork on display - from prints and delicate handmade textiles to photography, sculpture, life drawings and installations; we struggled to tear ourselves away... 

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2012, Nick Burnham (late 40s). Previously vice principal at Carmel College in St Helen’s. Studied economics at Surrey University, then began his career teaching economics at Peter Symonds College in Winchester.

Mr Burnham is a firm believer in stand-alone sixth form colleges and has worked in FE for 24 years. He chairs the Sixth Form College Association and describes the sector as a ‘jewel in the crown’ of education. He’s pretty miffed that its per-student funding levels are lower than both high schools and universities. (Politics is in his blood, he says. His brother is former Labour frontbencher and now mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham.) As per-pupil funding drops ever further in real terms, so far he’s avoided having to make redundancies or cut subjects. He’s done this by...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

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