In my centre, engaging parents is key so I schedule a Russell Group Evening for Year 11 parents of the top 80 students our of a year group of 320. We use alumni to help support the event. I am also using strategies learned from University of Aston by using new social media. I realised we were using it ineffectively. Aston are presenting at the December Heads of Sixth Conference and it's well worth listening to what they do: it's achievable in a sixth form! We increased our external students by 300% and retained 90% of our most able Year 11s which is up on 3 years ago. I've also started looking at a long term recruitment strategy which you can read below.

29 October, 2017 at 05:22 pm

RECRUITMENT IDEAS - long term strategy

In a school sixth form with feeder schools, I have the ability to start working with Year 5 to help them choose my school rather than any other. Year 6 is too late as the open days are early in the academic year. The starting point is making sure we have sufficient high calibre students from Year 7 as these are the ones who will be in Year 11 five years later. I am also working with organisations on a programme for top students in each year group. This should help them get the grades they need as well as get them to buy in to the sixth form. For more information email

29 October, 2017 at 02:30 pm

TEACHING AND LEARNING - tutorial time activities

This week I ordered Dweck 'Growth Mindset', Field 'The Self esteem Workbook' and Stone 'Difficult Conversation'. All students are to read one copied chapter. In tutorial time there will be discussions about the content. The aim is to support teachers in the classroom so that students understand the growth mindset in more depth, tackle some of their self-esteem issues which prevent them working and helps them tackle issues at home to reduce conflict.

15 October, 2017 at 05:40 pm


In my centre, I am meeting with each subject leader to go through the 2017 exam reviews. We are looking at the questions where students under-performed and subject leaders then explore how teaching and learning will be addressed to help ensure the same skills and knowledge do not present an issue if similar questions were asked again in future. Download my pro-forma for exam review analysis. We are revamping our intervention strategies so they start now not later in line with the approach Shanti Healy will be outlining for delegates on 01 December at the Heads of Sixth Conference. Michael Senior, Director of Sixth Form

15 October, 2017 at 05:26 pm


PwC, EY, Accenture, M&S, Jaguar LandRover to name a few major apprenticeship providers have agreed to talk to careers advisors and sixth form leaders at our Next Steps Conference 26 January 2018 in central London. We also have a range of universities who will update delegates on the new wave of degree apprenticeships coming on stream for students at the end of Year 13. The options are really exciting and there is a an emerging genuine range of choices on offer but the market and provision is complicated so it's worth getting key information ready to advice sixth formers more thoroughly. Check out the Next Steps 18+ conference on the Conference section of the web site. There is an...

12 October, 2017 at 08:32 am

Sample Marking - delivered a workshop to senior leaders at Finchley Catholic High School

A really constructive workshop with senior leaders and sixth form managers at Finchley Catholic High School on 22 May. I presented some practical ways that sixth form staff can use to help them provide more feedback to students, yet not increase workload. It's not difficult but it does require some skill and thought to get it right. Thanks for all the questions which helped to make sample marking work even more effectively. Loved your sixth form centre, too! Michael Senior

6 June, 2017 at 07:18 pm

Feedback Review

Do you schedule a Sixth Form Review of learning with a particular focus or set of foci? I scheduled a Marking and Feedback Review in the Spring term and using SLT. In one day we visited every Year 12 & 13 lesson and gathered information about how much marking and feedback students were receiving as well as the extent to which the marking seemed to be supporting teaching and learning - or was it just a an exercise to meet the minimum school policy? 1-2-1 meetings were held with any member of staff where it was felt there was insufficient evidence and those meetings were helpful in imparting some strategies to manage marking without increasing workload such as 'sample marking'. Sample...

13 March, 2017 at 09:27 pm


Senior Press Ltd is changing into - the hub for sixth form leaders offers a hub for sixth form leaders of whom we have over 80% of sixth forms registered. The site is unique and increasingly we get requests from organisations who would like to promote their services to sixth form leaders. The site was developed from Director of Sixth, Michael Senior, who set up Seniorpress twenty years ago offering highly practical conferences and well-regarded resources to heads of sixth. We train over 300 heads of sixth at our summer and autumn national sixth form leaders conferences which are highly regarded. Our web site and weekly newsletters ensure that sixth...

22 February, 2017 at 11:50 pm


February witnessed the launch of mentoring across the sixth form in all linear A level courses. Year 13 mentor Year 12 and this year, there is benefit to both years which has resonated hugely with Year 13 so we have no resistance to being a mentor. Before setting it up I read an academic paper on university mentoring schemes which you can download in the FREE MATERIALS page. I set up a google shared document for each subject leader to write down the names of Year 12 & 13s so everyone could see who was selected and it helped ensure that the process and been started. One effective way to get it off the ground was to meet all the mentors and mentees at lunchtime and then the students...

18 February, 2017 at 01:47 pm


STUDENTS WILL ONLY CHANGE WHEN THEY ARE READY. That is why scheduling intervention workshops is a challenge. Like many sixth form centres, I draw on outside agencies which are useful but costly: I can't afford to schedule many sessions. So, over the last three years, I have researched and developed a series of intervention workshops for Years 12 and 13 that can be delivered in-house - cheap and can be scheduled multiple times so as to be timed when students recognise they need the advice: it takes some more feedback than others! With Head of Sixth, Kate Thomas, we are creating an INTERVENTION WORKSHOP RESOURCE PACK for every delegate to take away and re-use. Feel free to adapt but it...

5 February, 2017 at 03:49 pm

GCSEs - predictions - word is...

Ofqual warn against trying to create grade boundaries based on other sources. What I have heard is in 2016 in English and in maths about 70% of 16 year-old students achieved a grade C or above. So Ofqual expect a similar percentage to achieve a 4 and above in 2017. At A, the figures are different in English and maths: in 2016 16% of 16 year-olds achieved an A or above in English and 20% achieved an A or above in maths. Again, Ofqual expect these figures to be broadly the same in 2017. Watch out for Ofqual to be making some releases soon.

5 February, 2017 at 01:40 pm

Senior Press started in 1997 to support Heads of Sixth. We started with lots of published resources but the suite of support has expanded to include conferences and now a speakers and organisations directory for Heads of Sixth. We have plans for much more still. Hence, our name is changing to reflect these developments - we will become From mid January 2017, the web site will start to reflect the new name. Our audience is still Sixth Form Leaders and post-16 teachers and tutors. All feedback welcome. For now, our email is the same but this will be changing soon. Happy New Year everyone.

31 December, 2016 at 12:20 pm


In January, I am looking at how much & quality of independent study is being set by each A level teacher. Teachers will use the sheet provided 'Post 16 Homework Improvement Log' found Teachers choose 4-6 students who use the sheet for 1 week. Teacher then feeds back to line manager about what action (if any) they will take - developmental tool not a stick. I will follow up 2 weeks later by meeting with students and asking them about homework in a lunchtime focus group.

31 December, 2016 at 12:15 pm

'Homework Club' - a strategy to support your 'key marginals'

Sixth for staff asked for a strategy to tackle students who fail to complete homework or produce low quality work. So we introduced 'Homework Club' which is a strategy to use with all Year 12 & 13 students who need support in meeting deadlines. Students were informed in assembly that the very day there is a homework concern they must attend the study room within 10 minutes of the final day school bell. The teacher is responsible for registering the student - invariably they have completed the homework by the time the club begins - after which the teacher leaves and the sixth form study supervisor or a member of the sixth form team keeps an eye on the students. The session lasts from...

1 November, 2016 at 03:27 pm


Motivating and supporting students to succeed academically whilst developing their wider skills is a challenge in itself: balancing these needs with looking after their mental health is yet another facet of our various roles as Heads of Sixth. Several sixth forms are introducing mindfulness including West Kirby Grammar, Connell Sixth Form and Birkenhead Sixth Form College. Check out for more information. Stephen Thomas has created a ready-made resource for delegates at the Heads of Sixth Conference on 25 November to help tutors share mindfulness with students - no extra work needed other than sharing with students.

2 October, 2016 at 04:56 pm



5 February, 2016 at 05:36 pm


BTEC Nationals from 2016 - LATEST NEWS In September 2016, you can choose to start teaching your brand new BTEC Nationals (2016) where there is a new qualification available OR continue with your current qualifications (2010).

14 November, 2015 at 05:19 pm


Managed to get this finished by the 30 September deadline. if you still need to complete yours then I have included a helpful detailed guide of the codes you need to enter. Go to the 'Free Resoruces' section of the web site.

11 October, 2015 at 06:42 pm


I enjoyed leading a workshop for Principals and VPs of academies and Sixth Forms at the Inspiring Leaders annual conference in Nottingham last week. We shared strategies to raise achievement on linear A levels. Thank you for the lunch as well! I managed to get a taxi tour of Nottingham University on my way back, which was a bonus - very leafy and I saw an impressive sports facility being constructed. Best wishes. Michael

11 October, 2015 at 06:36 pm


Broadcast to relevant teachers the opportunity for them to have their say on the content of GCE AS and A levels that appear to be 'on the list' for teaching in 2017 accounting / ancient history / archaeology / classical civilisation: / electronics / film studies / law / media studies / statistics Launch Date: Thursday 10 September 2015 Closing Date: Thursday 5 November 2015

17 September, 2015 at 06:53 pm


The first draft of the September 2015 issue has been released and can be downloaded from the free resources section. There are quick reads with key information and helpful resource tips for Heads of Sixth. The draft might be updated throughout the month but there are a few notices that needed to be released sooner rather than later. Best wishes and I hope 2015-16 goes well. Michael

5 September, 2015 at 04:08 pm


The web site was launched Wednesday 2 September. There are still a few glitches and materials to be added but it's 95% there! Newsletters coming soon and more free materials for Heads of Sixth will be added regularly as time permits! You can now look at sample materials and even order online, download most of the (single file) materials straight away and book for conferences. Take a look at the latest conference video, too.

2 September, 2015 at 09:55 pm

Post 16 Courses Database for EFA funded sixth forms

Busy working on compiling the Post 16 Courses database. For the new database to be fully and accurately populated with up-to date course information, all post-16 providers funded by the EFA are expected to submit their 16-19 course data to government within the specified timeframes set out below: Mid-June 2015 - National database ready to receive course data By end September - Providers upload 2016/17 course data End September - National database complete 5 October - Update for schools about pupils using portals to help make their post-16 choices November onwards - Pupils use portals as part of making their post-16 choices September 2016 - Young people start post-16 courses Tip -...

11 July, 2015 at 05:03 pm

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