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Sixth forms and colleges in Dorset

Information about colleges and schools with sixth forms in Dorset.

Information about post 16 education and training options in Dorset.

There is a wide choice of post 16 learning options in and around Dorset.  These include:

Please remember that young people are now required to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday. Further details are available on our Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) (RE-DIRECT) page.

Sixth Forms

The education system in Dorset is comprehensive with secondary schools for pupils aged 11-18 and upper schools for pupils aged 13-18.

The Search for a school database provides details of all schools in the Dorset local authority area.


The six local and nearby colleges offer an extensive range of further education courses and through partnerships with local universities, they also offer higher education courses including higher national diplomas (HNDs), foundation degrees and degrees.

Five of the colleges are 'generalist' colleges offering a whole range of different academic and vocational courses:

One of the colleges is a 'specialist' college:

New provision

The Exeter Mathematics School (EMS) (opens in a new window) opened in September 2014 in the centre of Exeter.  Jointly sponsored by the University of Exeter and Exeter College they are a sixth form school that focuses on the needs of the most able maths students.

Starting in September 2015 there are two new types of school that offer an alternative approach to traditional secondary education and follow a 9am-5pm working day:

The South Wiltshire University Technical College (opens in a new window), based In Salisbury, will open in September 2015 for students aged 14 - 18.  It will specialise in science and engineering, it will teach vocational courses alongside traditional GCSEs and A-levels and will bring together technical, practical and academic learning.

The Dorset Studio School at Kingston Maurward (opens in a new window) combines GCSEs in maths, English, sciences and ICT, with qualifications in environmental and land-based sciences, alongside skills needed for employment and starting a business. It currently caters for Year 9 pupils.  In September 2015 it will also take Year 10, and in September 2017 it will offer places for post 16 study.

Links for further information

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