This paper reports on aspects of a Nuffield‐funded study carried out in 2001‐2002 into the impact of government policy upon sixth form colleges. Case study research was carried out at five colleges, following regional and national surveys of sixth form colleges, general further education colleges and schools. This paper examines the environment for competition and collaboration within which the colleges work. It defines and discusses examples of positive and negative competition, and offers evidence of collaboration, largely to support curriculum development and provision. The implications of working within a market‐driven environment are examined.
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