Pathways after GCSE
What are your options at the end of Year 11?
All students must stay in education until they are 18. There are three main options at the end of Year 11 to enable this to happen. Students can:
- Remain in full time education - Sixth Form or College
- Apply for apprenticeships and traineeships
- Take on part-time training with a job, self-employment or voluntary work
Full time Education
If you decide to remain in full time education you can study at a Sixth Form, College, University Technical College or a Training provider.
There are many academic or job-related courses to suit ALL ability levels, such as A Levels, BTEC, T Levels and NVQS.
Make sure you research the courses available to find out what best suits you and the career you want. Make sure you attend open days to find out more about the institution and the courses they offer, see what support and guidance is available, check their entry requirements and application deadlines.
An apprenticeship is a skilled job with training. Every apprentice is guaranteed a minimum wage linked to their age. They are available at all academic levels - whether you are leaving school without GCSEs or completing your A Levels. There are apprenticeships in industries like engineering, health and accountancy - plus a host of careers you would never think of. Entry requirements for apprenticeships vary. For more information on apprenticeships see our Apprenticeship section on our website.
Traineeships are designed to give learners aged 16-23 who are unemployed the requisite numeracy and literacy skills, alongside work preparation and on-the-job training, to progress either to an apprenticeship or into employment. Designed to last no longer than 6 months, Traineeships offer young learners the opportunity to gain basic employability skills and knowledge whilst deciding which progression route they are most suited to.
Jobs with training
You can work or volunteer full time after Year 11 but you must also train or study at the same time for a minimum of 280 tutor led learning hours a year. Training may be one day a week over a year, through evening or distance learning.
Choosing your Next Steps
Below are links to key articles which will help in planning for GCSE options. At the bottom of the page there are further links for Parents and Carers.
|Planning your next steps||What next after your GCSEs?|
|National Career Service||Find your future|
|Post 16 Options||Choices at 16|
|A Level subjects: what universities want||Facts about A Levels: recent changes, subjects and grades, who they are for and what you can do afterwards|
|Russell Group - Informed Choices||The UniGuide|
What you study at sixth form or college can affect your options at university and your future career.
See where your A Level choices will take you - A Level Explorer
|Complete University Guide||Which?|
|Choosing your A Level subjects is a big decision. Read this advice on how to decide, whether you know what you want to study at university or not||Complete guide to choosing A-levels|
|Parental Guidance||Career Pilot|
|Career Pilot for Parents and Carers has useful information on Options at 16|
|Careers advice for Parents and Carers||TheUniGuide|
|The Parents' Guide to|
|What are your child's options after GCSEs?|
Options at 16 - Surrey County Council
Surrey's 'Your Next Move' portal provides young people, Parents, Carers and professionals with information about the options available to young people when they leave school, including studying, apprenticeships, traineeships, supported internships, employment, volunteering and more.
Surrey Publications to support Options at 16
Please click on the images to access the publications from the surrey website.