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Post 16 - What are my options?

Post 16 options explained


RAISING THE PARTICIPATION AGE:- From September 2015, all young people in England are required to stay in learning until the age of 18 years old. 

For further information, please visit



There are numerous options out there to choose from. You could either;

  • Study Full-Time in a school, in a college or with a Training Provider.
  • You could choose learning through a job with training such as apprenticeships, work-based learning or foundation learning.

Please see this 2 minute animated video to explain where you could go post 16



There are many qualifications out there following your GCSE’s. Depending what you would like to achieve would also depend upon where you go to study. For example, you could achieve;


  • A Levels -  Studied at School or at a College and is studied over a period of 2 years. 
  • T-Levels - These will be available in certain establishments from September 2020 and will be phased in completely by 2023. {Please see the above document for more information.}
  • Foundation Learning - providing flexible learning programmes at Entry Level and Level 1. They are personalised learning programmes designed to support you to progress onto Level 2 learning, employment or apprenticeships.
  • Diploma (various levels from 1st to Advanced, Certificates and Awards, BTEC National Extension Diplomas etc) - Diplomas are qualifications that give you the chance to study in a particular vocational area and allow you to relate your learning to real life situations.
  • NVQ's at various different levels. These look at the skills and knowledge needed to do a job effectively and are based on national standards.
  • Apprenticeships - There are apprenticeships in hundreds of different kinds of work and apprentices are employed by a Company and study for a recognised qualification with their employer, at a college or with a training provider. There are 2 different levels at intermediate or advanced.
  • Jobs with Training -  Employers may offer their own training programmes which are at a same level as a nationally recognised qualification.



In order to choose which route to take, you may need to consider the following points;

  • Do I want to continue to study full time?
  • What subjects do I enjoy and what am I good at?
  • What am I passionate about? Do I have a hobby / interest / a Company I would love to work at?
  • What are my estimated grades? Will I realistically get the grades in GCSE's to go in the direction I want to go in?
  • Do I want to start work?
  • Is the school / college/ place of work etc easy to travel to? How will I get there?
  • Are the qualifications offered at the right level?
  • How will I be assessed? Exams / coursework / practical training?
  • Content and style of the course / apprenticeship etc
  • How long will the course / training last?
  • Does my next choice move onto higher education? Does it need to for your chosen career? 
  • Consider any costs involved for travel / possible supplies dependent upon which course you take.    


Most of all, think to yourself whether you will enjoy it and think of where you wish to be in 5 years time!



Ultimately, only you can make the final decision. By all means, take advice, support and guidance from others such as;

  • Parents / Carers
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Teachers
  • Career Advisors
  • People who may be in a job that you desire


But remember it is your future! Think about what YOU want to do and not what you think others may want you to do!

Remember also to look; 

  • On the internet at career websites. There is so much support out there on how to compile a CV, Cover Letter, perform at interviews etc....
  • On Company websites
  • Visit the School Library and the Careers Hub
  • Visit the School / College /Workplace to have a look around and get a feel for the place
  • Speak with future College / 6th Form tutors / employers.
  • At the Careers Tab on the Harris C of E Academy website for more information





Should you enter the world of work, you must ensure that your employer is abiding by the current employment laws and you must get paid a National Minimum Wage (NMW). The NMW is a rate per hour that is reviewed annually and the amount you get paid depends upon your age and whether you are an apprentice.


The current NMW rates as per April 2020 are as follows;

Aged 25+ = £8.72

21-24        = £8.20

18-20        = £6.45

under 18   = £4.55

Apprentices = £4.15


From April 2016, the National Living Wage was introduced and is for all workers aged 25 years old and over.


The National Minimum Wage will still apply for all workers aged 24 years old and under.



Everyone must pay National Insurance if you are over 16 years old and earning enough money. 

You will receive a National Insurance Number at 16 years old and this is your number for life and cannot be changed.


The amount of National Insurance that you pay will depend upon how much you earn and your employment status.


Your contributions count towards benefits that you may be able to claim for in the future such as incapacity benefits and State Earnings Related Pension Scheme.




When you enter the world of work, you are entitled by law to the following;


  •  ‚ÄčA statement showing how much you earn and any deductions to be made such as tax, national insurance etc
  • A pay slip
  • Working time rights and the right to holiday pay entitlement
  • Equal pay with members of the opposite sex doing the same job as you
  • Not to be discriminated against because of race, sex, age or disability
  • To work in a safe environment
  • To have a break when working more than 6 hours
  • To have a rest period of 11 hours every working day
  • To have a rest period of 24 hours once every 7 days
  • A maximum average working week of 48 hours
  • 28 days holiday per year (including bank holidays). This will be pro-rated for part-time employees.



For any further advice, support or guidance on the information provided, please don't hesitate to see Mrs O'Brien, Careers Advisor based in L14 in I&A. 

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