Decisions Post-16

All young people are required to continue in some form of education and training until their 18th birthday. This could be through:

  • studying full-time at a school, college or training provider, or;
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship, or;
  • studying part-time while working or volunteering

There are three main learning and career pathways to choose from following GCSEs. Making the right decision requires careful consideration of interests, preferred learning method and future aspirations. It may also mean studying at a different institution.

Regardless of learning choice, it is a requirement for all young people who have not achieved a grade 4 or above in English and/or maths at GCSE to continue their study to achieve this.

    Academic study

    A-levels
    A range of qualifications that support progression into university.

    Applied general qualifications
    Rigorous university-endorsed qualifications for those who want to continue their education through applied learning.

    International Baccalaureate
    An internationally recognised qualification, promoting breadth and depth of learning for those wanting to progress to university.

    Specialist and Vocational Qualifications

    Tech levels
    Employer-endorsed qualifications for those who want to specialise in a particular occupation or industry sector.

    Technical certificates
    Employer-endorsed qualifications for those who need initial training before starting a tech level or entering a skilled trade.

    Work-based study

    Apprenticeships
    A paying job with training that leads to employment and / or progression to advanced, higher and degree-level apprenticeship opportunities.

    Traineeships
    A programme to help young people secure a job or an apprenticeship, who do not yet have the right skills or experience.

    Supported internships
    Available to young people with a learning difficulty or learning disability who want to move into employment and need extra support.

    Parents/carers checklist

    • encourage your son or daughter to research their options using the post-16 directory
    • check the dates of post-16 open events and put them in your diary
    • encourage your son or daughter to discuss their options with their school’s careers and education advice service, or contact the National Careers Service
    • ensure application forms are completed and submitted on time – sixth form and college applications typically open in October
    • if your son or daughter is interested in an apprenticeship or traineeship get them to register with the National Apprenticeship Service – a number of larger companies advertise their apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers between November and February
    • sign-up for the London Borough of Bexley’s jobs and opportunities for young people newsletter to receive information and inspiration on post-16 opportunities, and encourage your son or daughter to do the same
    • if you are worried about finances contact sixth forms, colleges and training providers and ask about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund
    • support your son or daughter to develop a back-up plan, just in case

    The following providers have open days and assessments throughout the year. Please visit their websites for dates and further information:

    The Post-16 Directory (PDF) details the learning offer starting in September 2020.

    Download Directory*

    *This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format