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Lealands High School

Lealands High School

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Options After Year 11

Year 11 may mark the end of your school days, but you still have to stay in education or training until the end of the school year when you turn 18.

So what can you do next? Your main choices are:

  • Full-time study, such as for A-levels or different college course

  • An apprenticeship or traineeship

For further information please visit

It’s worth looking ahead, as decisions you make now may narrow your choices later.  Fancy a particular course? Find out where it’s likely to lead in future. Have a career or university course in mind? Work out what you need to do now to set you on the right path.The Uni Guide website can help you to do this (link -

It can also help to keep an open mind – find out what’s available and then see how each option could work for you.

There are always opportunities to change direction and different ways to get to where you want to be, but thinking about your future now could make life easier further down the line.

Staying in education – where to study?

If you want to stay in education, you can study at:

  • A Sixth Form College

  • A Further Education (FE) College

  • A specialist college – these usually focus on subjects such as dance, drama, or agriculture

Each school or college is likely to offer a range of different subjects, courses, and learning styles. Some colleges offer part-time courses, or run evening or weekend classes – often called flexible learning – so it’s worth finding out more to discover what will suit you best.

Look out for open days or evenings where you can visit the college, find out about the courses on offer and speak to staff and students. See what courses involve – the topics you will cover, amount of exams and coursework, and ask what previous students have gone on to do next.

Check out the application process for any colleges that interest you. The earlier you apply the better! Some sixth forms and specialist colleges have deadline dates so check directly for these.  

What to study

A-levels tend to focus on academic subjects and are one of the main routes to university. Courses usually take two years and you sit your exams at the end of the course. See Choosing A-level subjects for more details. (link -

Vocational qualifications are more practical and provide you with the knowledge and skills needed for certain jobs and types of work. You can study Tech Levels which are linked to careers such as engineering, computing and hospitality or Applied General qualifications which have a broader focus, such as applied science, business or sport.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

If you want to learn a new profession, trade or skill, then this could be the route for you.

Apprenticeships are real jobs with training so you can earn while you learn and pick up qualifications as you go. Schemes take between one and four years to complete and run on three different levels, so you can choose a level that suits you.

See the following for more details 

Become an apprentice (link -

Find an apprenticeship (link -

A guide to apprenticeships (link -

Higher and degree apprenticeships (

Traineeships help prepare you for work and last up to six months. They offer maths and English training together with work experience to boost your skills and put you in a better position to get an apprenticeship or job. You can find a traineeship on GOV.UK. (Link -

Getting advice

Speak to your teachers at school and Miss Griffiths. They may have links with local colleges and training providers or know how past students have got on. Parents, carers, friends and relatives may also be able to provide ideas and guidance.

If you want to speak to a careers advisor you can also visit the National Careers Service.

When is the school leaving date?

The official date is the last Friday of June of the school year in which you turn 16.

Can I get any money if I stay on at school, go to college or start with a training provider?

It depends on personal circumstances. The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is aimed at students who need financial help so that they can stay in learning. The Bursary Fund can help pay for costs like equipment you might need for your course and transport.

 More information is also on the government website. (Link -

 Additionally, if you’re studying and aged under 20 at the start of your course, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare costs while you’re learning. More information is on the government Website. (Link -

I am still not sure what to do after Year 11, what can I do?

If you need 1:1 careers advice, see  Miss Griffiths, the school’s careers adviser and she can help you decide what to do after Year 11.

What are my options after I finish my A level/BTEC level 3 courses?

Your main options are higher education, doing an apprenticeship , finding a job , further education  or taking a year out

I'm thinking of taking a year out, what could I do?

Reasons for taking a gap year vary. For example, you may want to use the time to review your future plans, go travelling, do work experience (possibly linked to your chosen course or future career plans), develop new skills, earn money to fund your university place or volunteer in the UK or abroad.

For more information, check out useful websites, such as Prospects. (LInk -

 I want to study art at university; do I need to study an art foundation course first?

Possibly. It is often a requirement to have studied an art and design foundation course to gain entry to many art and design courses at university. You need to check the specific entry requirements for your chosen universities.

 What are higher apprenticeships?

The UCAS website conveys that higher apprenticeships provide an opportunity to gain a higher education qualification, such as an NVQ Level 4, HND or foundation degree. They can take from one to five years to complete, and involve part-time study at a college, university or training provider.

Use the apprenticeship website to check out the latest apprenticeship vacancies. (Link -

 What are degree apprenticeships?

In March 2015 these were launched by the government. They have been developed by businesses, universities and colleges. Apprentices will split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a full bachelor’s or master’s degree from a top university while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession.

Use the apprenticeship website to search for degree apprenticeship vacancies. (Link-