The law has changed and young people now have to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday.
This is known as raising the participation age (RPA) - the Government’s new policy to give all young people the opportunity to develop their skills and qualifications, and supporting them to secure employment or progress to higher education.
if you left Year 11 in summer 2013 you will need to continue in education or training until at least the end of the academic year in which you turn 17
if you started Year 11 in September 2013, you will need to stay in education or training until at least your 18th birthday.
When you leave secondary education, there are lots of options available. You can choose from:
Staying in education or training will mean that you will be more qualified, which will give you better job prospects in the future. There is also a big pay gap between people with qualifications, and those without.
It is important that you take the time to research which option is best for you.
Speak to your parents/carers, teachers and careers adviser to help you decide what to do. Don’t choose courses just because your friends are choosing them.
In addition to A Levels, a variety of other qualifications are available and include the following.
BTEC Level 2 Diploma
This is a one year vocational course equivalent to four GCSEs A*- C. If necessary, you may be able to re-sit GCSE English, maths or science if you achieve grade D or below at school.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma
This is a two year vocational course equivalent to one A Level and would be taken alongside other qualifications as part of a full college or sixth-form study programme. You need to have achieved five GCSEs at A* - C including English, maths and sometimes science.
This is a two year vocational course which is equivalent to two A Levels, giving you the opportunity to take another course alongside it. You need to have achieved five GCSEs at A* - C, including English, maths and sometimes science.
BTEC Extended Diploma
This is a two year vocational course which is equivalent to three A Levels. You will need to have achieved five GCSEs at A* - C, including English, maths and sometimes science.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
This programme enables you to study a wider range of subjects, including English, maths, science, languages, humanities and visual arts. As part of the course, you are required to complete additional activities including an extended essay and involvement in community projects. You need to have at least five GCSEs A* – C as a minimum entry requirement. If you are considering this, you should explore this option with colleges and universities to ensure it is appropriate for your higher education ideas.
BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (pre-degree)
This is offered to students who have achieved A Levels or other Level 3 qualifications and are looking to apply to a university to study an Art and Design degree.
See college websites for more details.
Why not register your interest in doing an apprenticeship with Hampshire County Council?