Post-16 educational and career options


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You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you'll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays. You must then choose whether to:

  • stay in full-time education - for example at school, sixth form college, further education college or University Technical College (UTC)
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while also doing part-time education or training

Your local authority has a duty to make sure you are offered a suitable place by the end of September. This is known as the September Guarantee.

You may be eligible for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, which can help with things like books, travel or equipment if you will struggle with education or training costs.

If you have an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan, you can get support to choose your next steps and extra help when you are in education, training or work.

You can find further information on Post 16 options for young people with SEND on the Local Offer website.

Stay in full-time education

You could take a range of subjects that lead to qualifications that keep your options open, like GCSE or A levels. Courses like T Levels or BTEC allow you to focus on a chosen career area like construction, healthcare, science or digital careers. Some careers may ask for specific qualifications, so always do some research into where the course you are interested in might lead.

  • A levels

  • T Levels

  • Technical and vocational qualifications

  • Applied qualifications

  • Exam retakes

Combine work and study

Gain practical skills, get work experience and a qualification that employers need.

  • Traineeships

  • Supported internships

  • Apprenticeships

  • School leaver schemes

Speak to an adviser at the National Careers Service

You can call 0800 100 900 or use webchat to speak to an adviser.

We're open:

  • 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday
  • 10am to 5pm Saturday and bank holidays

We're closed Sunday, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Other opportunities

You could also consider volunteering to strengthen your job and study opportunities.


Page last reviewed: 17/04/2024

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