Once you have finished Year 11, you are required to stay in some form of education or training until you are 18. If you would like to stay in education full time, you have the choice to attend either school/sixth form or college.
If you would like to stay in education part-time, there are other options available to you, including apprenticeships and work experience.
These options are explored in more detail in the video and below.
What Are My Options After Year 11?
A large number of schools across Kent offer a sixth form. You may choose to stay at your current school as it enables you to continue your studies in a familiar environment with people that you know.
You also have the option to apply to a new school if you feel that they offer more suitable subjects for your chosen pathway, or you just fancy a change of learning environment.
Sixth forms tend to offer smaller classes, more teaching structure and student support than colleges. If you are unsure of what you may like to pursue as a career in the future, it is important to consider choosing subjects that will allow you to keep your options open.
Colleges are often larger and more informal than sixth forms, offering a wider variety of courses (including A Levels), but they will expect you to be able to manage your own work and time effectively. At college, you will find students of all different ages – adults as well as young people.
Unlike school, you will usually be required to pick one course to focus on. You will have to continue working towards your Maths and English GCSEs if you don’t achieve a grade 4 in year 11.
If you have a career in mind and want to start earning money as you learn, an apprenticeship could be the right choice for you. It provides the opportunity of a real job with a real employer, as well working towards an industry-standard qualification at the same time. Click on the buttons below to find out more about becoming an apprentice and browse current vacancies.
Most young people in education or training attend a sixth form or college after Year 11 but this isn't the case for everyone. Some people prefer to learn in smaller settings with less people, or they are looking for a course which will help them get ready to go into employment or further education.
There are a number of training providers across Kent which offer these types of courses that start in September and are available to Year 11 leavers. If you are interested in this type of course, ask your school for more information.
If you have already left Year 11 and are not in education, employment or training many of these providers offer start dates throughout the year and may be able to help you.
If you are 16 to 18 years old and interested in this type of course, you can contact our NEET Support Team below for advice:
- Call 03301 651 230
- Email NEETSupportTeam@theeducationpeople.org
Work experience and volunteering are great ways to gain skills, explore different industries and get your first taste of the world of work. These experiences will help you to prepare for future jobs, as well as figure out what career route is right for you.
If you have a business idea that has the potential to make money, like the idea of setting your own hours, and working when and where you want, there are a number of organisations who can help you. You can find some of them below:
* Remember that until you turn 18, you still need to be in some form of learning or training while developing your business and studying Maths and English if you did not achieve a grade 4 or above.
Hear from Louis who set up his own business 'The Bubble Waffle Company' at the age of 16:
If you have special educational needs or other support needs, you can talk to your current school who will help you with making your choices.
If you have an Education Health Care plan (EHC plan) your school will help you with your plans, or you could talk to Kent County Council about what do next.