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Guidance on Post 16/18 Pathways

Post 16 Pathways:

As part of our focus on preparing students to make a successful transition to post 16 learning we encourage students to:

  • Investigate their post 16 and 18 options (pathways)
  • Gather impartial information, advice and guidance from experts about these pathways
  • Broaden their horizons – consider new pathways
  • Make realistic choices

What are the main options after GCSEs?

  • Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider;
  • Full-time work or volunteering (20 hours or more) combined with part-time education or training leading to relevant regulated qualifications
  • An apprenticeship, traineeship or supported internship.

Session 1 Exploring Post-16 Options

Here are a series of videos which give more information about these routes:

Please refer to this useful guide which compares A levels to Diplomas.

When considering post 16 pathways, we advise students to:

  • Listen carefully to the information given by the experts
  • Take notes to help remember the steps to take
  • Don’t judge before listening to the information
  • Don’t follow someone else’s pathway; choose the right route for you
  • Think carefully and reflect before deciding which route is right

 You may also find this guide sheet for parents/carers useful 

Post 18 options:

Higher apprenticeships provide an opportunity to gain Level 4 qualifications or above, with most apprentices gaining an NVQ Level 4, HND, or foundation degree. Some offer the opportunity to progress to Level 7 (which is postgraduate degree level).

A higher apprenticeship can take from one to five years to complete, and involve part-time study at a college, university, or training provider.

According to government figures, 90% of apprentices in England stayed on in employment after completing their qualification; 71% with the same employer.

Entry requirements can include at least five GCSEs grades A* – C (9 – 4 on the new grading system), including English and maths subjects, and Level 3 qualifications, including A levels, NVQs, or a BTEC.  Some employers will expect or require applicants to have studied subjects relevant to the apprenticeship.

Competition for higher apprenticeships can be tough — partly because there are often only a limited number of vacancies, but also because school/college leavers and adults already in employment can apply for them. Employers may also be considering applications from existing employees, for the career progression opportunities they can offer.

For further information about this route, please visit Find an apprenticeship (findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk) or UCAS Higher apprenticeships – who offers them & how they work (ucas.com)

  • Higher Education

If you have any ideas about HE courses you might want to study, it’s worth doing a bit of research now.

Check entry requirements for any courses you’re thinking about – these may mention particular subjects or qualifications you’ll need, as well as any grades you’ll need to get.

Universities and colleges may also list entry requirements using Tariff points.

Compare course content – even courses with identical titles can vary, so if you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to study, compare the details.

Don’t worry – you don’t need to decide now! University choices and applications are usually started in Year 12 or Year 13.

Year 10 Further and Higher Education Pathways

Lucas Student Life Talk

Mazen Student Life PP


Here are two videos which give more information about university:




For further information on this route, please visit www.ucas.com


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