Post-16 Information & Advice


Important Post-16 Information to Support Students, Parent and Carers

In this section is some of the important learning, information and events during this academic year that will help year 11 students select the best post-16 options available to them.

Year 11 Personal Social Health & Citizenship Education (PSHCE), is designed to help students research and apply for their post-16 option.  The course includes: personal strengths and qualities, careers matching, planning and pathways, personal statements and CVs, post-16 options, letters of application and interview techniques.  We also organise trips out to visit providers, and invited speakers into school to talk to students. This course offers two qualifications, both at GCSE level: one portfolio based, and one exam at the end of the year called ‘Preparation for Working Life’.

The timeline for year 11, shows the timescale for finding out about options, and applications.  As year 11 is the shortest school year, and there is a great deal of competition for particular post-16 options, it is best to look at options and visit providers as early as possible.

Please click here to view the year 11 timeline.

We would encourage your input in this important piece of decision making, including having discussions at home about suitable options and opportunities.  We would like to keep in touch with you about the progress of your son or daughters’ applications, and have found it very helpful in the past if students can bring their CV home, where parents/ carers often add useful information.

Below is information outlining some of the recent changes and how they could affect options, and also information about colleges and open evenings…


Changes to Post-16 Education

Post-16 providers are accountable for attendance and now have strict attendance procedures.  Young people could lose their place on their option if their attendance is poor.

Providers will take year 11 school attendance into account when considering applications.

Competition for Popular Courses

Year 11 students from the entire region are going through this application process.  Popular courses can fill up quickly, so the number of choices can go down as time goes on.

Changes in Entry Requirements

Standards have changed about the level of key skills required, especially literacy and numeracy, for a student to progress onto a higher level course.

For example, a level 1 course in Catering requires students to have GCSEs in English and maths at grade D or above.

In other words, if students make the most of their learning in year 11 and achieve their potential grades, they will spend less time at college catching up on numeracy and literacy, and will progress faster though their chosen route.

Changes in the School Leaving Age

The law says:

You must stay in some form of education or training until your 18th birthday if you were born on or after 1 September 1997.

Your options are:

  • full-time education – eg at a school or college
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • part-time education or training – as well as being employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

This also means that parents/carers of a 16-19 year old who is not accessing one of the above options, could lose all their child-related benefits for that young person.

There is limited financial help available to people in some circumstances.  Please see for more information.