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Post-16 Options - A Guide for Parents & Carers

POST 16 OPTIONS - a guide for parent’s and careers

Deciding what to do post-16 is another exciting step in a young person’s life, paving the way for further education and employment. It is a big decision, and it can feel overwhelming, so we’ve put together this quick guide for parents and carers on the variety of options available.

Young people must now stay in education or training until they are at least 18 years old. They can choose to continue studying or combine work with study through an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Staying in education

There is no shortage of choice for those who wish to continue studying. Far from being limited to a standard list of A Levels, students can now choose to qualify in a specific sector or industry. Whether they like classroom-based education or prefer hands-on experience in the workplace, there are options for every type of learner – use the table below to quickly compare what is available.

A Level

T Level

Technical and vocational

Applied qualifications


Study subjects that you took at GCSE or choose new ones. You can keep your options open with broad choices or make it career specific.

Designed in partnership with employers to combine classroom work with industry placements.

Qualifications which teach you how to do tasks specifically related to the industry and role you want to be involved in.

Qualifications that give you a broad overview of working in a specific sector. A mix of classroom-based learning and practical skills.


2 years

2 years

Course dependent

Course dependent


Mostly exams

Exams, projects, and practical assignments

Can include coursework, skills test and exams

Course dependent (coursework and exams)

Level of study





Work experience

Usually one week in year 12

At least 45 days on industry placement

Course dependent

Course dependent

Leads to

University/college, higher and degree apprenticeships, work

University/college, higher and degree apprenticeships, work

Apprenticeship, work, college or university

University/college, apprenticeship, work

For those still unsure, try narrowing down the search with this handy quiz from UCAS.


Choosing where to study

This is typically the first time that a young person will choose for themselves where they want to study – although we recognise the role that parents, and carers play in this decision. College or a further education centre offers the chance to make new friends and start preparing for life post-education, in an adult environment. Depending on the type of qualification, and/or subjects.

What is the 16-19 bursary?

Anyone studying at a publicly funded school or college in England, or on a training course, may be entitled to a bursary.  This money can be used for clothing, books, and other course equipment, or even transport and lunch on the days they are studying.

The main type of bursary is for students in vulnerable groups, which is worth up to £1200 depending on the individual circumstances. Those who don’t qualify for this and need financial help, may be entitled to a discretionary bursary. You can check eligibility on the government website here.

The next steps

The next step is to find schools, colleges and other training providers in your area that offer the course and learning experience you’re looking for. This is where careful research will pay off – find out as much as you can about what is on offer, from the range of courses and the support available to the opportunities for personal development such as clubs and societies.

Whilst you might not be able to visit right now, most centres are open evenings, and this is your chance to ask those all-important questions.

Coast and Vale Learning Trust

About Coast and Vale Learning Trust

The Coast and Vale Learning Trust in Scarborough aims to improve education in the locality through establishing coherent and collaborative practice across schools and other educational institutions in the area.

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