COLUMN: Students must decide which path is right for them

Lady Manners School Bakewell
Lady Manners School Bakewell

A few years ago the Government raised the age to which young people are required to participate in education or training to 18. Many students stay on into sixth form. However, young people have a range of options.

Full-time education

Stephen Pacey

Stephen Pacey

School sixth form is an excellent choice for some students to continue their education. Most sixth forms offer a wide range of academic opportunities in a strongly community orientated environment, which suits many. Increasingly sixth forms are also offering vocational courses which may appeal to those who prefer a more practical approach within their learning and assessment

Further education and specialist colleges also provide a range of courses – both traditionally academic and vocational. Colleges can offer similar progression opportunities to schools, and they also cater for different levels of ability. Some university technical colleges and studio schools also offer a mixture of vocational and academic options.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

An apprenticeship is an option for someone who wants to head quickly towards the world of work and who knows the career path that they want to follow. It will involve learning and gaining experience at the same time. A traineeship prepares young people for apprenticeships, and may be an option for those who don’t achieve the appropriate grades for an apprenticeship.