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Starting Year 11...

It might seem a little early to start planning exactly what you’re going to do after GCSEs. Legally, you have to stay in learning until you are 18 either in a full time course at sixth form or college or an apprenticeship.


Colleges will have open evenings throughout the year. You can check their websites now and make a note of the dates. Make sure you think about what you want to know about the college and the course as well as where the course could lead to. Ask lots of questions and find out whether the course has a taster day so you can get a feel of the course you’re considering. Apply to college this term because you won’t be fully committed and going for an interview will give you the chance to find out more.

Sixth Form

Sixth forms will also have open evenings for Year 11s both from the school and other schools. You can find the dates on the school websites and you can speak to the Sixth form department in your school if you have one.


If you’re thinking about the opportunity to learn a skill in a specialised field and get qualifications whilst getting paid, then have a look at apprenticeships. If you’re interested, sign up to the Government Apprenticeship website and you can browse the vacancies. If you want to work for a particular company, keep checking their website to see if any vacancies come up. Most employers will start advertising for school leavers during the Autumn term.

Even if you’re sure you want an apprenticeship, it’s a good idea to apply for a full time college or sixth form course just in case. This way you’ll have a backup plan if you need it and you can always turn down the course if you don’t need it.

If you’re not entirely sure what you want to do after school, have a look at all of these opportunities to keep your options open! You can apply for everything, as you aren’t committing to anything and this gives you a chance to find out more about each option.

To research careers ideas you can use iCould and the National Careers Service website.