16 – 19 yrs

What next?

The next few years are a time when you have to make decisions, take control and shape yuor future, which is very exciting, but it can also feel a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to. There are lots of people who can help you every step of the way to get to where you want to go.

Laws passed by Government called Raising the Participation Age mean that from September 2013, all young people in England have to stay in some kind of education, employment or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17. This will rise until 18 years of age in September 2015. To read more about the laws, please click here

However, this does not automatically mean that young people have to stay in school.

Finding the path that is right for your young person

There are so many different options and routes for young people when they reach the end of Year 11, they can:

• Choose to stay on at your school, or join another school sixth form

• Choose further education at college

• Choose work-based learning, such as a traineeship or apprenticeship

• Choose to work, whilst undertaking part-time education or training

Foundation learning – Level 1 and entry level

Foundation Learning is a personalised programme designed to help young people progress to a level 2 programme (GCSE grade A*-C equivalent). It includes vocational learning, personal and social development and functional skills (Mathematics, English and ICT) qualifications that can be level 1 or entry level, or a mix of the two.

• GCSE grades D-G are level 1 qualifications.

• Other level 1 qualifications include work related qualifications such as BTEC or OCR certificates.


A traineeship is a programme for young people who want to work and will give them the opportunity to develop the skills and workplace experience that employers require. Traineeships are for 16-24 year olds (and young people with learning difficulty assessments up to the academic age 25). Traineeships fit within broader study programmes for 16 to 19 year-olds. For further information, please click here

Level 2


Are on offer both as re-sits and new subjects. Grades A*-C are level 2 qualifications; grades D-G are level 1.

BTEC Level 2

A level 2 diploma usually takes a year, students attend for three or four days per week. The programme is a mix of vocational and practical skills and students will undertake employability, English and Maths elements to enable them to progress to higher level (level 3) courses or employment (with training) or an apprenticeship/traineeship. For more information, please click here


Work towards work-based learning qualifications (such as an NVQ level 2), functional or key skills and in some cases, a relevant sector based qualification. They enable young people to combine working and earning and provide the skills they need for their chosen career and enable progress to an advanced apprenticeship.

For information about apprenticeships click here

To find out what types of apprenticeship your child/young person can undertake, please click here

Information is also available on the GOV.UK website, please click here

To serach for current apprenticeship vacancies, please click here

There are also a number of apprenticeship vacancies available at Medway Council, for more information please click here

Level 3

A – levels

Level 3 qualifications made up of AS (advanced subsidiary) and A2 units. An AS level is half the size of a full A level. In the first year (usually year 12), students normally choose to study up to four A level subjects and sit AS level exams. At the end of the first year you have two options for each subject.

Take an AS level only and gain a recognised qualification;

Continue for a second year studying the A2 units and go for the full A level.

BTEC (Level 3)

The level 3 Extended and Subsidiary Diplomas offer a mix of practical and theoretical study in a vocational area. They are equivalent to two or three A-levels and allow young people to progress on to university or directly to employment. For more information about BTEcs, please click here

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an alternative to A/AS levels for students wishing to study a broader range of subjects. The IB Diploma is recognised by universities in this country and worldwide. Students choose six subjects, three at higher level (A level) and three at standard level (between GCSE and A level).For more information please click here

Higher Apprenticeships

Are high-level training programmes designed by employers to allow young people to combine working and training. Young people will develop all the latest business skills to help them succeed in their future career. Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ level 3, functional or key skills and in some cases, a relevant sector based qualification. For further information, please click here.

If you have any questions about this information please contact Medway Council’s 14-25 team on 01634 338410 or email school.improvement@medway.gov.uk

Download the ‘Your Choice In Medway booklet 2014′

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