After GCSEs, you could stay in school, go to a sixth form college, go to a further education (FE) college, or join a work-based training provider.
- Look at college websites and the college provider pages in the UCAS Progress Search.
- Go to college open days – they’re great opportunities to talk to students and tutors.
- College is an adult environment where you take more responsibility for yourself and your learning – there's support and guidance available, but it‘s also a chance for you to prepare for work and life post-education.
- There's usually a range of sport and leisure opportunities – employers and universities look for evidence of your wider interests and achievements, so check out college clubs and activities!
School sixth form
- If you’re already at a school with a sixth form, you could stay on – you already know the place, the teachers, and your friends (who might stay on too).
- It’s still worth looking at other schools – sixth forms vary in size, course offering, and subjects, as well as extra activities and opportunities you might like.
- Check whether they offer the courses you want – wherever you choose to go, make sure you'll be studying subjects that interest you.
Sixth form college
- Sixth form colleges can be more informal than school sixth forms.
- They’re usually bigger, and they can often offer you more study options.
- You'll get to make new friends from different schools.
- There are lots of training providers offering a wide range of work-related training and qualifications, including NVQs and apprenticeships.
- Some are specialists focusing on particular sectors and job roles – such as construction, business administration, childcare, or hair and beauty.
- Training providers work closely with employers who offer work-based training as part of placements or employment.
- Search for schools, colleges, and training providers in your area that offer the course(s) or subjects you want to study – click the provider tab in your search results to read more about them.
- Go to open days – these are great opportunities to explore schools or colleges, and to find out more about the courses on offer.
- Find out as much as you can – college life and work-based training can be quite different from secondary school and the education you’ve known so far.