Options summary and when to apply
Your main options are further education, apprenticeships, and jobs: see the links adjacent. Traineeships are an option if you want to work but need extra help to gain an apprenticeship or job and will give you the opportunity to develop the skills and workplace experience that employers require.
For more information about your options after Year 11, check out the Icould videos. The Icould videos include people talking about their own choices at age sixteen and has articles about your options.
When to apply?
If applying to the school’s sixth form you should attend the school’s open evening (usually in November). Year 11 Aston students may have a transition interview with a senior member of staff in the spring term to discuss their post-16 education. The vast majority of Aston’s year 11 students will progress to our sixth form. More information is available on the school website.
If applying to colleges, aim to apply by Christmas at the latest as some colleges fill up before the Christmas holidays! Check the course entry requirements and it is advisable to attend open days/evenings. If you intend to apply to another school check their website for the deadline and process.
Most apprenticeships and jobs are looking for immediate starts, so the majority of the opportunities you can go for will be advertised later in Year 11 (such as April onwards). However, some employers recruit early, such as Jaguar Land Rover. Use the apprenticeship website to create an account and to search and apply for vacancies. You can also set up alerts for opportunities that interest you. If you have an employer in mind you can also check out their website. If you are looking for a job, check out the Jobs and voluntary work section.
School leaving age and raising the participation age
The official school leaving date is the last Friday of June of the school year in which you reach age 16. However, the government has increased the age you must continue in learning. This means that you must be in some form of learning until you are aged 18.
You can choose from the following:
- Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider.
- Full-time work (including working in a family business) or volunteering combined with part-time education/training.
- An apprenticeship.
Go to the government website for more information.
16 to 19 Bursary Fund and Care to Learn Scheme
The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is aimed at students who need financial help so that they can stay in learning. The Bursary Fund can help pay for costs like equipment you might need for your course and transport. It can be worth £1,200 a year if you are:
- In care or a care leaver.
- Claiming Income Support or Universal Credit.
- Disabled and getting Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.
If you are not in one of the above groups you may still get a bursary depending on your personal circumstances. You need to check with your school, college or training provider to see if you are eligible. More information can be found on the government website.
Additionally, if you are studying and aged under 20 at the start of your course, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare costs while you’re learning. More information can be found on the government website.