Post 16 Options

When you selected your child’s first school, the decision was solely your responsibility as parent or guardian, however deciding on your child’s educational choices post 16 is no longer just your decision, therefore it is important that your child is supported in exploring all options available to them before making a very large decision. At Hydesville Tower School we ensure that every Year 11 student is seen by the Careers Advisor to make sure that they have explored all possible options before making their decision about their post-16 Education, since it is a legal requirement for all young people to be in either education, employment or training up to and including the age of 18.

Careers, course options and their links are also an integral part of the tutor mentoring process, again ensuring that our Year 9s and Year 11s have adequate support to help them make informed choices regarding their options.

School Sixth Form

Being a sixth-former is very different from being a student in Year 11. The curriculum is very different, relationships between students and staff will mature and feel more relaxed. Remaining in your current school’s sixth form does have its advantages:

  • A familiar environment
  • The potential benefit of being taught by teachers that you already know
  • Benefiting from existing peer friendship

Sixth Forms are generally smaller than a Year 11 cohort and tend to provide a more structured and supportive environment than colleges. They enable students to choose up to 3 or 4 subject areas – offering a wide selection of both A Level and BTEC courses to ensure students options remain open.

More information can be found by visiting the school’s website(s) and attending information evenings.

College/Training Providers

Colleges and training providers offer a wide range of training courses that can be full time or part-time. These include A levels and vocational courses in work-related qualifications like BTECs or NVQs. There are many factors to consider when choosing a college, not least does it offer the course you want to do! Considering a college or training provider at post 16 is not just about studying but it is about meeting new people, having new experiences in a new educational environment and widening your horizons.

The majority of people choose this option for the vocational aspect while remaining in education. The most valuable method to research these, is to view the providers’ web site and attend their open day(s). You will then have the opportunity to speak with course leaders and make well-informed and realistic decisions on your next steps.


If you are over 16 and live in England, you could apply for an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are available in Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and degree levels and combine practical on the job training with further study. They are available in over 1500 job roles covering more than 170 sector industries, from construction to animal and health care, through to accountancy, IT and engineering. They are paid, offering a legal minimum wage of £3.70 per hour and consist of working 30 to 40 hours per week.  Apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to work alongside experienced staff and gain skills unique to the workplace. Apprenticeships offer a balanced mix of work experience and education as well as studying for a well-respected National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) over a period of one to six years. It is possible to apply for an apprenticeship from Year 11 onwards with a view to beginning it after the last Friday of June.

You can browse advertisements for apprenticeships, and see which companies offer them by viewing current vacancies at Apprenticeships, college website Job Shops and job websites such as Indeed.



You could apply for a traineeship. This is designed to provide you with the necessary training in order to progress into employment or an apprenticeship. You will not earn a wage as part of your traineeship, but you may be eligible for some financial support. Traineeships can last up to 6 months and you can browse advertisements for traineeships and see which companies offer them by viewing current vacancies here. ​

Employment with Training

There are some opportunities available for those wishing to consider employment with training after Year 11. Opportunities can cover many different employment sectors, offering you the opportunity to get the work skills and qualifications employers want. Similar to an apprenticeship, but without the educational aspect, employment with training offers a higher legal minimum salary of £4.20 per hour.

You will need a CV, covering letter or a formal application form.

You can search for current vacancies by visiting the many job websites on our useful website page and by looking at local newspapers job advertisements too.


With these options in mind, when it comes to choosing and applying for post 16 options, we recommend thinking about the following considerations with together with your son or daughter:

    • Does this option choice offer the pathway that interests and motivates you most?
    • Can you meet the entry requirements for the course you want to do?
    • Will it give you the best opportunity to build on your past achievements and strengths?
    • Is it close enough to home to enable you to commute with ease?
    • What reputation does the school/college/employer have?
    • How good are the facilities?
    • Will this learning environment suit you?
    • Would you get any one to one tutorial support?
    • What weighting do exams have on the course?
    • How much coursework will there be?
    • Will you be offered the chance to do some work experience?
    • Are there any opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities?
    • What is your instinctive feeling about this option choice?

Hydesville has an ongoing commitment to ensuring that all our pupils have access to good quality impartial careers advice, thereby ensuring that each pupil has the best possible foundation on which to base their future choices and pathways. You made the decision as a parent and guardian to send your child to private secondary school, now it is their turn to make a decision, with vital support from you and from us to take the next step.