If you are in year 10 or 11 at school you will need to think about what you'd like to do next. You have some important choices to make and there are lots of options available to you. The choices you make now will affect the university courses or types of jobs you can apply for later.
It's important to make a decision that's right for you so:
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of getting work-based training. You'll do real jobs for real employers, training on the job and earning while you learn. Find out more about apprenticeships.
You can apply to the sixth form at your current school or at a different school if they are offering the course you are interested in.
If you are thinking of changing school make sure you look on the school’s website to find out when their open days are so you can look around, meet the teachers, and see the facilities to help you decide. Find sixth forms in your area.
Continuing to study will:
Sixth forms vary a lot in what they offer. This can range from vocational courses and BTEC/OCR to AS/A level and the International Baccalaureate.
You can search for courses by subject or by school.
Kent has excellent colleges offering of a range of academic and vocational courses, including agriculture, plumbing, electrical installation, office skills, beauty therapy, catering and tourism.
Continuing to study will:
If you are thinking of going to college make sure you look on their website to find out when their open days are so you can look around, meet the staff, and see the facilities to help you decide. Find out open days and application deadlines for colleges in your area.
If you have some idea of what you want to do as a job, this will help you choose the courses you need to take – look at our careers page.
You now need to stay in learning or training until you are 18, so if you decide to start work, it needs to have learning attached to it, like an apprenticeship.
If you are planning to go to university start thinking about what you want to study as early as possible. Before you choose your A levels, or other qualifications, check they're the right qualifications and subjects you need to get onto the university course.
You should also read Informed Choices - the Russell Group's guide to post-16 subject choices (3.4 MB). It gives advice on the best subject combinations for a range of university courses, and if you don't know what to study, the choices that will keep your options open.
You can go to university in Kent, or many people choose to move away to study at a particular university. The UCAS website offers lots of advice on how to choose courses and how to apply.
Volunteering is a great way to get valuable work experience and helps you become more employable as is a great way of building your CV.
You could apply for internships or work experience or be volunteering in your community.
Make sure you include details of your volunteering when you apply for jobs or university. It's also a great way to contribute to your community.
You now need to stay in learning or training until you are 18 but you don’t need to stay in school. The important thing is that you continue to learn. There are many different types of qualifications you can get.
When you have an idea of what you want to do you can search and apply for courses.
Find out about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund on Gov.uk which can help to pay for essential education-related costs for some people aged 16 to 19 at the start of the academic year and in further education or training.