Your options for after year 11

Towards the end of year 10, you will need to start thinking ahead to what you may want to do after year 11.

You now have to continue with a qualification for two years after you finish your GCSEs but this does not mean you have to stay at school!

If you pass 5 or more GCSE at grade 4 or above:

  • A-levels at a college or school sixth form

  • BTEC at Level 3 (or similar) at a college (or school sixth form combined with A-Levels)

  • Advanced Apprenticeship with an employer

If you achieve grades 1-3 at GCSE level:

  • BTEC at Level 2 and then progress onto the level 3 programme

  • Enter into an intermediate apprenticeship with an employer

Explore the different qualifications below:

  • Study at a college or sixth form

  • Academic – theory based, abstract and critical thought

  • Learning about a subject through lessons, reading and research

  • Essays, exams and coursework

  • For you if you’ve enjoyed learning and studying at school

  • Gateway to higher academic education

  • Study at college

  • Study at a school sixth form combined with A-Levels

  • Vocational and often linked to an industry

  • Applied learning – theory links in with practical activity

  • Coursework and practical assignment based – some exams

  • Level 3 can lead to higher education

  • 80% at college or school sixth form and 20% in a workplace

  • Focuses on vocational skills

  • Equivalent to 3 A-levels

  • Valuable experience in the workplace

  • 45 day in-depth industry placement

  • Vocational qualifications gained through job or placement

  • Applied learning

  • Portfolio of evidence and reflective accounts

  • Practical assessments

  • Real working experience while gaining a qualification

  • AAL


  • ESOL

  • NCFE

  • OCR

  • QCF