Should I stay or should I go? Post-GCSE options

Post-GCSE options


If the answer is a resounding ‘Go!’ remember that there is no longer the option to wave a cheery goodbye to formal education after GCSEs. Since September 2013 it is compulsory for all young people to remain in some kind of education or training until the age of 18. Many students choose to stay on at the same school and glide seamlessly into advanced level study. Some move because their school doesn’t have a sixth form or doesn’t offer the desired subjects. Others are ready for a change, whether it’s to experience the delights of co-education or to make a fresh start with new faces. In the last few years increasing numbers of students have decided that a vocational diploma course or apprenticeship is a better fit for their skills and interests than the standard A level and university route.

A change for the better?

New surroundings and teachers can reinvigorate a flagging school career and for many it’s a chance to ditch an undeserved reputation along with school uniform and least favourite subjects. One parent told us, ‘My son grew up overnight, college has been the making of him. It used to be so hard to get him up in time for school but now even though he has to leave earlier he never misses the bus.’

Better the devil you know?

There is also, of course, much to be said for staying put: teachers who know you, the opportunity to take on positions of responsibility, the security of familiar faces and surroundings. According to the head of one sixth form, ‘Every year some of the students who left after GCSEs phone and ask to come back. College hasn’t lived up to their expectations or they are struggling with independent study and less support. For some the travelling is just too much.’

Sixth form carry on?
Sex, money, grades, opportunity and freedom are among commonly quoted reasons for moving schools at sixth form, but when is a move wise, and when is it best to stay put?   The...

Post 16 curricula and examinations
It's important to think about the type of examination you opt for - A level, Highers, Pre U, IB etc. Equally, thought should be given to the subjects, and subject combinations that...

Sixth form subject selection - helping you choose
If you thought it was difficult choosing GCSE subjects there is added pressure at A level / IB or their equivalent. Whittling down GCSE choices from eight or more subjects to three...

The Good Careers Guide
Reviewing early career opportunities For those curious about the world of work... The Good Careers Guide reviews of companies and of individual roles within companies, deliver key...

Good Careers Guide Capgemini Software Engineer review
Mini review of Software Engineering  Higher Apprenticeship / Sponsored Degree From The Good Careers Guide -   Star quality ‘In terms...

Careers Departments
  Careers departments and how to judge them The careers department, too often that neglected airless cubicle occupied by uninspiring books and a sidelined teacher, could (if...

Subscribe for full access

Register for our Newsletter...

Go >

...and receive our FREE expert guide to Tutors!