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Post 16 Information for Parents

Post 16 Information and advice for Parents of Jack Hunt School

Guide to Post-16 Options for Parents and Carers

Education and Training

Young people in England have to continue in some form of education or training until they are 18. 
Whichever way they choose to do this, it’s important they choose a direction that’s right for them. In their PDE lessons this term, your child will receive impartial information and guidance so that they can make informed choices and get ready to make their applications.

How you can help

Many young people feel unsure about what to do. It’s often a big challenge and your child might need your support to help them choose well.

About post-16 options

Your child can:

  • Study full-time in a school sixth form, at a college or with a training provider

Most sixth form schools and colleges offer A levels, and some Applied and Vocational Qualifications.  Further Education Colleges offer different levels of Technical / Vocational Qualifications.

  • Take an apprenticeship or traineeship

 An apprenticeship is a real job with training, so your child will earn while they work towards nationally recognised vocational qualifications.  At age 16, these tend to be at level 2, which is  equivalent to GCSE standard. Upon successful  completion of the level 2 course, apprentices often  progress onto the next levels of training. Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industries.  For those not quite ready for an apprenticeship, there are new traineeships. 

  • Work or volunteer while studying or training part-time

GCSE Grades

It is important that your child applies before school, college and training providers’ deadlines. As most of these deadlines are from December to February, your child will be applying with the grades their teachers have forecast them to achieve at the end of Year 11 (their ‘forecast grades’).

For an A level programme, your child will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Maths, and a grade 6 in certain subject areas.
This table is for illustration purposes only; each course has specific entry requirements. Please see the relevant provider’s website for full details.

Planning ahead

Your child’s choices will depend partly on any ambitions they might have for their next steps at age 18.

University is one option at 18. If that’s their planned destination it’s probable that a  traditional A level course will be most suitable. If your child wants to go for a  specific degree such as medicine, the choice of A levels they study will matter and it is important to do their research and take advice.

But, university isn’t the only route. Higher and Degree level apprenticeship provide the same qualifications through an employment route. There are a growing number of highly desirable qualifications with no tuition fees, paid work and that lead to a wide range of different professions.

Things to consider

There is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ route to take; it is what suits your child’s personality, interests and aptitudes that matter. You could discuss with your child:


  • Do they want to continue with academic study or would they prefer more practically oriented courses?
  • Would a school environment be more or less suitable than a college environment?
  • Would they like to stay in a familiar setting where they already know most teachers and students** or would they like a change? (**of course, their friends or favourite teacher may leave)
  • Where is their choice of subjects available? What do past results of that education/training provider look like?
  • What are the range of careers in the sectors that your child is interested in?

Doing your research together


  • For more information on post-16 options: National Careers Service 
  • Look at the websites for sixth forms and colleges your child is interested in. Download prospectuses, take a virtual tour, make a note of deadlines and how and when to apply (presentations from Jack Hunt School Sixth Form, Peterborough Regional College and New College Stamford can be viewed here.
  • Interested in apprenticeships? Go to , register and search for opportunities
  • Want to look into subject choices for university degrees? Go to
  • Want to find out what to study to go into certain careers?  Your child can log in to (they can ask for their username and password from their PDE teacher if they’ve forgotten)
  • Ask your child to speak to  their PDE teacher to request an appointment with a professional careers advisor

Peterborough Regional College Presentation

Download presentation here

Stamford College Video

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