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Information and advice for young people in Suffolk

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Choices at 16+

Which path will you choose?

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You might have heard that you need to stay in learning until you're 18, but this doesn't mean staying in school.

Because of the Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) to 18, you have a number of options you can take after year 11. 

Watch the YouTube video titled 'Post 16 Options', which gives you the basics. From college and sixth form to apprenticeships, traineeships and other work-based learning.

Are you a parent? Would you like to know more about your child's choices past 16 and the RPA? This letter should help.

Where do I start with my 16+ choices?

It all starts with researching your options so that you can decide which path is the right one for you.

It might take you a while to decide, so don't wait until the last minute! There are qualified people in school and college to help you with your career ideas and options. You could also visit:

All school 6th forms, 6th form colleges, FE colleges and Training Providers have their own websites.

Why not also browse some of the subject areas that you may be able to study? You can find all this information along with related careers here.

Why do I need to continue in Learning? – RPA (Raising the Participation Age)

To find out more about the details of RPA and how it affects you, read our page of Frequently Asked Questions.

What choices do I have?

You can:

1. Stay in full-time education

You can stay in full-time education at a school sixth form, 6th form college or FE College and study a range of qualifications at all levels from foundation courses to Level 3, vocational to A level study. 

List of colleges in Suffolk and those in neighbouring counties.

Some training providers also offer full time courses, with start dates throughout the year. These training providers are much smaller than a 6th form or FE college, and give you the chance to get work experience, improve your maths and english skills, and gain confidence.

2. Do work with training

If you feel ready to go into work, there are a few options you can take. Such as apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships (for people with EHCP) where you can gain work experience and learn at the same time. 

Want to start your own business? You can do this as long as you are also learning part-time and working towards a qualification. Find out more about what it takes to become self employed

Something to help you decide....

There are loads of courses happening where you are! We have listed some of them on our support pages. See I've left school and I'm stuck for further info.

Learning opportunities for young people with additional needs

On this website we explain about the range of learning opportunities available for young people with additional needs or disabilities, to support you as you make the transition from school to post-16 education and training. You can also find more information about your options on the Local Offer website - www.suffolklocaloffer.org.uk for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

Start applying in January/February of your last year at school because that's when many of the best opportunities appear. To find out more, have a look at our apprenticeships pages.

Want to know what doing an apprenticeship is really like? Visit our Apprentice Lounge to hear from current apprentices in Suffolk.

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