An exciting package of FREE support from Birmingham Careers Service, for young people who currently have no school place


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Hi, I’m ____________, your Careers Adviser with Birmingham Careers Service. I’m your first point of contact if you require careers advice and support.

There are many interesting and exciting activities to help you work out your next steps and friendly Careers Advisers to support you.

We are looking forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your career goals.

___________ - Careers Adviser

Phone or text ________ on ____________

Careers Library

Need a simple and informative guide to those careers questions you may have? Below we have provided you with a collection of useful guides that may help you make a decision and help plan your future. 


How to Write a winning CV

Entry level Jobs CV example

Career Planning - Your Three Step Plan fact-sheet

Career Planning Calendar For Year 11 Students fact-sheet

Career Planning Calendar - If you have an EHCP fact-sheet


Everything you need to know about T Levels fact-sheet

Post-16 Options fact-sheet

Holiday Work fact-sheet

Applying to Further Education

Parents/Carers fact-sheet

Building Your Skills fact-sheet

Interview hints and tips fact-sheet

Telephone interview hints and tips fact-sheet

Labour Market Information fact-sheet

What is a Careers Guidance interview fact-sheet

How to open a bank account fact-sheet

How to get your National Insurance number fact-sheet

Applying for Apprenticeships fact-sheet

Preparing for a College or Training Interview fact-sheet

What is Mental Health fact-sheet

Options year career plan fact-sheet

examination centres for independent applicants

Blenducate Education Centre

St Peter’s Urban Village Trust, Burrows Building, Bridge Road B8 3TE​

0121 716 2637

Tutorial Centre and Examination Centre for private candidates GCSE/IGCSE/GCE

OCR, AQA, Edexcel

A-Team Academy – Exam & Tuition Centre

1772 Coventry Road Yardley B26 1PB

0121 517 0110


More info www.ateamacademy.co.uk

OCR, AQA, Edexcel, Cambridge International

Birchfield Independent School

30 Beacon Hill, Aston, B6 6JU​

0121 716 2637

GCSE, A-Level

OCR, AQA, Edexcel

English, Maths, Science Tuition & Examination Centre

40 Showell Lane, Sparkhill, B11 4JP ​

0121 771 1298

GCSE, A-Level

OCR, AQA, Edexcel

Flexible Learning Centre

210 Slade Road, Erdington, B23 7RJ

0121 554 7918


OCR, AQA, Edexcel

Kimichi School Independent secondary school specialising in music

111 Yardley Rd, Birmingham B27 6LL

0121 679 5298

Cambridge Tutorial College

443-465 Coventry Road B10 0TJ

0121 773 8786

GCSE/A-Level, Sixth Form College

OCR, AQA, Edexcel

Redstone Academy & Exam Centre

466 Moseley Road B12 9AN

0121 448 7933


More info


OCR, AQA, Edexcel

Turves Green Girls School

St Peter’s Urban Village Trust, Burrows Building, Bridge Road B8 3TE​

0121 464 6689


OCR, AQA, Edexcel

AEC Tuition and Approved National Examination Centre

159-161 York Road, Hall Green, B28 8LF

0121 777 9444


AEC Tuition and Approved National Examination Centre




Moc Exams

AQA, Cambridge-CIE, Edexcel, OCR

Al Burhan Grammar School

Spring Road 

Birmingham, B11 3DW

0121 440 5454


AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Cambridge

Halesowen College

Whittingham Road, Halesowen

B63 3NA


0121 602 7777

GCSE/IGCSE as long as there is no practical element to the exam (written papers only).

More info https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-international-gcses.html

Pearson, Edexcel, AQA


Disclaimer: This is solely a list of examination centres.  They are not endorsed by Birmingham Local authority.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many similar questions are asked around exam results day. No question is a silly question, if you are thinking it then somebody else is probably thinking it too. Here are some of the recent questions we have been asked which might help you.

Think about the pros and cons of both an apprenticeship and college. This will be personal to you and it will help to write an actual list. An Apprenticeship is an ‘on the job’ way of learning, combining learning with work. At college you have the choice of academic or vocational courses. It would also be possible to do an apprenticeship at a college and combine both. The important thing is to do your research and fully explore all your options. Your school/college careers adviser or a Birmingham Careers Service adviser (if you’ve already left education) can help you to think through your ideas.

The Government requires young people to continue in learning until they are 18 and this includes Study Programmes and apprenticeships options. This allows you to gain more qualifications and/or improve on your GCSE grades which in turn is going to put you in a better position when applying for employment later. Find out more here:


Contact us at: www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk/contact – one of our Advisers will contact you. You can also call, text or email us 

You can register on the National Apprenticeship website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship – here you will be notified of new opportunities.

You can also check the websites of companies, colleges & job sites (e.g. Indeed) to see if they are advertising Apprenticeships.

Access our leaflet which is packed full of useful hints & tips about Apprenticeships:  https://www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Applying-for-Apprenticeships-Weblet-4.pdf


Yes. Colleges have courses at many different levels, and they will help you to identify the right level for you. You will be able to learn English & maths alongside your college course. Again, whether this is Entry Level, Level 1 or a GCSE will depend on the level you are at now, but the college will be able to make sure you are studying at the right level.

Yes. If you have an EHCP and the college is offering you a place, this means they can meet your needs. If you don’t have an EHCP, the college can still support you; contact student services to check what support they can offer.

To go to University you will need Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A Levels or Level 3 Diploma or T Level).  You can study for these at College or 6th Form.  You can also gain a Level 3 qualification as part of an Advanced Apprenticeship.

An Access to Higher Education course for older students aged 18+ is a flexible way of getting into university and suits those who are returning to education.

Even if you’re 16 you can not start post 16 education (e.g. college, 6th form or training) until after the statutory school leaving date. The statutory school leaving date for year 11 is always the last Friday in June.

There is a starting point for everyone at college regardless of whether you were able to take any exams or not. At enrolment, Colleges will place you on the right level course.    

The Government has said that grade 4 is a ‘standard pass’. Grade 5 is a ‘strong pass’ and equivalent to a high C and low B on the old grading system. Grade 4 remains the level that students must achieve without needing to re-sit English and maths post-16.

No they are both Level 3 qualifications.  They just differ in their learning styles.  A Levels are assessed by exams at the end of year 13 and Level 3 Diplomas (e.g BTEC) by a mixture of course work, assignments and some small exams. Many colleges now offer a Hybrid” Programme which allows you to combine A-level and vocational courses.  

A Levels are academic exam-based qualifications.  They allow you to study 3 or 4 different subjects alongside each other.  Level 3 Diplomas (e.g BTEC) are vocational qualifications linked to career areas.  They are assessed mainly by course work, assignments and some small exams. Higher Education courses accept both types of Level 3 qualifications. 

They’re all valuable! Don’t think about one A Level being more valuable than another.  You need to make your choices based on your own skills, abilities, interests and subjects needed for future career choices.

Choosing a college based on where your friends are going is not advisable. You’ll end up choosing something you may not enjoy & you may leave. The best advice is look at what YOU want to do and then decide what college offers the best course. You’ll make new friends and have new experiences.

No that is not correct. You should be applying for post-16 opportunities early in year 11.  Colleges and 6th Forms will give you a conditional offer.  This offer will tell you what grades you need to get onto that particular course. Most colleges are able to offer you an alternative course if you don’t get the required grades. If you’re in year 11 and haven’t already applied for any courses do so NOW!  

I’m not sure but when you find out please share! If you’re considering a course based on how much money you can make, then chances are you haven’t been given good careers advice. For careers guidance contact your school/college Careers Adviser or if you have left education contact us via our website www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk   Whatever course/career you choose it involves hard work, perseverance and commitment.  Often those with high monetary rewards are very stressful!

You might not get onto the course you originally applied for but most colleges will offer you an alternative course

There is no right course.  The right course for YOU depends on YOUR interests, skills, abilities and future career ideas.  You might benefit from meeting with your school/college Careers Adviser of if you have left education contact us via our website www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk

You can choose a maximum of five courses on your UCAS application.  There are many things you can be doing to prepare for your university application.  Planning ahead is the key: check the degree course entry requirements and see if you need to do relevant work experience or sit any additional tests (eg UCAT, MAT).  Academic, competitive courses (eg at Oxford or Cambridge) require you to do super-curricula activities (eg extra reading or research, relevant visits related to your subject). You can research Universities, degree courses and their entry requirements at www.ucas.com.

To do resits at college you will need to have achieved, at least, Grade 3. See link at the top of the page to find out which local colleges are offering GCSE resits.

Further education is free to all young people aged 16-19. If you’re over 19, it depends on your circumstances. It’s best to always check with the college to see if you qualify for free education.

Yes you will have to pay tuition fees for all University courses.  There are no upfront costs as your tuition fees will be covered by the Government via a Student Loan.  You will not be required to start paying back your Loan until you earn the governments required threshold, visit www.gov.uk/student-finance for more information.

If you do a Degree Apprenticeship your company will pay all your fees

You will be able to study English and maths GCSE or Functional Skills alongside your Level 1 course. The college will assess whether it is best for you to study English and maths GCSEs or Functional Skills

Contact college directly to see what incentives (e.g. bus pass) and support they are able to provide 

No, you can apply to any college that you feel offers the best course for you. However, you’re best to think about your travel time and costs

Most students study 3 or 4 A level subjects in their first year. University offers are normally based on 3 A level grades. Some people will drop down to 3 subjects in their second year, so the additional workload of studying 4 subjects doesn’t impact on their grades.

For entry to all University courses you will need a Level 3 equivalent qualification (e.g. A Levels, Level 3 Diploma, T Level).  Some courses also require relevant work-experience.  For example, Medicine, Social Work, Dentistry.  Visit www.ucas.com for more information

You can only study a maximum of 4 A Levels.  You should base your choices on your skills, abilities, interests, what you’re good at and your future career plans.


Some employers will accept candidates with no GCSEs in English and maths. If you haven’t achieved Grade 4 or above you will be required to continue studying English and maths as part of your apprenticeship programme.

No. They both require full time commitment. 

You can start an apprenticeship as early as the day after your statutory school leaving date. School leaver vacancies are currently being advertised on the website below.  


If you are quite certain about the type of job you wish to apply for you could consider the apprenticeship route, if not you may want to consider your options at college.  Please talk to your school/college Careers Adviser or if you have left education contact us via our website


Yes, your EHCP will be in place up until the age of 25 while you remain in learning.  For further information: https://www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Year-10-EHCP-3.pdf

You still need to enrol at the college as requested, and the admissions staff will let you know if you have a place on your chosen course.  If they decide your grades are too low for that course, it is very likely that they will be able to offer you to start on a lower level qualification or offer you another course.  For example, you might be offered a Level 2 Diploma in Business instead of your original course of Level 3 Diploma in Business, or instead of A levels in science you are offered a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science.  Don’t worry as there is a starting point for everyone at college, and there are many different routes into most careers. 

You can contact Colleges and 6th forms after receiving your GCSE results.  Many School 6th forms will still have places available, so give them a call and tell them your grades and the subjects you would like to study. They will let you know if they have availability.  All Colleges will advertise enrolment days well into September, which will give you the chance to have a late interview for a place.  Look at the Birmingham Careers Service list of  enrolment dates and times, link at the top of this page.

Yes, all Colleges offer young people the chance to improve their Grades in GCSE maths and English alongside a vocational programme, eg business, health & social care etc.  If your GCSE Grade was below 3 then you will start by studying Functional Skills in Numeracy and Literacy, which allow you to achieve an equivalent to GCSE Grade 4.

T Levels are new 2-year courses which are taken after GCSEs and are broadly equivalent in size to 3 A Levels. Launched in September 2020, these courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and education providers so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for entry into skilled employment, an apprenticeship or related technical study through further or higher education.

T Levels offer students practical and knowledge-based learning at a school or college and on-the-job experience through an industry placement of at least 45 days.

Put simply, a study programme (sometimes called a pre-apprenticeship course)  is a stepping-stone to get into the industry of your choice.  You start this programme before an apprenticeship to prepare you for working in the environment of your choice. You will gain qualifications that prepare you for the next level of education or for employment.  English and Maths if you have not achieved GCSE

Grade 4. Work Experience to develop your career choices and get a first taste of work. Activities to enhance your CV.

To find out more contact us at: www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk/contact  – one of our Advisers will contact you. You can also call, text or email us.