What can I do at the end of year 11?

The Raising of the Participation Age means at the end of year 11 you will need to continue in education or training until at least your 18th birthday.

Full-time education

Full-time courses can be described as:

General academic courses

(e.g. A Levels): A Levels are level 3 qualifications. Good GCSE grades are needed to show you can cope with the level of study required. A Levels normally last for two years and students normally study 3 or 4 subjects. A wide range of subjects can be studied. You can progress onto Higher Education courses or Advanced Apprenticeships.

Vocational (work-related) courses

(e.g. BTEC): Level 1 to 3 courses are available to year 11 leavers. Level 1 and 2 courses often last one year and Level 3 two years. A wide variety of vocational areas are available. BTEC Level 3 enables you to progress onto Higher Education or Advanced Apprenticeships.

Foundation learning courses:

A variety of courses are available at Entry 1, 2 and 3. These include: independent living, employability skills and vocational programmes. Courses generally last for one year. NB: T Levels are starting to be introduced from September 2020. These will combine academic and vocational study. You can choose to continue your education at:

You can choose to continue your education at:


There are a range of colleges across Birmingham and its surroundings (e.g Solihull and Walsall)

School Sixth Forms​


Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to combine on the job training with studying for a qualification. Apprenticeships are available from Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3) up to Higher & Degree (Levels 4, 5, 6 & 7). It usually takes between one and four years to complete an apprenticeship depending on the level taken

Apprenticeships are available across a wide range of industries and many prestigious companies offer them (popular examples include: Jaguar Land Rover; Virgin Media; Specsavers, etc) companiesoffer them (popular examples include: Jaguar Land Rover; Virgin Media; Specsavers, etc.) If you have an EHCP then a minimum of Entry Level 3 qualification in English or maths can be acceptable, if agreed by the employer.



Study Programmes


Not everyone is ready to start full-time college or an apprenticeship after Year 11. So you can begin your journey with a Study programme (sometimes called a preapprenticeship programme). These are flexible programmes built around what you want and need to do next, and any career plans you have.


They combine the following elements:

• 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

You can do a Study Programme with a local college, or a Training Provider.

Ask your Careers Adviser for more information. 

Supported Internships

Supported internships are a structured study programme based primarily with an employer. They enable young people aged 16-24, with an EHCP, to achieve paid employment by equipping them with skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace.  Young people also complete a personalised study
programme including English, maths and other qualifications.