What happens after school?

What happens after school?

We know that it can be really tricky to come up with a plan after high school. UK guidelines now state that after the age of 16 you must either stay in full-time education, for example, college of a sixth form or start an apprenticeship or traineeship.

But the question is, which should you choose?

It can be difficult to choose between staying in full-time education and starting something like an apprenticeship. We have done a little research to help during the decision making process. 


College is a completely different experience than choosing to stay in Sixth Form College or school. At college, students are expected to take control of their own learning in which they would be expected to manage their own time and assignments. This would be great for those of you who are already amazing at organisation and are seeking more independence. The environment is very relaxed and you are likely to know most of the staff on a first name basis and often has no strict uniform. 

It can be daunting to go to college though as many of your friends will likely stay on at school. Students filter from many high schools into college and it is likely you may not know anyone in your class. This would be a great chance to meet new people but could equally push you out of your comfort zone if you have spent the last 5 years in the same class as your friends. 

Sixth Form

A sixth form is a great place for those who are academically minded and wish to further their study of particular subjects. It works well for those who know that they perform well under essay and an exam environments. They do often have higher entry requirements than college does, so this is worth bearing in mind. 

A Levels work well for those who wish to go to University but have not yet decided what course they want to enrol. You can keep your options open at the end of your high school study and are able to choose from a range of subjects that really matter to you. 

Most high schools offer the chance to study A-Levels providing you with the stability of teaching staff, resources and most likely, your friends. It is important to be happy and confident in the environment in which you are studying.


A huge attraction to choosing an apprenticeship is your ability to start working and earning a wage while you learn. Having an income whilst learning and gaining the qualifications required by future employers is seriously desirable to anyone who knows exactly what industry they wish to work in. 

You will be treated like a regular employee whilst working on your apprenticeship, earning paid holidays and bonuses. You are entitled to at least 20 days holiday a year and may even be able to take more time off to further your study though this depends on your employer and the type of apprenticeship you have. 

Apprenticeships give you good career prospects in that they will be rewarding though demanding at times. Once you complete it, you will have a world options and may either continue working where you do currently or take up a new job elsewhere. You will have gained valuable and practical experience during your time as an apprentice.


Whichever you choose, make sure it’s right for you and that you go to as many open evenings as possible. As questions, find out more information and do a little bit of research. The world is your oyster!

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"
Nelson Mandela