What Are My Child’s Options After GCSEs?

Once they leave school your child will have one of two options. They can either continue in full time education or commit to a work placement such as an apprenticeship. To learn about each of these options and help your child make a decision, below is some guidance from a sixth form collegein Hertfordshire.

Full Time Study

Your child will have complete freedom of choice when it comes to their studies and how they want to learn at college/sixth form. They can opt to study either A levels or BTECs.

A Levels

A levels are qualifications which are designed to act as a gateway to university, however, children can go straight into work having completed them as they provide a solid foundation. They are mostly assessed through exams, although there might be coursework elements depending on the subjects they choose to study. For the best chances of getting into university, children are encouraged to complete four.


BTECs on the other hand are vocational qualifications. They are seen as A level equivalents but involve fewer exams. Instead, they are mostly assessed through the means of controlled assessments and coursework. The opportunities children have access to are now very similar with an increasing number of educational institutions recognising the value of vocational study.

Apprenticeships and T-Levels

The alternative to full-time study is to complete an apprenticeship or T-level. They involve the completion of a work placement whilst studying for a professional qualification. The difference between the two is that work placements are longer with an apprenticeship, and they are paid (in line with the apprenticeship minimum wage rate). The advantage of completing a work placement is that once their course has been completed, students will have real-life industry experience.

When making these choices it’s important that your child has their long-term goals in mind and that they are not influenced by anyone else as they will be making a decision for the next two years and their career.