Knowing yourself: the right choice

As you go through your teenage years, you will have many decisions to make. Some of those decisions will be about your future working life. It may seem frightening to be making decisions that could affect the rest of your life, but there are lots of resources to help you.

Options 14-16

In Year 9, you will be asked to make choices about which subjects you want to study at GCSE, BTEC, or for qualifications of a more vocational nature.

Depending on your local options, you can study at:

  • Secondary School
  • a 14 to 16 centre in a local further education college – these offer a combination of vocational and academic qualifications so you can choose a practical and technical education
  • a University Technical College (UTC) for 14 to 19 year olds. These offer vocational and academic qualifications, specialising in technical studies such as science, technology, engineering, manufacturing, and construction
  • a Studio School for students aged 14 to 19 – these offer a combination of vocational and academic qualifications and practical, project-based study with work placements.

When choosing your course of study, it’s important to ask questions, do research and collect information. Talk to your parents, your teachers and other adults with older pupils who have been through the process. They can help you make these decisions.

Your school will have a dedicated Options team and hold an open day or evening for you to explore your choice of subject. There may also be plenty of information and help on your school’s website.

Options and Careers 16-18

The law has changed. Now, you must continue to do some kind of education or training until you are 18.

Because the number of jobs for poorly qualified, unskilled people is dwindling, you need to gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications to get a job you enjoy in the future.

Your options may be:

  • Staying on in the Sixth Form at school or college
  • continuing your education or training at an FE college
  • an Apprenticeship
  • part-time education or training - if you are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week and for eight weeks or more in a row
  • training with a specialist provider or in a workplace.

Use the activities to help you complete research and think about your future choices.

» Activities