What You Need to Know
- Your child will have to make decisions about options and pathways throughout their time at school and after school.
- You can help them to decide which option is right for them but first you need to understand them yourself.
- Years 7 to 10 – your child will have subject choices to make which will determine what qualifications they will leave school with.
- Year 11 – your child will need to decide whether to stay in full-time education at a college or sixth form, do an Apprenticeship or Traineeship, or get a job with training.
- At 17 and 18 years old – your child may need to decide whether to progress in education – either at college or university, do an Apprenticeship or get a job.
Things to Think About
- Make sure you have all the information about your child’s options including how they can progress, as some options may limit what they can go on to do afterwards.
- Encourage your child to choose the option that suits their learning style – look at how each option is taught and assessed and how your child will learn. For example, Apprenticeships are competence-based and involve them carrying out tasks in a real work environment.
- Pathways can be complicated, if your child is really unsure, encourage them to speak to an adviser.
- Encourage your son or daughter to apply for as many options as they can, that way they will have longer to find out more and make up their mind.
- Find out all your available options in your child’s school or area:
- If it’s school options – read through the options booklet carefully.
- For after Year 11 – complete the options checklist together and encourage them to get all local sixth form and college prospectuses and register for the Apprenticeships website.
- If they’re 17 or 18 – encourage them to register for the Apprenticeships website, find out about jobs available and look on the UCAS website for higher education courses.
- Attend options events and open days to help you and your son or daughter find out about the options and where they’re delivered.
- Remind them to make applications in good time, usually before the end of January, so that they can confirm places and concentrate on final exams and coursework.
- Find out who to speak to in your school if they’re unsure what to do.
- Find out what support and resources are available in your child’s school or area to help them with their options.