It’s time to start thinking about what your daughter or son is going to do after Year 11.

We have therefore put together this information to help you to support them with their post-16 choices.

Their main 2 options after Year 11 are staying in education and apprenticeships (these 2 options are covered in the third and fourth sections below).

This newsletter also tells you when the official school leaving date is and what the law says they must be doing until they are 18 years old (see the first section below).

The fifth section of the newsletter highlights the support your daughter/son will get during Year 11 and the final section explains how you can use the information on the school website to further support them.


The official school leaving date is the last Friday of June of the school year in which they turn 16. Also, did you know that the government has increased the age that students must continue in learning?

Year 11 students must be in some form of learning until they are 18 years old. You can choose from the following:

  • Stay in full-time education, for example at a school or a college.
  • Start an apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • Spend 20 hours or more a week working (including working in a family business) or volunteering, while in part-time education or training.

T Levels are a new level 3 qualification that more colleges and schools will be offering in the coming years.

T Levels include lots of work experience; with students spending about 20% of their time in the work place and 80% in college/school.

Students will study one vocational course and it will be equivalent to 3 A levels (check college websites for GCSE entry requirements).

These 2-year courses have been developed with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work. They include a significant work placement to put learning into practice.

T Levels provide progression into employment, apprenticeships and higher education opportunities.

The number of subjects available is increasing each year. Here are some examples of T Levels available at local colleges:

UCB (University College Birmingham):

Solihull College:

South & City College:

Cadbury College:

Solihull 6th Form College:

Access Creative College:

Check college websites to see their full range of courses.

More information about T Levels is online on the government website


..If your daughter or son is planning on staying in education they have 2 key decisions to make:

  1. What do they want to study?
  2. Where do they want to study?

What to study?

The first decision a student needs to make is what to study. There are lots of different subjects and courses to choose from.

Options include general qualifications and vocational qualifications.

General qualifications include A levels (students usually study 3 subjects). These qualifications prepare you for a range of different careers, rather than focusing on a specific job. Reasons for choosing A levels include being good at a subject, enjoying a subject and needing it for a future option/career.

Vocational qualifications (students usually study 1 subject). These are work-related and can give you the skills needed for a broad area of work or train you for a specific job. Courses are usually practical and involve hands-on projects. Examples of vocational courses include:

  • Engineering.
  • Sport.
  • Childcare.
  • Hair & beauty.
  • Motor vehicle studies.
  • Health & social care.
  • Business.
  • Plumbing, bricklaying and other construction courses.
  • Computing/IT (including games design).
  • Science.
  • Performing arts

Plus there are lots more vocational courses to choose from!

Where to study?

The second decision they need to make is where to study. For example, at Moseley School and Sixth Form, at another school that has a sixth form, a college or a specialist college.

They may want to stay at Moseley as they know the teachers and are happy here. Alternatively, they may want a change of scenery and decide that another school or college would be better for them.

It will also depend on what they want to study. For example, if they want to do A levels they will need to find a school or college that offers all the ones that interest them. Please note, not all colleges offer A levels (for example, Solihull College) and some colleges may offer A levels at a particular campus (for example, BMET only offers A levels at their campus in Sutton Coldfield).

If they wish to do a practical vocational course, such as motor vehicle studies, you will find that these courses are usually offered by colleges that specialise in vocational courses, such as Solihull College and South & City College (and not, for example, at sixth form colleges such as Joseph Chamberlain College, Cadbury College and Solihull 6th Form College).

There are also newer specialist colleges to consider, such as Aston University Engineering Academy (they specialise in engineering and science courses) and Birmingham Ormiston Academy (who specialise in creative, digital and performing arts courses).

It’s therefore really important that your daughter or son first decides what course or courses they want to do and then find out which schools and colleges offer them.

Will GCSE grades affect the courses students can apply for?

Yes. To study level 3 courses (such as A levels, T Levels or BTEC courses) students will usually need a minimum of 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 (many will want this to include maths and English). Some schools and colleges may want a grade 6 (or higher) to study a specific subject. For example, Moseley School requires a grade 6 in maths GCSE to study A level maths.

Further education: What to study?

Level 3 course examples (all last 2 years)…

1. A Levels (or equivalent)

Usually 3 subjects.

  • These qualifications prepare you for a range of different careers, rather than focusing on a specific job.
  • Can be combined with BTEC subjects that are worth 1 or 2 A levels.

2. BTEC extended diploma

Study 1 subject (worth 3 A levels).

  • Subjects include science, engineering, business, health and social care, childcare, IT/computing, games design, sport, public services and performing arts.
  • This is a vocational qualification.
  • Courses are usually practical and involve hands-on projects.

3. T Levels

Study 1 subject (worth 3 A levels).

  • This is a vocational qualification.
  • They include a significant work placement to put learning into practice.
  • With a T Level you spend about 20% of your time in the work place and 80% in college.

If students mainly get grades 3 or 2 in their GCSEs they could consider doing a level 2 course for one year. Level 2 options include the following:

  • Vocational courses at colleges. You can choose one vocational subject and retake maths and English GCSEs.
  • T level transition course (to prepare you for a T Level).
  • GCSE resits. Not many places offer a full programme. South & City College (Longbridge Campus) offer the following option: (for this you will usually need several GCSEs at grade 3, including maths, English and science).
  • Staying at Moseley School Sixth Form for level 2 subjects. This option involves having to study BTECs in business and health & social care; plus maths and English GCSEs.

Level 2 example: If a student got grade 3s in their GCSEs and wanted to study health & social care, they could study the one-year BTEC level 2 health & social care course (and re-sit their maths and English GCSEs). If successful, this could then lead to the two-year BTEC level 3 extended diploma in health & social care (equivalent to 3 A levels).

Alternatively, if their grades are lower than 3s and 2s, they may want to consider taking a level 1 vocational course for one year (plus maths and English GCSE re-sits).

For some courses, they may have to start at level 1 or level 2 as they have to learn the basics first e.g. motor vehicle courses.

Research is the key to making an informed decision.

Follow these 4 steps to make an informed decision:

  1. Use school and college websites to check out courses. If applying to Moseley School and Sixth Form, they can use the Moseley School website to explore sixth form courses. Go to the Moseley sixth form virtual tour to check out the Prospectus (page 10 lists all the courses available and the grades needed); the curriculum section (here you will find leaflets about the subjects on offer) and the application form. The entry requirements for level 3 courses at Moseley are 5 GCSEs at grades 4-9, including maths and English.
  2. Attend school and college open days/evenings (a list has been provided to your daughter/son).
  3. Apply online to schools/colleges (ideally by Christmas).
  4. Use Google maps to check how you daughter or son would get to their chosen school/college and how long it would take.

Open days.

Going to open days is really important and will enable your daughter/son to:

  • Explore school/college campuses and to check out facilities.
  • Check which courses are available, how they are taught, how they are assessed and their entry requirements.
  • Meet subject teachers and ask questions.
  • Find out more about the application and interview process.
  • Find out about the pastoral support available.

Year 11 students have been given a list of local college open days/evenings; but check out school/college websites for the latest information (you usually have to book online to attend). Here are the website addresses of local colleges:

Did you know?

In 2022, 97.9% Of Moseley School Year 11 students remained in education and the top 5 most popular destinations were:

  1. Moseley School and Sixth Form: (43.8% of all our students. Up from 31.7% in 2021).
  2. South and City College.
  3. Solihull College.
  4. Joseph Chamberlain College.
  5. Joint 5th: BMET and Solihull 6th Form College.



      An apprenticeship is like a job and students need to demonstrate a strong interest in their chosen apprenticeship area and be ready to start a job!

      Apprenticeship entry requirements vary. You have to check apprenticeship vacancies to see if there are any specific subjects and/or grades you need to have. For example, some may want 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4, others may ask for a Level 2 qualification in English and maths (such as GCSEs at grades 9-4). Others may ask you to take a numeracy and literacy test before you are accepted onto the apprenticeship.

      You can search and apply for apprenticeships using the national apprenticeship website – go to

      Other useful websites are:

        Students can also check out employer websites if they have a particular employer in mind.

        The Get my first job website has produced a guide to apprenticeships for parents and carers

        Students can also apply for traineeships. A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets them ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months. You can search and apply for apprenticeships using the national apprenticeship website – go to

        Did you know?

        Students that start an apprenticeship earn a salary, get paid holidays, receive training, gain qualifications and earn job-specific skills. Lots of different types of apprenticeships are available and the top 4 types with the most opportunities in Birmingham last year were:

        1. Business and law.
        2. Engineering and manufacturing.
        3. Health and care.
        4. Information and Communication Technology.

        It’s also possible to get a degree by doing an apprenticeship. This is called a degree apprenticeship. Degree apprentices earn a salary and don’t have to pay university tuition fees, saving them £9,250 a year!

        Year 11 Careers Support

        The school provides the following support during Year 11 to help your daughter or son make an informed post-16 decision:

          • A presentation from the school’s careers adviser about post-16 options.
          • An opportunity for a 1:1/small group guidance careers interview with the school’s qualified careers adviser, Mr Silgram.
          • Online careers support – email Mr Silgram at
          • Drop-in careers sessions with Mr Silgram in the library on Wednesdays after school and Friday lunchtimes.
          • Careers lessons as part of the Personal Development curriculum.
          • A presentation from a local college about apprenticeship opportunities.
          • Careers advice and support on GCSE results day.
          • The careers section of the school website – go to Careers advice and guidance
        use the School Website to support your daughter / son

        You can use the website to help your daughter or son to make an informed decision about what to do after Year 11.

        It includes further information about all the topics in this newsletter. There are 16 sections and you may find it helpful to check-out the following ones:

        • Options after Year 11.
        • Apprenticeships and traineeships.
        • Further education.
        • Parents and carers.
        • Useful websites and information.

        Click here to go to the careers section of the school website


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