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So what are your child’s options after 16?

Many parents feel unsure about the different options available for their son or daughter after GCSEs. With the participation age for education rising to 18 it is even more important to make sure that your child makes the decision that is right for them.

Here is our quick guide to the different options available.

Study Programmes (E.g. BTECs, Diplomas, City & Guilds)

These enable your child to begin to specialise in a specific area of study and gain qualifications directly linked to careers.  These types of courses are usually studied at a Further Education college such as Tresham College.

Entry requirements

  • These are dependent upon the level of the programme that your child wishes to study.  At Tresham College we offer a range of subjects at different entry levels which means that there is a route to success whatever their GCSE results.

Key features

  • Courses are full time
  • The courses focus on a specific subject linked through to a career path
  • These programmes have a focus on practical skills although there is still some classroom based study.
  • Courses last one or two years
  • Level 3 qualifications are valid for entry onto degree and higher education courses in related subjects. They also qualify students  to enter onto higher apprenticeship programmes

Perfect if your child:

  • Is clear about the career path they wish to pursue in the future
  • Prefers a more practical style of learning with less emphasis on written examinations


Apprenticeship programmes are becoming increasingly popular as they provide young people with the opportunity to gain valuable qualifications whilst earning a wage. Tresham College has a dedicated Apprenticeship team who are able to advise on local vacancies and support students with their applications and interview technique.

Entry requirements

  • These are dependent upon the qualification that your child wishes to study however programmes are available at all level of GCSE qualifications.

Key features

  • Apprenticeships can take between one and five years to complete
  • They cover more than 1,500 different job roles across a broad range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, business administration to construction and childcare
  • Apprenticeship programmes are available up to degree level and beyond
  • Most of the training is on-the-job however some programmes also include a day release at college

Perfect if your child:

  • Is keen to start earning a salary
  • Learns well from others – most apprentices are supported by a mentor in the workplace
  • Is clear about the career path that they want to pursue

Want to find out more?

Check out our Open Days where you and your child can come into the college and discuss their options. We have tutors and advisors who can offer advice on study programmes and apprenticeships.