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  • Imogen Phillips

Post-16 Provision - What is available?

This week’s blog will cover some of the level 3 options and opportunities available to students at post-16. This will include a brief summary of pathways such as A-levels, apprenticeships, BTECs, and T-levels.


Post-16 Pathways


The option of studying academic level 3 qualifications, is most often taken through choosing 3-4 subjects at A-level, assessed through exams in order to provide students with a final grade. A-levels provide students with the opportunity to gain a strong foundation in specific subject areas, a skill highly regarded at the university level.


Apprenticeships are a great alternative to A-levels, allowing individuals to experience workplace environments, alongside qualifications such as NVQs and BTECs. They provide invaluable experiences for individuals across a range of sectors; therefore, apprenticeships are well-suited to students who are particularly interested on a specific career pathway.


BTEC qualifications are taught widely across the UK, often with an emphasis on vocational learning. They are considered a less exam-driven alternative to A-levels, for students who excel in coursework and practical assessments. With a spectrum of level 1 to level 7, BTECs are suited to students of all academic abilities. In July 2021, the government announced plans to phase out BTECs and replace them with T-levels, more information on T-levels can be found below.


T-levels are a new type of technical level 3 qualification, co-designed with employers to support the growth of industry specialised skills and expertise. In terms of studying beyond T-levels, they are equivalent to 3 A-levels in UCAS points. This means that students who choose this route are able to access many different higher education institutions – however not all universities will accept UCAS points instead of A-levels. Given the nature of T-levels, they are aimed at students who intend on following a specific practical career path, such as construction, management and administration, engineering, media production and more.

Designing your curriculum options

The various post-16 options discussed in this blog each support the development of students to transition into adulthood; however, each pathway has a unique approach. For individuals who are set on attending university, for those who are prepared to enter the workforce at 18, or for those with different paths entirely, it is important that the provision they attend has the appropriate qualifications on offer to facilitate this. The need for variance in the education offer for students at 16-19 provisions reflects the need for a wide array of skills required in each job sector. It is vital that students at this age are able to access education which is not only appealing to them, but aligns with their skillset and plans for future employment.


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