Skip to content ↓

The Wells Academy

Post-16 Choices

Choosing your next steps is a priority for every student when they reach the latter stages of their schooling. We aim to provide all students with a wide range of information about their post-16 options, with many local colleges and apprenticeship providers presenting a wide range of options.

As well as reaching out to any member of the careers team, having your 1:1 careers guidance meetings in year 11 and a multitude of assemblies from course providers, the following information may help with your post-16 choices.



Apprenticeships are a brilliant option to consider when deciding on how to move forward and work towards becoming fully trained in your chosen career.  Securing an apprenticeship means you will get paid for working whilst also receiving high quality training and mentoring

Please see these websites for further information about apprenticeships:

Amazing Apprenticeships

Get In Go Far Apprenticeships

Below is a live feed from the National Apprenticeship Service which lists the apprenticeship opportunities that are available in the Nottingham area.

Vocational Courses

Vocational courses are designed to help you learn practically about a specific job area. They can help you get the skills you need to start a job, progress in a career or go on to higher education.

If you know what job or job sector you want to go into you may want to study a vocational qualification. By applying learning to real-life situations, these qualifications offer a more practical approach than traditional A-Level academic courses.

There are many different types of vocational qualifications in a wide range of subjects at all levels, from Entry Level right up to Level 8. Many school sixth forms offer a range of vocational courses like Applied General Qualifications, and Cambridge Technical qualifications. Further Education Colleges offer a large range of vocational courses at all levels.

There are different types of vocational qualifications:

  • Vocational subjects - related to a broad employment area such as business, engineering, IT, health and social care. Previously called BTECs and OCR Cambridge Nationals, if they are at Level 3 these are now called Applied Vocational Qualifications. These courses are offered in schools and colleges.
  • Vocational courses - that lead to specific jobs such as hairdressing, accounting, professional cookery or plumbing. These courses are called Technical Level Qualifications [T Levels] and are offered mostly at colleges.
  • Apprenticeships

T Levels

T Levels are a brand-new, 2-year qualification that you can do as an alternative to A levels, other post-16 courses or an apprenticeship. They bring classroom learning and an extended industry placement together on a course designed with businesses and employers.

T Levels are ideal if you have finished your GCSEs and want the knowledge and experience to get straight into employment, an apprenticeship or higher education. You’ll spend 80% of your time in the classroom and 20% on a 45-day placement with an employer to give you the skills and knowledge companies look for.

One T level takes 2 years of full-time study and is equivalent to 3 A levels. The first 3 T Levels have started at selected colleges and schools in England, with more coming in the following years.

A Levels

Lots of young people choose to do A-Levels post-16 and these are excellent general qualifications that are valued by employers and universities. A-Levels offer a great route into Higher Education and employment.

A Levels will give you a chance to find out about your GCSE subjects in greater depth or you can choose to study one of the subjects that many schools and colleges only offer at A Level such as Law, Economics or Psychology. They are good preparation if you are thinking of going onto higher education or if you are not sure of your career plans, as they can keep your options open.

To study A Levels, you will need to have done well in your GCSEs. Most schools and colleges will expect you to have gained grades 9-4 (A*-C in old grades) in your GCSEs with a minimum of grade 4 in English Language and Maths. Specific requirements can vary from four passes to six passes, so you should check with each institution. Often you will need a GCSE at grade 6 or above in a subject if you want to go on to study it at A Level.

Here is a small, non-exhaustive list of local colleges, sixth forms and further education establishments:

Nottingham Academy

Nottingham Girls' Academy 


Nottingham College


Bilborough Sixth Form College

Bluecoat Aspley