Choices after year 11

Young people have to stay in education or training until they are 18. This education or training is free if you start before you turn 18.

There are lots of post 16 education or training options available in Lancashire. You'll need to think about which one best suits your needs, interests and future plans.

The information here should help you to understand the routes available and what to think about before you make your decision.

These are the three main routes to education or training:

Making your choice

There are lots of options to choose from and this may be confusing.

Before you make your decision, have a think about the following questions:

  • What subjects do I like?
  • What am I interested in?
  • What do I want to do in the future? Progress to university or move into employment? 
  • What kind of qualification is right for me? You can find out more about different qualification types on the UCAS website
  • How do I want to learn? In a classroom, in a more hands-on, practical environment or in the workplace?
  • What grades do I need to get onto the course I want to do?
  • Am I comfortable with exams or would assessments be better for me?

These are just things to think about when you are deciding what to do. There are no right or wrong answers really.

Think about what interests you, what subjects you have enjoyed at school, what job you'd like to do. Be aspirational and stretch yourself, you never know what your future may hold.

You may change your mind about what you want to do when you leave school and that is fine – in fact, that's normal!!  If you are aware of all the options available to you, you can make an informed decision.

There are lots of other things you and your family can do to help you decide, such as:

You should also speak to the careers lead at your school, who will be able to give you some advice and guidance on what you could do when you leave school.

If you do not get the GCSE grades you were hoping for, there are still options available to you. A vocational course at Level 1 and Entry level might be right for you. You can contact providers to talk about what programmes they have.

If you want to speak to someone outside of your school, you can contact the Youth Futures Team at Lancashire County Council. They'll talk to you about your options and what you might want to do in the future. The team know about lots of other providers and alternative kinds of provision you might be interested in, such as the Prince's Trust or provision within your local community. You can email them at

Tracking participation

Lancashire County Council has a legal duty to track what all 16 and 17 year olds living in the county are doing. This could be studying, working or not currently engaging in anything. We do this by working with schools, post 16 providers, other local authorities and other teams at Lancashire County Council to determine what each 16 and 17 year old is doing.

To ensure we have the right information, it is important that we have the right contact details for you. 

For more information about this legal duty or to let us know what you are currently doing, email