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1 Learning Options and and Routes: Guiding Students in Years 8 & 9 A guide for staff who support young people s choices A guide for staff who support young people s choices Publication by the Publication Eastern Region by the Youth Eastern & Connexions Region Services Youth & Connexions Services

2 Contents 3 Introduction 4 Learning Routes at Learning Routes at Learning Routes at 17/ Positive activities for young people 19 The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) 22 Labour Market Information (LMI) 23 Money Matters for year old learners 26 Sources of Information, help and advice 28 Sources of Information 30 Appendix 1 Supporting career choices through the curriculum 2

3 Introduction Who is this pack for? This pack is for staff who help young people aged years with their options and choices. Most teachers, tutors and mentors get asked for information and advice by students making education and career choices. This pack is intended to provide essential information that all teachers and tutors need about students options and choices. How should the pack be used? This pack is designed to be a reference resource: it is not meant to be read like a book. Identify the sections that best suit your needs. If you need extra information or have questions, discuss them with the careers staff or Connexions Personal Adviser in your school or follow up the web addresses in each section. Your role in supporting students choices If you are a subject teacher, tutor or mentor you may already support students with personal and academic issues through: Target setting Tutoring Mentoring Pastoral work Teaching careers or PSHE lessons using resources provided by your school s co-ordinator. Helping young people to plan for the future and giving them goals is an important role of all tutors and mentors. You can develop this work by: Spending time with each individual to listen to their ideas and talk through their thoughts and plans for the future. Reminding students of important deadlines dates for applications and interviews. You can use the Calendar of Critical Dates and Deadlines included with this pack as a poster in your classroom. Challenging inappropriate ideas students might hold regarding their ability, stereotypes, finance or aspirations. Informing students of their options and sources of information, advice and guidance. Encouraging them to use careers and Connexions information in the school on websites or in their local Connexions Centre. Ensuring that each student has understood the careers information they have accessed, to enable them to make the choices that are right for them. Explaining qualifications to help students plan their career pathway. The section on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the Learning Routes poster within this pack can help you illustrate progression routes. Referring, or encouraging students to self refer, to the Careers/IAG Coordinator or Connexions Personal Adviser. Following up action plans from Connexions Personal Advisers. Supporting individuals in carrying out their career plans. This may be in the form of an Individual Learning Plan which your school may use to support recording of achievement. Discussing work experiences before and after their placements. Support for you Connexions and Youth Support Services provide information, help and advice to young people and to school/college staff. For information about the help that is available in your area go to the section on Sources of Information, Help and Advice on Page 26. 3

4 Learning Routes at 14+ Statutory requirements In KS4 all students must follow a programme of the core National Curriculum foundation subjects: English, maths, science, ICT, PE and citizenship. In addition all students must follow programmes for religious education, careers education, work related learning (including enterprise) and sex and relationships education. From 2011 PSHE education will also to become statutory in KS4. Functional skills and personal learning and thinking skills will be an integral part of all learning routes. Functional skills will be incorporated into GCSE English, Maths and ICT syllabuses from 2010, but can also be a qualification in their own right as well as forming a core element of the Diploma framework. Each functional skill will be equivalent to half a GCSE at A*- C for Level 2 or D-G for Level 1. Personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS) are the soft skills that are important for working life. The six skill areas are: independent enquiry, creative thinking, reflective learning, team working, self management and effective participation. PLTS are incorporated into the programmes of study in the new secondary curriculum and Diplomas, but not as a separate qualification. For more information on the new secondary curriculum visit Options Additional general subjects. Students may choose to study other subjects from arts, design and technology, humanities and modern foreign languages. These subjects currently form part of the national entitlement for KS4 and should be made available to any students who wish to study them. Students usually study these courses to GCSE at levels 1 (Grades D-G) or 2 (Grades A*-C). Applied /vocational courses. Many young people may also study applied or vocational courses, for example Young Apprenticeships (YA), the new Diplomas at Foundation or Higher Levels or BTEC Introductory or First Diplomas. The DCSF expect that the number of Key Stage 4 students studying applied options at Levels 1 & 2 will increase rapidly up to and beyond Foundation Learning Tier (FLT). Many students study programmes at entry level and level 1 in order to develop the skills required for adult and working life. From 2010/11, these courses and qualifications will become part of the Foundation Learning Tier (FLT). The FLT will provide a framework of small stepping stones to recognise students achievements and to help plan their progression from entry level to level 2. It will enable nationally accredited units and qualifications at Entry Level and Level 1 to be put together into personalised learning programmes based upon the three core areas of functional skills, personal and social development and subject and vocational knowledge. The FLT is currently still in development with a number of pilots exploring options ( ) and is expected that the FLT will be rolled out from 2010/11. Courses and qualifications in Key Stage 4 Entry level courses help young people develop basic and vocational skills and support personal and social development. Entry level programmes are usually assessed through tests, assignments and tasks that are practical, written or oral. General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) courses are taken by most students in a range of subjects (Level 1/2). Assessment is mainly by written exam with some coursework and practical work. Encourage your students to find out more about their GCSE options by talking to their subject teachers or reading subject descriptions in your KS4 options booklet, the Which Way Now? magazine or on the local Prospectus. 4

5 GCSE short courses are equivalent to approximately half a GCSE, taking only half the time to complete. GCSEs in applied subjects offer a practical and vocational option. They provide insight into the world of work and keep doors open for further study or work. Subjects include applied art and design, applied science, applied ICT, manufacturing, health & social care, and leisure and tourism. They are usually double awards equivalent to 2 GCSEs. BTEC Introductory and First Diplomas are full vocational courses equivalent to 5 GCSEs. They may be available in vocational area such as Business, Health and Social Care, Performing Arts etc. Diplomas are new qualifications for year olds at levels 1 (Foundation), 2 (Higher) and 3 (Progression and Advanced). They offer a mix of classroom learning, creative thinking and hands-on experience. In Years 10 and 11 Diplomas are being introduced at Foundation and Higher levels. Diplomas are composite qualifications that include: Principal Learning: students study their main subject area such as Creative & Media, Business, Administration and Finance, Engineering, Retail Business and Science. There will be 17 subject areas available by Generic Learning: students must study functional skills in maths, English and ICT, develop their personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS) and complete an assessed extended project. Additional and Specialist Learning (ASL) is made up of units and qualifications accredited to be part of the Diploma. The range of ASL options should enable students to choose those subjects and courses they are interested in which complement their chosen Diploma subject. These may include existing qualifications such as GCSEs, NVQ units and some BTEC awards. In addition, all students also carry out at least 10 days work experience in a field related to their Diploma subject area. All the elements of the Diploma are qualifications in their own right so students will also receive recognition for achieving some qualifications or units, even if they do not achieve the whole Diploma. The programmes have been developed by schools and colleges with employers and Higher Education Institutions. In Key Stage 4, achievement in a Higher Diploma will equip young people to progress into further education to study A Levels, an Advanced Diploma or another Level 3 qualification or progress onto Apprenticeship training at Level 3. Diplomas are designed to appeal to students of all abilities and aspirations who will benefit from a course that helps them develop a range of intellectual and practical skills in a broad work-related context. As Diplomas are new qualifications they are not yet available everywhere, although all 17 lines of learning will form part of the curriculum entitlement by Check what is on offer in your area through the Prospectus. For further details see: prospectus 5

6 Learning Routes at 14+ (cont d) Young Apprenticeship (YA) programmes allow motivated and able pupils to study for vocational and occupational qualifications at Level 2. YAs are delivered in a range of classroom and workplace settings in college, with training providers and in the real workplace. The students are based in school following the core National Curriculum subjects, but for approximately two days each week they also work towards nationally recognised vocational qualifications in the workplace. A full YA programme is roughly equivalent to 5 GCSEs at Level 2. Foundation Learning Tier (FLT) will aim to improve the skills of learners working below level 2 (courses that are currently from Entry Level 1 to GCSE D-G). Programmes will be designed from a wide range of unit-based qualifications and will be personalised to meet the needs of individual learners. The FLT will help plan routes of progression to Level 2 including Diploma, general GCSEs, work-based learning including Apprenticeships, or independent living. It is planned that the full implementation of the FLT will take place from 2010/11. Other programmes - some young people may be referred to alternative curriculum programmes to support their personal development, engagement and employability. These programmes may be delivered in settings other than school, such as colleges, the workplace or another external venue. The programmes may lead to a range of qualifications that support progression to further education or work. Many of these programmes will become incorporated into the Foundation Learning Tier from 2010/11. All students on these programmes must still continue with their core curriculum studies. Qualifications for careers education, work related learning and PSHEe - there are a number of qualifications accredited by ASDAN, OCR, AQA, NOCN and EdExcel that are deigned to improve students career planning, personal and social; development and work related learning. These are often available from entry level to Level 3 and can be used to assess and accredit existing work in careers education and PSHEe including work experience and other and work related learning. Many of these programmes will also become incorporated into the Foundation Learning Tier from 2010/11. Key sources of information for young people in Years 8 & 9 There are several key sources of information that are produced to help young people and their parents/carers understand their options and choices for Years 10 & 11. These include: School options booklets The on-line Area Prospectus Free resources from DCSF available both on-line and hard copy: The Which way now? magazine Parents and Carers Guide to options Visit the Connexions Direct website at 6

7 Guiding Students in Years 8 & 9 If you work with students in Years 8 & 9, you can help them make choices in key stage 4 by: Finding out the subjects they enjoy most and which are their best subjects. Helping students understand their options and pathways. Discussing their skills and interests with them, and what they like doing in their spare time. Finding out how they learn best, as this could affect their choice of courses. Making sure that they all have a copy of the Which Way Now magazine and the school s options booklet. Go through both publications and explain them to your young people. Helping them make use of the on-line Area Prospectus (see Page 29 for details) to find out about and choose their options in KS4 and start to plan for post-16. Challenging stereotypical ideas they may have about work and job roles. Encouraging students to speak with subject teachers, particularly to find out: a) what a course is like in Years 10 & 11, and b) whether they are really suited to studying it Helping individuals weigh up the pros and cons of each of their subject options. Supporting students in their search for careers information in computer programs such as CLIPS or KUDOS and ensuring that they understand the CRCI information classification system in the library. Referring back to the NQF to show students how they can progress through 14-19, possibly to higher education. Ensuring students continue to develop and update their Individual Learning Plans. Encouraging your students to discuss their choices with their parents/carers. Referring students who need help to the Connexions PA or Careers Coordinator. 7

8 Learning Routes at 16+ All young people at 16+ have an entitlement to continue in learning, whether in full time education or through work based learning on an Apprenticeship or other training programmes. All students in Years 10 and 11 need to know about the learning routes, learning places and qualifications from which they can choose at the end of Year 11. They need to be made aware of how their lives will change depending on which learning route they decide to follow, whether it is in school, college or the workplace. You can play a critical role in enabling young people to understand these issues and supporting them to make the choices that are right for them. This programme should include: Information research activities in the Connexions Resource Centre or Careers library. Opportunities to taste or experience post-16 courses or options. A variety of work-related learning activities across the KS4 curriculum. Opportunities to discuss their ideas and plans with an impartial adult such as the Careers Coordinator or their Connexions PA, a learning mentor or personal tutor. The Main Routes The main learning routes open to students at 16+ are: A: Full-time education General or Applied Learning. B: Work-based training Apprenticeship, Programme Led Apprenticeship or Entry to Employment (e2e). C: Employment currently this may be with or without training. It is important to encourage students to aim for a job with training that leads to a qualification. Careers Education in KS4 To help young people develop the knowledge and skills needed to make effective choices and to prepare them for transition at 16+, all students should receive a programme of careers education backed up through opportunities for one-to-one advice and guidance from their tutor or through referral to their Connexions PA for those who need more in-depth guidance. 8

9 A: Full Time Education Learning Places Colleges There are three main types of college: Generalist FE colleges tend to have a broad spectrum of both general and applied courses from entry level to Higher Education (Level 4 and above) Specialist colleges that provide qualifications in particular areas (such as drama, art and design, or agriculture) from level 1 to Higher Education. Specialist sixth form colleges provide general academic and applied courses including A-levels and BTEC. Several are now expanding the range of qualifications to include Diplomas, International Baccalaureate and Pre-U. Students who go to a further education college or sixth form college may expect a different lifestyle and environment from that which they are used to at school. For example: They are more likely to have to take greater responsibility for planning and organising their learning during the working day. Teaching and learning styles and resources may be different to what they are used to. School 6th Forms Students may be able to opt to stay in their current school or move to a different school sixth form in their area. The range of courses on offer will vary greatly between 6th Forms, but will often include programmes from level 1-3 including A levels, BTEC Diplomas, Diplomas and the International Baccalaureate. Like students attending college, the lifestyle of students will change as regards tutorial systems and enrichment activities. Along with the relaxation of some school rules, they may be expected to take on new responsibilities such as helping with different aspects of running of the school, community activities or mentoring younger students. It is vital that students find out about those learning places that will best suit their needs in terms of the courses on offer as well as the ethos, study and support arrangements and learning culture. Students should be encouraged to visit prospective institutions and attend open days wherever possible. Courses and qualifications in full-time education GCE A Levels general subjects that usually take two years to complete. A Levels are available in subjects ranging from Accounts through to World Development and including all the traditional subjects like English, Maths, Languages and new areas such as Music Technology and Critical Thinking. Most schools or colleges require students to have good level 2 qualifications before they can begin an A level course. AS courses take one year and represent half an Advanced (A) Level. The A level is completed by the student taking a second (A2) year. Students typically take 4 or 5 AS Levels in Year 12 and 3 subjects at A2 in Year 13, dropping one of their AS subjects. Most A Levels are unit based - with most subjects being 4 units (2 at AS and 2 at A2). Maths and Science are 6 unit courses. Gradings are A* to E as passes with U as ungraded. From 2010 A level students may be able to work towards an A* grade at A2 that will recognise the highest levels of achievement. Applied A levels these are in vocational or work related subjects, usually looking at a career or business sector such as business, engineering, art & design, ICT. Applied A levels are also unit based and can be equivalent of an AS level, a full A level or a double A level. Gradings are A-E (or AA-EE for double awards) as passes with U as ungraded. 9

10 Learning Routes at 16+ (cont d) Extended Project Qualification worth half an A level. The Extended Project will be designed to help students pursue an area of special interest and to demonstrate the analytical and independent learning skills that Higher Education and employers value. It will be available as a stand-alone qualification to be taken alongside A levels or BTEC Nationals or can form part of the Advanced Diploma. International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is a broad ranging and rigorous qualification that prepares year olds for Higher Education. The IB is made up of 6 subject areas/units plus the theory of knowledge and a creativity action and community service programme. It is assessed by exam, coursework, extended essay and theory of knowledge programme. The qualification takes two years and is accepted as an entry qualification around the world. Depending upon the level of pass, the IB can have an equivalence of four or more A Levels. Pre U is a post-16 two year qualification designed to prepare students with the skills and knowledge they need to make a successful transition to university study. Students may take individual Pre-U subjects or study three principal subjects in combination with an individual research report and a global perspectives portfolio. Diplomas are new qualifications for year olds at levels 1 (Foundation), 2 (Higher) and 3 (Progression and Advanced). They offer a mix of classroom learning, creative thinking and hands on experience. In post-16 learning, Diplomas will become available at Level 1-3. Diplomas are composite qualifications that include: Principal Learning: students study their main subject area such as Creative & Media, Business, Administration and Finance, Engineering or Retail Business and Science. There will be 17 subject areas available by Generic Learning: students must study functional skills in maths, English and ICT, develop their personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS) and complete an assessed extended project. Additional and specialist learning (ASL) options are made up of other units and qualifications accredited to be part of the Diploma. ASL options should enable students to choose those subjects and courses they are interested in which complement their chosen Diploma subject. These may include existing qualifications such as GCSEs, NVQ units, some BTEC awards and A levels. In addition, all students also carry out at least 10 days work experience in a field related to their Diploma subject area. 10

11 All the elements of the Diploma are qualifications in their own right so students will also receive recognition for achieving some qualifications or units, even if they do not achieve the whole Diploma. A full Advanced Diploma is equivalent in size to at least three A levels and a Progression Diploma to two A levels. The programmes have been developed by schools and colleges with employers and Higher Education Institutions and achievement in a Diploma will equip young people to progress into further learning and work. For example, progression from an Advanced Diploma at 18/19+ could be into Higher Education to study a Foundation Degree or Degree programme in either an applied area or in a general subject, or into training and work. Diplomas are designed to appeal to students of all abilities and aspirations who will benefit from a course that helps them develop a range of intellectual and practical skills in a broad work-related context. As Diplomas are new qualifications they are not yet available everywhere, although all 17 lines of learning will form part of the curriculum entitlement by Check what is on offer in your Area Prospectus. For further details see: prospectus BTEC Nationals are similar to Applied A levels and are available in 6, 12 and 18 units. Most students who study the Diploma will take this as their only course. Award Units Equivalence BTEC Award 6 1 A level BTEC Certificate 12 2 A levels BTEC Diploma 18 3 A levels Gradings are Distintion (D), Merit (M) or Pass (P), but are expressed in terms of units so they can be compared to A levels. A BTEC Diploma at DDD is equivalent to three A grades at A level. MMM is equivalent to three C s at A level, and PPP is equivalent to 3 Es. BTEC First Diplomas are one year vocational courses which, on successful completion, are considered to be the equivalent of 4 GCSEs at grades A* to C. A complete course in itself but students may take an extra critical GCSE (such as maths or English) alongside their BTEC First. The overall final qualification may be at pass, merit or distinction. Available in subjects like Agriculture, Animal Care through to Science and Travel and Tourism BTEC Introductory courses are in subject areas similar to their First and National courses and will encourage learners to develop the personal skills and attributes they need in order to develop confidence in their ability to work, learn and achieve their full potential. For Level 1 courses most colleges and sixth forms are more interested in the students motivation and commitment than their academic qualifications. Colleges and some sixth forms will also offer courses of their own design which incorporate a range of qualifications and often include some work experience. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) - these are courses that lead to a specific job qualification, as distinct from the Applied A Level or BTEC Nationals which cover a broader career, commercial or industrial area. NVQs must include assessment at work so tend to be offered as part of an Apprenticeship, although some NVQ units and supporting technical knowledge can be covered within full time courses. National Vocational Qualifications are often called an occupational qualification, with vocational or applied being used to describe the broader courses like applied GCSEs, Applied A Levels or BTEC Nationals. 11

12 Learning Routes at 16+ (cont d) B: Work-based learning/training Entry Level courses are the first level in the national qualifications framework, sitting below Foundation/Level 1. Courses may include specific occupational skills and typically feature tuition in basic skills, such as numeracy and literacy, along with broader life skills. Examples include the ASDAN Life Skills course that consists of six sections - Citizenship, Community, Home Management, Personal Care, Preparation for Working Life and Information Technology. Other vocationally related qualifications offered by different awarding bodies such as Edexcel, City & Guilds and OCR. Examples include CACHE Certificates and Diplomas in Early Years and Childcare, but there are many other examples in a range of vocational and applied learning areas. They involve learning in a practical way and can help students prepare for employment or further study in a specific area. Level 3 courses usually take two years to complete; Level 1 or 2 courses up to a year. Work based learning combines training and work. This usually includes a combination of on the job training, with day/block release to a college or training centre. Most work-based training opportunities are Apprenticeships, although some businesses do still run their own training programmes outside the Apprenticeship framework. Apprenticeships An Apprenticeship is a job with a high level of training leading to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). Apprenticeships are available at levels 2 and 3 in a wide range of career frameworks such as agriculture, administration, construction, engineering, hospitality, manufacturing, media and printing, recreation and travel. Apprentices will typically spend 80% of their time in the work place and 20% in off-the-job training. Assessment is primarily in the work place on a competence, or can-do, basis but there is also back-up theoretical work leading to a Technical Certificate. There are two levels of Apprenticeship: An Advanced Apprenticeship is at Level 3. Entry standards are as required by the employer and may include a number of A* - C grades at GCSE. An Apprenticeship is considered to be Level 2. As with Advanced Apprenticeships entry standards are set by the employer but should be at a slightly lower level. However it is not unusual for any apprentice to start at Level 2 even if they have achieved high GCSE grades. Many Advanced Apprenticeships can lead progress onto foundation or honours degrees in higher education. A full list of all the Apprenticeship Programmes can be found on the Prospectus for your Local Authority area. 12

13 How are Apprenticeships organised? There are two organisations involved in Apprenticeships - the employer (who provides the job) and a Training Provider (who provides the training and assessment). An Apprenticeship is a job. Without the offer of an appropriate job from an employer there is no Apprenticeship. For apprentices who do not yet have a work placement they can work on a Programme Led Apprenticeship Getting an apprenticeship is competitive and availability depends on the job and geographical area. Young people need to contact both employers and Training Providers in their search for an Apprenticeship. See below for Applying for an Apprenticeship. Programme Led Apprenticeships (PLAs) - allow a Training Provider to begin a young person s apprenticeship training without an employer/job placement. The aim is for the young person and Training Provider to find a suitable employer/vacancy within a period of time. PLAs are limited in number and entry is at the discretion of the Training Provider. Applying for Apprenticeships There are several ways of applying for an Apprenticeship. Through NAVMS - the Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service. This will be the preferred way of applying for apprenticeships from 2009 onwards. For further information go to Applying direct to a company: some employers, particularly large companies, take formal direct applications. With small companies it is often wise to make informal contact, often well in advance of leaving school or college. Through a Training Provider: some training providers assist employers with their recruitment and often take initial applications which they can forward to interested employers. Therefore it is worth sending expressions of interest to those training providers who train if the relevant jobs. Applying for Apprenticeships can be difficult and confusing for young people. Please feel free to talk to a Connexions Personal Adviser for more information. Applying for Programme Led Apprenticeships Applications for Programme Led Apprenticeships are made direct to the training provider and not through the Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service. Please feel free to ask your Connexions Personal Adviser for more information. For further information go to 13

14 Learning Routes at 16+ (cont d) A job without training Entry to Employment (e2e) e2e programmes aim to help those young people under 19 who are not yet ready or able to enter Apprenticeship programmes or other employment. e2e is designed to provide flexibility in meeting the needs of individual learners. Appropriate qualifications will be selected according to how they might benefit individual learners. Time spent on e2e will vary but the normal maximum will be 22 weeks, although this may be extended in individual cases. Students on e2e should: Get improved motivation and confidence Develop Key Skills Develop personal effectiveness Acquire vocational knowledge, skills and understanding. The e2e curriculum consists of: Initial and ongoing assessment, guidance/support. Core learning components such as basic skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT and personal development. Optional, additional, specialised work-related learning. Preparation for and transition to Level 2 learning opportunities or employment, with continued support. A full list of all the e2e Programmes offered in your area should be on the Prospectus. Young people on e2e are given opportunities to gain qualifications and may be eligible for an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). For further information go to Applications for e2e are made to a training provider. Any students interested in e2e should contact their Connexions PA for details on how to apply. Some young people may be attracted to jobs without training because they may be able to earn money straight away without the need to work for particular qualifications. At 16 there may be some opportunities available in fast food outlets, factory processing/assembly work, kennel assistants, sales assistant jobs etc. For most jobs there will still be some initial training, which may or may not lead to recognised qualifications. In the longer term progression opportunities may be limited by the lack of such qualifications, although many young people find it possible to access training and qualifications later in life or to become a supervisor as experience is gained. However, young people considering this choice need to be aware that their lack of nationally recognised qualifications may affect future pay, job security and pension rights. Regardless of the job, young people who are employed should be paid the minimum wage for year olds. Time off for study There is legislation giving young people aged 16 and 17 time off from work for study or training if they have not achieved NVQ 2 or equivalent. 14

15 Guiding Students at 16+ You can help your students make post-16 choices by: 1. Encouraging and motivating students to take responsibility for thinking, researching and planning for their own careers paths. 2. Explaining the different learning routes and the qualifications open to them making sure that they understand the level of the qualifications on the NQF. 3. Ensure that students understand about the different learning routes, the different learning styles associated with the particular routes and the different places they can learn. 4. Spend time with individual students to discuss their progress, any problems they are encountering and how their progress in their main curriculum subjects will help to inform their career plans. 5. Encourage students to use careers information in the Careers/Connexions library and on the internet to research careers of interest to them. Explain how to use the on-line Area Prospectus to help students research local options. 6. Identify students who seem to be struggling, under achieving or setting their sights too low. Explain how their PA can help them by providing careers advice and guidance. 7. Arrange to visit colleges, sixth forms, work based Apprenticeship or e2e providers to see the types of provision for yourself or take your students with you. 8. Help students with application forms, CVs and coaching for interviews. 9. Encourage students to consider where their post-16 choice may lead at 17 and Encourage students to attend any events where they might be able to speak to different employers, training providers or HE staff. 11. Remind students of important dates and deadlines for applications and interviews. 12.Explain how to apply for courses and training providers via your local Prospectus common application process and Apprenticeships Vacancy Matching Service. 13. Explaining the link between attainment in particular post-16 courses to the entry requirements for particular jobs and higher education courses. 14. Encourage students to develop backup plans in case things go wrong. 15. Reassure students that they can vary their applications if things do not go according to plan. 15

16 Learning Routes at 17/18+ All post-16 students need to know about the options and choices and progression routes at both 17 and 18+. Progression at 17+ For students on one year programmes or those approaching the end of their AS levels/btec national courses, there are a number of choices they can consider, subject to their level of attainment on their current programmes: For students on Level 1 or 2 courses To stay in full time education to study a Level 2 or 3 programmes. To leave full time education for an Apprenticeship. To try to find a job. For students approaching the end of their first year of an Advanced level 3 course For AS level students to continue to study for their A2s. For Applied courses, for example Applied A levels, Diploma or BTEC National to continue with the second year of the course. To transfer to a different programme. To leave full time education for an Apprenticeship. To try to find a job. Most Advanced level students progress with their studies into the second year. For those planning to leave, it is advisable to refer them to their Connexions Personal Adviser for careers guidance. Progression from Advanced level at 18/19+ When Advanced level students reach 18 they may have the option of: A: Higher Education B: Work based learning C: Employment D: Self Employment A: Higher Education The new big option after Year 13 is Higher Education. There are a huge number of options in Higher Education with more than 50,000 courses on offer at over 300 possible institutions. HE courses are available at universities and other Higher Education Institutions including local colleges of further education. Also there is a phenomenal amount of information available. This means two things: 1. No one knows everything about higher education. 2. A student beginning to look at higher education may feel overwhelmed by the mass of information, will struggle to get started and will need support at that stage. In common with earlier decisions, there are limits to what tutors and mentors can do to help students with their choices about HE. In most cases your role will be best employed in helping students formulate questions, devise strategies and assisting in their research rather than trying to providing answers. If one of your students wants to look at higher education it is best to start with Your Future Your Choice from Aim Higher, another general introductory guide to HE or the UCAS website. Course options in HE: Honours degree full or parttime, 3 or 4 years. Some degrees involve vocational training with academic study such as medicine. Sandwich degrees include work placements and some employers enable their employees to gain a degree through time off from work. Entry requirements are usually based on achievement in level 3 qualifications such as A levels or equivalent (see section on the National Qualifications Framework) Foundation degree a vocational HE qualification designed with employers to meet skills shortages. They can be full or part-time and may provide progression to further qualifications and courses. 16

17 BTEC Higher National Diploma or Certificate (HND/C) cover a range of vocational areas. They can be studied full or part-time and last for 2 years full time or 3 years including a year in industry. Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) normally lasts for 2 years, full or part-time and are sometimes combined with professional or vocational qualifications. It may be converted to an honours degree with more study. Recent years have seen a huge expansion in Higher Education in the UK. Widening participation has resulted a change in the traditional higher education experience towards more flexible and local higher education opportunities, including opportunities for parttime study and higher education whilst working. B: Work based learning A comment that is often heard from Year 13 students who don t want to go onto university is that they can feel left out and somehow second best. While higher education is valuable and we should encourage students to go as far as they can, it isn t the only thing in life. Training through work is as viable an option after Year 13 as it is after Year 11. All the previous options like the Advanced Apprenticeship are open to 18 year olds. Also some organisations run training schemes geared to the 18 year old A Level leaver. Examples include retail management training schemes and the basic qualification for officer entry into HM Forces is set at A level. C: A job The choice of jobs available to 18 year olds can be far greater than for those under 18. However, for many 18 year olds, the types of opportunities specifically geared to students with advanced level qualifications is limited and many young people find that jobs in the 18 year olds labour market are of a similar level to those available to 16 and 17 year olds. D: Self Employment Another option might be to set up a new business. Any young person considering this would be advised to access up to date information and support. Most of this will be free. For more information: 17

18 Positive activities for young people There are a wide range of positive activities that young people can engage with in order to extend their range of personal, social and employability skills and experiences: Volunteering is available through projects like V-Inspired which can be fitted around other commitments such as study or training. Projects are for year olds, including activities such as helping elderly or disabled people, getting involved in environmental projects or even starting up on their own. Visit their website Other volunteering opportunities are available through local Community Service Volunteers and community groups. Remind your students that the skills and experience developed through volunteering will make them stand out in their applications as well as helping them develop their skills and maturity. Part time work not only provides young people with money but also gives them valuable experiences that might help them in future employment. There are national and local regulations which limit the jobs that year olds can do and the hours they work. For more details see the Connexions Direct website You may need to help your students see the range of skills they have developed through their part time work. A Gap Year is for many young people an opportunity to take time out before deciding what they want to do next, for example progressing onto further study or employment. There are many opportunities for young people wishing to take time out. The main reasons for doing so are: to do voluntary work. to work to earn some money and gain experience. to travel. to develop new skills. to firm up decisions before. committing to their next steps. For more information, encourage your students to research the options. The following websites give a good starting point: Local websites in the Eastern Region Gap Activity Projects BUNAC Gap Year Directory cc. gov.uk/index.jsp Gap-Year information. 18

19 The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) What does the Framework show? Qualifications can help people with their choice of career or goal. The importance of the National Qualifications Framework is that it: Sets out the main groups of qualifications and shows how they relate to each other. Shows how courses vary in learning and teaching style, content and assessment methods. Shows your students the opportunities and pathways open to them in education and work. Within the NQF, qualifications are arranged: In 8 levels. The higher the level indicates greater knowledge, skills and understanding required to achieve, from Certificates of Achievement at Entry Level to courses such as Diploma and A levels at Level 3. Beyond that there are degrees and other Higher Education qualifications, which have their own Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ). In four types of qualifications: General Academic, Diploma, Vocationally Related and Apprenticeship /Occupational. It is possible to move between these qualification types as well as moving up a level(s). While possible it isn t always completely straightforward to switch between types. For example a student achieving 4 Grade Cs has achieved Level 2 and would therefore expect to progress to a Level 3 qualification (e.g. A Level or BTEC National). If they move into an occupational training leading to NVQ qualifications, such as an apprenticeship, they may be asked to complete an NVQ 2 before progressing to NVQ3. The relationship between the various types of qualification at the same levels is usually described as comparable to or equivalent to. The phrase equal to is rarely used. 19

20 The National Qualifications Framework H A - L E V E L F R A Certifi higher S E D - G A * - C T H E D I P L O M A L E A R N I NG CO U R S E S E N T I C E S H I G C I E D O T H E R APPL A P P R Entry 1 2 Nat Qualif Fram National Qualification Framework / 3 Work is currently taking place to change the Framework to become the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). This will require revisions to the NQF system but it is thought probable that the levels will be retained. Students, parents/carers and colleagues need to be aware of the Framework in order to be able to plan their progression and next steps. 20

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