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School Leavers- What’s Next?

The reality of finishing school may feel a little overwhelming.

You might be worrying about what exam results you’re going to get or feeling scared about having to start somewhere new.

You might be thinking about future careers and panicking if you’re not sure what you want to do.

It’s perfectly normal to feel these things and everyone in your class will probably feel at least one of them at some point!

Make sure to take time out after exams or in between revision to be with friends and family, take part in activities you enjoy, visit somewhere you’ve been wanting to go and most of all have some fun (you’ve definitely earnt it).

‘What are my options once I get my exam results?’

The law states that although you can officially leave school on the last Friday in June if you will be 16 at the end of the summer holidays, you must still remain in some form of education until you turn 18.

Some schools offer sixth form education; if yours does, you may want to stay in a familiar environment to undertake A-levels.  If your school doesn’t, you can attend a sixth form college or a sixth form at another school. This will give you the opportunity to study a range of subjects at A-level.

You might want to stay in fulltime education but want a change from the ‘school’ environment, so college may be the option for you. At college, you can study for a range of qualifications, including NVQ’s, A-levels and BTEC’s.

If you prefer to be more practical, you might want to look at starting an apprenticeship where you can gain a qualification while working (and get paid while you do).

‘What if I don’t get the results I was hoping for?’

Don’t be too hard on yourself – be proud of the effort you put in.

Remember that these results are only a small part of your life and will not determine your success for the future.

You’re not alone, many people are disappointed with their test results or exams the first time around but the good news is that you can try again.

Speak to your teachers on results day, they will be able to advise you about retaking the exams; you may be able to do this alongside studying for your further qualifications

‘Help! I don’t know what career I want for the future’

Don’t worry, a lot of people at this stage are unsure what sort of career they would like to go into and many will change their minds repeatedly –this is absolutely fine!

Spend some time to think about what subjects you enjoy at school; would you want to develop your knowledge in these further? This could help you decide what to study in higher education and help you figure out what field of work you might enjoy.

Do you have any particular interests or hobbies that you would like to pursue? These could be a guide to the types of apprenticeships you could look into or courses you could study at college.

Speak to your teachers; they will be able to advise you about possible career paths if you have an area of interest. They may also be able to give advice about how to get into a certain career path.

Attend as many open days and events at colleges and sixth form centres as possible to get a clear idea of all the different options available to you.

If you have a careers advisor in school, speak to them as they can offer advice and support around jobs and careers.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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