If you leave school at 16 the law says you must stay in some form of education or training until your 18th birthday (if you were born on or after 1 September 1997).
If you decide to apply for college there will be lots of help when you start Year 11. Your school's Careers Advisor will arrange a careers interview where you can get advice on the course most suitable for you and make an action plan about which colleges offer suitable courses.
It might be a good idea to do a little bit of research of your own about the colleges near you and the courses they offer.
You can apply for college courses through the college’s website and fill out an online application form. They are simple and easy to do, but if you are struggling ask your Careers Advisor for help.
College applications usually have to be submitted by January, but each college is different. Make sure you know when your colleges deadline is and make a note of it.
Once your application has been accepted, the college will invite you to go to an interview where they will ask you a few questions about yourself, why you would like to go to their college and tell you a bit more about the college and the course you want to join.
From there, they may make you an offer to join the course depending on the grades you get in your GCSE’s.
Remember: Don’t panic about your college application, you will be given lots of help and guidance in your PSHE/pastoral sessions in school and your Careers Advisor is available whenever you need them.
Try to make sure the college you go to is easy to travel to, check out the nearby bus routes or find out if it puts on a coach service. You may need to get a bus pass so make sure you get this before you start college in September.
Disability support in higher education
Higher education colleges must make provision for students with disabilities. Support can include:
- Accommodation adapted for the needs of students with disabilities
- Professional care staff
- Help from volunteers.
Each college should publish a 'disability statement' setting out how it provides support. You can ask to see a copy of this statement and explore their website for further details on what they offer.
You can find lots of information about local colleges, sixth forms and training providers and what they offer for young people with disabilities here:
Support for care leavers
If you’re a young care leaver you can find out more about the support available for you to help you with starting sixth form college, university, training or finding a job.