Station Road, Halmer End, Newcastle, Staffordshire, ST7 8AP
Part of Windsor Academy Trust

Information for Parents

What is the Careers Programme for?

The careers programme is aimed at making sure that your child has the knowledge and skills to make an informed decision about what they want to do when they leave school. They will need to learn about:

  • The opportunities available to them for education or training after the age of 16, including apprenticeships, traineeships, A levels, T Levels and BTEC courses
  • The Labour Market – in other words, which jobs are in demand, what can applicants expect to be paid and will these jobs exist in the future?
  • How to identify their own strengths and preferences and think about which career path would best suit them.

What Next After Leaving School?

Young people must now stay in education or training until they are 18. This could be attending college or taking on an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Year 11 students need to think carefully about what they want to do with the next stage of their education as this needs to set them up for a stable and rewarding career in adult life. It can be difficult and expensive to access further education after the age of 19 and so it is important that your child makes a carefully considered decision about their next steps.

What Does the Careers Programme Involve?

The careers programme involves a range of activities aimed at increasing your child’s knowledge of the world of work, the labour market, their own strengths and preferences and the opportunities available for education and training. The table here gives an overview of activities: 

Activity Purpose
Assemblies, workshops and talks from further education colleges and providers. Trips to colleges and smaller providers. To ensure that your child is aware of all the training and education opportunities available at 16.
Labour market information workshops Delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions, these sessions educate our students on local and national employment trends and encourage them
to think about how this is likely to change over time so that they are able to consider the future prospects of different career paths
Workshops and taster sessions on different career paths, often linked to the school curriculum To educate students on the wide range of career paths available to them and to encourage them to consider what working in these fields would be like. To demonstrate the purpose of curriculum content for use in later life.
Assemblies, talks, workshops and trips from higher education providers To ensure that students understand how higher education and higher education finance work so that they are able to make an informed decision on whether university is something they would like to consider.
Workshops and talks from employers To give students the opportunity to meet with employers and learn about what they will be looking for in the next generation of employees. This is designed to ensure that our students enter the workplace with the ability to compete with others in their cohort when preparing and applying for jobs
Workshops and talks from government funded
organisations aimed at educating young people
on apprenticeships and T-Levels
To give students a clear understanding of the range of qualifications available to them at 16 and beyond and to ensure that they know how to find and apply for vacancies.
CV writing workshops To make sure that students leave secondary school with a CV which they can use to apply for apprenticeships or part time work around study. They will also be able to update and amend this document throughout their working life.
Mock interviews This activity is designed to give students the experience of having an interview and some constructive feedback on their interview technique. It is designed to prepare them for interviews they will have for college, work or university.
Careers guidance sessions These are carried out in both years 10 and 11 but can also be requested at any time. Our careers guidance officer will work with your child to explore their strengths, interests and aspirations and to look at the most suitable next steps to help get your child into a career which they will find rewarding and fulfilling.



Students taking part in a medical taster session with Medpath                                                                                                                                                                                                      


Talk for Y10 students from the Army giving details of their apprenticeship programme 

What are my child’s options for post 16 education or training?

There are a range of options available post 16 and the one which is best for your child will depend upon the career they want to go into, how they like to learn and how confident they feel about entering the world of work.

A Levels

A levels are best for those who want to continue to study academic subjects such as Maths, Science, History, Languages, Geography or English. A levels also offer the opportunity to study new subjects such as Law, Economics or Sociology.

Generally, students will need to have gained a good set of GCSE passes to take A levels, including Maths and English.

Passing A levels will give your child UCAS points (these are needed to apply to university) but they are not the only route into university.

A levels require a good level of organisation as there is more independent study expected than at school. An enjoyment of writing is also a requirement for many subjects as your child will need to write extended essays. Exams are generally the main form of assessment for A level courses.


BTEC courses tend to be vocational – in other words they are aimed at preparing students for a particular field of work. For example, Childcare, Sports Coaching, Games Design or Fashion Design.

BTEC courses rely more on coursework than exams and so they can be a better option for those who don’t cope well with exam pressure.

At level 3, BTECs are the equivalent to A levels and will also give your child UCAS points. If your child does intend to go to university, it is worth checking that the university they hope to go to will accept BTEC courses for entry. Many do but this is not the case on every course.

This option is best for those who don’t feel they are ready to enter the workplace, or don’t have a specific idea of the job role they want, but are clear about the sector they would like to work in.

T Level

T Levels combine classroom study with a long-term work placement at a ratio of 80% – 20%. T level students gain valuable work experience which will help them to gain skills for the working world, to decide which area they might like to specialise in and to boost their CV when they begin applying for jobs.

At level 3, T Levels are the equivalent to A levels and will give your child UCAS points. Again, it is worth checking with the university your child aims to go to whether they will accept T Levels for entry as some won’t.

This option is best for those who feel ready to spend some time in the workplace, know the field they want to work in and also wish to experience a full college life.


Apprenticeships usually involve spending four days per week in the workplace and one day per week at college studying. As an apprentice, your child will be paid for their work. This option leaves the least free time and requires a young person to be ready for the demands of the workplace. He or she will need to be able to get to work on time, only take a day off if they are really not well and approach their work in a sensible, organised manner.

It is also worth remembering that whilst many local providers offer apprenticeships, this is only possible if a suitable position can be found in a local company. Apprenticeships are a fantastic option for those who are ready to enter the workplace and know what they want to do. It can be a great way to begin a career with established employers such as Bentley, BAE Systems and the British Army.

Traineeships and pre-apprenticeships

Traineeships and pre-apprenticeships allow young people to try out a job role, skill or trade and gain some experience of this before deciding whether it’s what they want to do. If it is, they’ll generally move on to an apprenticeship.

This option can be brilliant for those who don’t know whether they would enjoy the job they’re considering or perhaps don’t quite have the confidence or life skills yet for an apprenticeship.


Where Can My Child Study Locally After Leaving School?

Newcastle College

Newcastle College is a large further education college situated in Knutton. This can be easily reached from Newcastle bus station. Offering a range of A levels, BTECs, vocational courses and apprenticeships.

City of Stoke-on-Trent 6th Form

City of Stoke-on-Trent 6th Form is situated near to Stoke-on-Trent train station. It is accessible via bus, train or nearby cycling routes. Offers BTEC and A level courses in a wide variety of subjects.

Chesire College South & West

 This college is situated in Crewe but provides free transport from Audley. A range of A levels and vocational courses are on offer.

Reaseheath College

This college specialises in agricultural, construction and animal management courses but also provides a range of other vocational and academic courses. Free transport is available from some areas.

E.Quality Training

This provider has local sites in Newcastle and Hanley. Courses on offer include Childcare, Health and Social Care, Hairdressing, Barbering, Business Administration and Vocational Studies. Class sizes are a maximum of 12.

Crewe Engineering and Design UTC

Crewe Engineering and Design UTC offers A levels, BTEC Engineering courses and the Technical Baccalaureate which includes Maths and Engineering skills.

What Can Parents and Carers Do to Support their Child?

My child wants to … I can help by …
Study A Levels
  • Help your child to consider their subject choices.
  • Speak to your child about whether they want to go to university – if they do, we will need to check the entry requirements for the courses they may wish to study as this may affect their A level choices.
  • Visit college and sixth form open events – different providers will offer different ranges of subjects and will have differing ways of working – by visiting, you and your child can get a sense of the atmosphere and consider which environment would benefit your child the most.
Take an apprenticeship
  • Taking an apprenticeship means entering the workplace for at least 30 hours per week – your child will be expected to arrive at work on time, focus diligently on the work and get on with colleagues of different ages and viewpoints. Make sure you feel your child is ready for this.
  • Help your child to search for an apprenticeship.
  • Encourage your child to apply for a backup option – if their employer shuts down before their apprenticeship starts, or there are no local employers taking on apprentices in that field, your child will need something to fall back on.
  • Help your child to proofread CVs and application forms.
  • Help your child to work out how they will travel to their apprenticeship and make a dummy run with them if necessary.
Join the armed forces
  • Speak to your child the role he or she would like within the armed forces – what do they intend to do after leaving service?
  • Make sure that your child understands that joining the armed forces potentially means going to war. They could be killed, seriously injured or suffer severe mental health problems as a result.
  • Speak to your child about whether he or she is ready to join up at 16 or whether it would be best to wait until they are a little older.
  • Your child will need to pass a fitness test to get into the armed forces. Make sure that he or she is training regularly as the test approaches and knows their strength and running levels.
  • Discuss with your child what they might like to do after they leave the army. Some army roles will provide your child with more trades or skills for the civilian world than others.
Study a BTEC course
  • Check the entry requirements for the course your child wants to take against their predicted grades – will he or she need a backup option?
  • Explore with your child the job roles he or she could move into following completion of the BTEC course.
  • Check whether your child will need a uniform or equipment for the course – there may be financial support available for this.
  • Visit local college open events so that your child can think about which provider would suit them best.
  • Discuss similar options with your child, such as a T Level.
Study a T Level course
  • Explore with your child the job roles he or she could move into following the completion of the T Level course.
  • Make sure that your child has considered other options such as an apprenticeship or BTEC and weighed up the pros and cons of each option.
  • Visit local college open events so that your child can think about which provider would suit them best.
  • Once your child begins their course, they will have a work placement which makes up 20% of the course.
  • Support your child to plan how they will get to their work placement.
Take a traineeship
  • Discuss with your child whether this is the best option for them – it will allow them to try out a job role and gain some experience but they would also be able to do this for some roles with a T level.
  • Support your child to plan how they will travel to their work placement. Perhaps make a dummy run with them.
  • Support your child to find out as much as possible about the job role they are thinking of taking a traineeship in before they apply.
Take a sports scholarship
  • Make sure that your child has thought about what they will do when their sporting career ends (usually in mid to late 30s)

Labour Market Information – A Guide for Parents

This tool will help you and your child to compare labour market information for job roles which he or she may be interested in and can help in the process of choosing between a range of ideas by showing pay, working hours and projected expansion/contraction of the number of people working in this field in the future.

Careers Leaders

Mr R Porter

Careers Advisor

Miss R Carter



National Careers Service

The National Careers Service website allows you to search via the ‘Explore Jobs’ button. Job pages give information on pay, working hours, prospects, training and skills for thousands of jobs. This can be a very useful tool for finding out what your child can expect from a particular job role. The information is far more detailed than that given by the Careerometer.

Finding An Apprenticeship

Whilst your child will be able to apply to local colleges and other providers for an apprenticeship, they will often need to find an employer for themselves. The vast majority of apprenticeships will be advertised on the government website:

It is worth noting that vacancies aimed at school leavers may not be advertised until the spring or summer term.

There is no guarantee that there will be a local employer who is taking on apprentices in the field your child wishes to train in and so it is always advisable to have a back up such as a college place.

Careers Roadmap

Please CLICK HERE to view the curriculum road map for Careers

Careers Websites










Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths

Social Care

Sport, Fitness, Playwork and Outdoors

Websites about study options after Year 11



Careers Websites