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Education Types

1. What is Leaving Care? 2. Housing 3. Money
4. Employment 5. Useful Words 6. Education
7. Life Skills 8. Emotional Well Being

After the end of year 11, you are unable to leave school and 'just get a job'.  You have various choices including Sixth Form, College, Traineeships or Apprenticeships.


Sixth Form

Most schools in Lincolnshire provide a sixth form or a joint sixth form.  You can continue your studies in school working towards your A Levels or other qualifications.  Sixth form means one or two more years in a school setting.

Year 12 - this is also known as lower sixth and you will study for your AS Levels, normally in 3 or 4 subjects.

Year 13 - this is also known as upper sixth and you will study for your A Levels, normally in 3 subjects.

Some sixth forms are now offering BTEC or NVQs, which are normally more coursework based and some are more practical.  Your final grade will be equivalent to an AS or A Level, depending on the BTEC/NVQ level.

To study at sixth form, you usually need to be between 16 and 19 years of age.



Colleges are similar to sixth form, except they have no relation to a school.  They are much bigger, and do not follow the same structure as a school.  You could have classes that last until 5pm and you may not be at college Monday-Friday.

For example, your days could be Monday 9am-2pm, Wednesday 10am-3pm and Thursday 11am-5pm.  This would be classed as full time.

You have more freedom to self-study, no uniform and are more independent.  However, if you prefer structure and the layout of a school day, college may not be the best option.  Colleges are a lot bigger than sixth forms so they may offer more practical, career-focused courses with some courses including work placements and project work.

Most colleges offer more courses then sixth forms and a variety of qualifications.  These can be:

  • AS and A Levels
  • T Levels
  • Foundation Qualifications (including ESOL)
  • Apprenticeships
  • NVQ's
  • BTEC
  • Access to HE
  • Higher Education
  • Adult Learning

Most colleges offer education for adults and night classes.  Some have 14-16 year olds attending on programme linked to their schools.


Study Programmes

There are a number of learning providers who offer Study programmes for young people aged 16-19 (or up to 25 if they have an EHCP).  They are designed to help young adults reach their full potential and give them the opportunity to gain a vocational qualification.  They also include work experience, employability skills, increased confidence and social skill's and functional skills (maths, ICT and English. 


Traineeships are a great way to gain experience if you have not yet got the skills or experience employers look for.   You can do a traineeship before starting an apprenticeship, and they usually last from 6 weeks to 6 months, providing work experience, improving your English and Maths skills, and helping you gain independence and professionalism skills.

You are not normally paid but some companies may pay for travel and meals.  To do a traineeship, you need to be between the ages of 16-23.



Apprenticeships allow you to learn on the job and are a great way to get your foot on the career ladder.  You earn a wage and study at the same time and are able to gain independence quicker.  If you have done an apprenticeship, a lot of companies offer jobs at the end as you will have 'hands on experience' and a qualification.  The qualification levels are:

  • Intermediate (Level 2)
  • Advanced (Level 3)
  • Higher (Level 4/5/6/7)

Apprenticeships are offered in a variety of subjects:

  • Accountancy
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Civil Engineering
  • Child Care
  • Customer Service
  • Dental nursing
  • Electrical Installation
  • Hairdressing
  • Health and Social Care
  • IT
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing
  • Retail
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
  • Welding and Fabrication

And many more

Apprenticeships involve working and studying, and at least 20% of your time will be 'off the job training'.  If your course is run through the college, you may be able to apply for NUS student card but you are still legally classed as an employee rather than a student.

You may already be in a job and want to further your knowledge or you may have been asked by work to start an apprenticeship.  As long as you are 16 years of age and over, you can start an apprenticeship.

The current minimum wage for an apprentice is £3.90 for those under the age of 19 or over 19 but in first year of apprenticeship.  You're also entitled to 20 days paid holiday a year, plus bank holidays.


We support care leavers in their educational pathway and provide advice and guidance with higher education e.g. UCAS application, personal statement, student finance, campus visits and assist our care leavers in the transition to University. 

Lincolnshire County Council Children Services expects all Care Leavers undertaking an advanced course of study to apply for all relevant bursaries / loans and scholarships available. It is essential that the young person identifies themselves as a Care Leaver to the University to ensure that they access the full range of funds that are available to them. An increasing number of Higher Education institutions are providing increased support to Care Leavers. In addition most young people leaving care will be able to apply for a non repayable Maintenance Grant. The Leaving Care Service will complete a needs assessment taking into account the level of support available to a young person to determine the level of support to be offered. For all courses above, this will equate to the full cost of tuition fees.


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