Before you are eligible to leave school around your 16th birthday you will be supported to make choices on what you want to do and to plan to make this happen, even if you decide to stay on at school for a few more years. Some of the choices you can consider include:
- Staying on at school
- Doing a college course
- Going to university
- Training as a Modern Apprentice
- A training course around employment or other skills
- Signing up to an Activity Agreement
- Or other informal learning including personal or social development opportunities
You may decide that staying in learning is not for you and you may prefer to:
- start up your own business
- get a job
- take a gap year
- take up a volunteering opportunity
The choice is yours. Your school, the Local Authority and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) along with other advisers are here to support you with that choice. It is often useful to think about planning for this when you are in S3 or S4, so that you can make subject choices that will support your plans.
Many more young people are now staying in school until 6th year, some even returning for a further year to improve their grades to gain entry to university. Your Guidance teacher and/or Careers Adviser will discuss options with you and help you to decide what is the best route for you. Your intentions will be recorded by SDS who share this information with the Education Service.
You can change your mind later. You may not know what you want to do, or you may not get the exam results required for your first choice. Don’t worry; you’re not alone in this.
If you don’t have an offer when you reach 16 you will be helped by your Guidance Teacher and SDS so that the best learning provision and support can be arranged with you to help you get a job or access further learning.
Always remember there is someone to help and support you.
The Education Department will provide access to support until you are 18, or 19 if you have an additional support need. SDS staff will work with you and your school during this time. You can also speak to other professionals such as a Social Worker or Youth Worker.
When you are over 18/19 SDS will continue to support you for as long as you need it.
We support all young people through 16+ Learning Choices, sometimes referred to as Opportunities for All. Even if you have not been attending school, have recently returned to the area or are new to the area.