Choices and Research


In Key Stage 4, students have some important decisions to make in terms of what will occur after Year 11. It is important to make the right decisions as the next three years of your education could shape your whole career path and working life.

Due to the raising of the participation age all students remain in education / training until their 18th birthday.

Some things you may want to consider when looking at the options and possible future decisions:

  • What are your strengths and areas for improvement?
  • What do you enjoy?
  • What are your expected grades?
  • Are these grades realistic?
  • Do you have a career idea in mind?
  • Are you considering university in the future?

It helps to start planning and researching into some of your ideas at the end of Year 10 so you are prepared to make these decisions at the early stage of Year 11. Talk with your parents / carers, teacher, tutors and other students.

Options after Year 11 include Sixth Form, Further Education Colleges or Apprenticeship.

Always consider a back-up plan. You have the opportunity of applying to more than one Post 16 scheme of learning. For example: if applying for an apprenticeship, you should apply to college / school as a back up. If you are applying for a Level 3 course either at College or in Sixth Form, look into the Level 2 courses if you are at risk of not achieving the entry grades.


When considering different careers it is critical to find out further information as some careers may require specific qualifications which have not been considered.

Here are some of the important questions to consider when deciding on different career paths.

  • Do I need to go to university?
  • What subjects do I require?
  • What other entry routes are there to my chosen career?
  • Is it a growth area or is it a declining industry?

To research into different careers please find below links to a number of relevant websites:

  • National Careers Service – job profiles, entry requirements, training routes, salary and labour market information.
  • icould – offers you the opportunity of starting with a simple psychometric test to establish more about your personality and will suggest some different career areas which you can research into. You will be able to watch numerous videos on different career areas. This website also includes the required entry routes, salaries and local labour market information.
  • UCAS – some careers will specify that you will need a university degree. To research into different degree areas look at the University College Admission Services website. You will have the opportunity to establish which subjects you may require for certain degrees but also some of the grade boundaries that different universities are looking for.


The Careerometer widget provides access to a selection of headline data relating to pay, weekly hours of work and future employment prospects.

The data are organised by occupation: simply type in the title of the job you are interested in and the widget provides a series of options from which you can select the most relevant to you.

More detailed information regarding different job roles can be found on the the National Careers Service website.


Not sure of your Career Path yet? SCWA have been given a substantial discount for an online assessment that matches students likes and abilities to the 10 best matched careers paths.

My Careers Options (MCO) have worked with the National Careers service and Cambridge university to put his package together and our students who have been involved in a trial run have found it very useful indeed.

The assessment takes over an hour to complete and is designed to be completed over a number of sittings rather than all in one go. It involves both questions about interests as well as Maths, literacy and non-verbal reasoning questions. The assessment can be taken anywhere and if parents sign their children up they will be able to see the results themselves as will the school.

The MCO Assessment is usually £47, but using the school discount code MCOSCA0001 will mean you only pay £18.  For every student that completes the assessment the Academy also gets £5.