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The Ashcombe School


Post-16 Options

There are many different routes available to students after completing GCSE exams at the end of secondary school.

Below is a summary of the available qualifications and options which are offered her at The Ashcombe Sixth Form and at other local colleges and training providers. Please get in touch and ask for more information.  There are multiple events and opportunities for students to engage and learn about these at all stages in their secondary school journey. 




A-Levels are a traditionally academic route to qualifications, requiring independent study, reading, essay writing and revision. A-Levels keep options open and are the most usual route into university or higher (degree level) Apprenticeships. It is important to make sure that the choice of A-Levels is appropriate. Researching which A-Levels are required for some degree and university courses is important to make sure of progressing.




Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job while also studying part-time. They are usually paid, so offer the opportunity to learn while earning a wage.  Apprentices work alongside experienced colleagues and gain skills unique to the workplace, as well as gaining an increasingly well-respected qualification. They can be completed over one to four years.



 A BTec is a vocational qualification, which means it has a Career focus and centred around employment. Students study to gain skills and knowledge in their subject area, putting those skills into practice in real-life situations.



T-Levels are equivalent to 3 A-Levels, delivered over two years, which deliver the content that meets the needs of the industry and prepares students for work, further training or study. They offer students a mixture of classroom learning and 'on the job' experience via an industry placement while completing the course.



A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is a work=based way of learning carried out at a college, school or workplace. There are three levels and each NVQ Level involves a range of 'on the job' tasks and activities designed to test ability to do a job effectively and ultimately qualify for the role.




Traineeships are skills development programmes that include work placements.  They can last from 6 weeks up to a year but are generally 6 months, leading to employment at the end.


Qualifications Explained – Innervate Careers