Pathways and Provision Information
As guided by the Government under a statutory duty, young people are required to stay in some form of education or training until the academic year in which they turn 18 years old.
This means that upon leaving Secondary School all young people should have identified and secured a pathway that includes accredited learning (as appropriate).
The information below will detail all of the current pathways and provision offers open to young people to further their education upon leaving Secondary school.
This information has been developed as part of Rochdale Borough Council’s continued support to teachers, governors, parents and carers to inform and raise awareness of the Pathways available Post 16 and where young people can choose to study from aged 14 (Key Stage 4).
Post 16 Pathways/Programmes
Study programmes include substantial academic or applied and technical qualifications; non-qualification activity including work experience; and the study of English and maths where the young person does not hold a GCSE graded A*-C, or new grading Level 9 – 4, in that subject by age 16.
The study programme should:
- provide progression to a level higher than that of a young person’s prior attainment;
- include qualification(s) that stretch the young person and that are clearly linked to suitable progression opportunities in training, employment or higher levels of education;
- require young people who do not already have GCSEs (A – C or grades 9 – 4) in maths and English to work towards them (or other approved stepping stone qualifications);
- include work experience – this may relate to the young person’s study programme, develop employability skills and/or create potential employment options;
- include other activities unrelated to qualifications which develop the character, skills, attitudes and confidence that support progression;
- young people who are not yet ready to study for a substantial qualification can undertake a programme focused on work experience and the development of employability skills. Regardless of whether a young person is doing academic or vocational studies or a mix of both, they are expected to follow a study programme tailored to their prior attainment by age 16 and future education and career aspirations.
Further Education (FE) Colleges
FE colleges generally offer vocational (work-related) and specialist qualifications. They tend to provide courses for 16-18 year olds as well as adult learners and often have close links with the community. Each college is different, so you will need to check with your chosen college what courses are available.
As a guide, some of the type of subjects on offer include:
- Catering and Hospitality; Travel and Tourism; Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy;
- Childcare and Social Care;
- Computing and Information Technology;
- Vehicle Mechanics; Construction; Painting and Decorating.
FE Colleges often offer courses such as English as an additional language (EAL) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to help develop their English Language skills.
Popular courses include Vocational Qualifications, BTECs (Business and Technology Education Council), HNCs (Higher National Certificate), HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) and Foundation Degrees.
FE Colleges offer courses at various levels, for example, if a young person didn’t do well at school, then Entry Level Courses offer an opportunity to gain qualifications and enable them to go on to study further college courses at a higher level. Courses are also usually offered at Levels 1, 2 and 3 and the level will depend on what the young person has already achieved.
Traineeships is a programme for up to a maximum of 6 months to support young people to develop the skills they need to secure and succeed in employment, including Apprenticeships.
Traineeships will give young people the opportunity to develop the skills and workplace experience that employers require.
They offer young people the opportunity to undertake a work placement and work skills training, alongside support to improve their English and maths.
Depending on the young person’s needs, a range of other support and flexible training may be offered to help them develop their skills and progress quickly onto an Apprenticeship or secure other employment.
An Apprenticeship is a job with training designed specifically for the job role. This leads to nationally recognised qualifications, so young people can earn while they learn. Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 or over, living in England, and not in full-time education.
Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete and cover a huge amount of job roles in a range of industries and roles.
They are currently available at four levels:
- Intermediate: equivalent to five GCSE’s;
- Advanced: equivalent to two A levels;
- Higher: typically incorporate vocational qualifications at levels 4 and 5
or a foundation degree;
- Degree Apprenticeships incorporate a Masters or Bachelor’s degree through a University.
Apprenticeships allow young people to start and progress their careers, achieve qualifications, learn job-specific skills, get quality training, earn a salary and avoid student debt. For the employer, Apprenticeships deliver real business benefits, including reducing recruitment and training costs, increasing productivity, development of a skilled, motivated and qualified workforce, improved customer service results and providing financial return on investment.
A Levels are subject based qualifications that can lead to further study, training, work or University. A Level’s are linear which means exams are taken at the end of the course. An AS Level will not count towards the A Level grade and resitting will involve redoing all the exams.
Key features of A Levels:
- They are linear, i.e. the whole content will be examined at the end of the course;
- Exams will make greater use of ‘synoptic’ questions, and there will be more variety of question types (e.g. multiple choice);
- Coursework will be reduced;
- A Levels will be graded with the same A* to E pass marks as currently used.
Where young people can study:
Rochdale Secondary Schools
Our Schools across Rochdale Borough:
Brownhill Learning Community, Cardinal Langley RC High School & Sixth Form, Falinge Park High School, Hollingworth Academy, Holy Family RC & CE College, Kingsway Park High School, Matthew Moss High School, Middleton Technology School, Oulder Hill Community School, Redwood Secondary School, Siddal Moor Sports College, St. Anne’s Academy, St Cuthbert’s RC High School and Wardle Academy.
Sixth Form Colleges
Sixth-form colleges are not part of the schools sector but are institutions for young people and adults wishing to undertake A Levels or Vocational programmes. Rochdale Sixth Form College is our local provider, offering A Levels and is ‘Outstanding’ in every area following their OFSTED Inspections. For the past 6 years, it has been Number 1 in the Country for A Level progress as published in the Department for Education’s League Tables.
Further Education (FE) Colleges
Further education (FE) is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post compulsory education (16+).
Hopwood Hall College is our local FE College, providing a wide range of vocational courses with excellent facilities on both Rochdale and Middleton campuses. The College is rated ‘Good’by Ofsted.
University Technical Colleges (UTC)
University technical colleges (UTCs) are academies for 14 to 19 year olds. They provide education that meets the needs of employers. They offer technical courses and work-related learning, combined with academic studies.
- are sponsored by a local university and employers;
- specialise in 2 curriculum areas (e.g. engineering and science);
- teach core GCSEs alongside technical qualifications;
- focus on sectors that require highly-specialised equipment, e.g. Engineering, manufacturing and construction;
- develop young people’s business, ICT and design skills preparing young people for a range of careers and continuing education at 19;
- can have 500 to 800 students.