All students must now stay in education until they are 18, continuing with one of the following options:-



Colleges are now offering 3 A-levels, which students will study over two years.  The focus is achieving 3 excellent grades with enrichment/work experience provision to support their steps as no university now demands 4 A-levels. 
Apply from October of Year 11 onwards, but definitely before December. Most colleges will accept students for A-Levels who are achieving 5 grade 5s or above.


Extended Diplomas/BTECs

This programme will appeal to those students who want a work- related focus as they are also much more coursework-based.  This qualification is equivalent to two or three A levels and is studied over two years. In some cases you will be able to combine BTEC courses with A level courses however most students find that it is best to concentrate on one type of qualification.  Level 3 qualifications provide an excellent preparation for university, employment or higher level apprenticeships.  Each college and sixth form has its own entry requirements for each course and these will be set out in the prospectus.  However, here is a general guide for the requirements for each level.

Apply from October of Year 11 onwards, but definitely before December.



Example of qualifications

Example of entry requirements


Introductory course

Basic skills course

No formal qualifications.

Entry by interview.

Level 1-


BTEC Introductory Diploma

City & Guilds

NVQ Level 1

No formal qualifications or few GCSEs grade 1-3.

Entry by interview.

Level 2-


BTEC First Diploma

NVQ Level 2


Intermediate Apprenticeship

GCSEs grade 3 or above and perhaps 2 grade 4s or above.

Level 3-


A levels

BTEC Extended Diploma

NVQ Level 3

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above. A-levels grade 6 or above.



What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships combine training in the workplace as a paid employee with part time study towards nationally recognised, relevant qualifications.  The minimum wage for an apprentice is £4.81 per hour, although many employers pay their apprentice more than this. Apprenticeships are available at level 2, level 3 and degree apprenticeships.  

The North West region had more apprenticeships start than any other region in England in 2014/2015 and 79,310 people began their careers as an apprentice.  Apprenticeships can mostly be found in the following areas:-

  • Business
  • Administration
  • Health and Social Care
  • Retail
  • Engineering
  • Hospitality
  • Hairdressing
  • Team Leading
  • Customer Services
  • Professional Cookery
  • Plastering
  • Painting
  • Construction
  • Bricklaying

As an apprentice, you will have a paid job with paid holidays, getting practical hands-on training in your chosen are.  Apprenticeships are not always easy to find but LSA Technology and Performing Arts College are working hard alongside different providers to bring students apprenticeship options.

Applying for an apprenticeship

If a student would like an apprenticeship in one of the above sectors they must provide an up to date CV to the careers office where it can be sent to the relevant companies.  If a student already has an apprenticeship lined up, they must provide the careers office with a letter of acceptance to the company they are going to work for.