At some point in Year 11 you will have a decision to make about how you are going to continue your education after your GCSE exams. This is known as your Post-16 destination.

Whether you’re thinking about classroom study in a Sixth Form, on-the-job training with an Apprenticeship, or hands-on, practical learning at a college, Doncaster has a huge wealth of options for young people when they leave school at 16.

Where can I find advice about my Post-16 options?

The Start Doncaster website has been designed to help you to discover your future and navigate your journey through education and in to the world of work. There is a dedicated area providing information and advice for those young people approaching the age of 16  who are considering their post-16 next steps in education or training. You can even register on the site and create a profile to support you on this journey

There is also plenty of information about Post-16 options available on this webpage.

Who can I speak to for support and information?

Alongside the information available both here and on the Start Doncaster website, if you want to speak to someone about your post-16 next steps, there are a number of teams:

  • Our Participation and Transition team - The Participation & Transition Service is a free and friendly support service at Doncaster Council providing information, advice and guidance to young people aged 16 to 18 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). If a young person has a learning difficulty and/or disability then we can help them until they are 25. You can contact them on 01302 862150 or at
  • National Careers Service - The National Careers Service can help you with your career, learning and training choices. You can speak to them directly on tel:0800100900 or via their webchat on the Natioinal Careers Service website if you would prefer
  • Your school - We would also recommend speaking to your school about next steps and options available for young people considering their post-16 choices.


Your Future, Your Choice

It’s important that you choose the right path for you and your future, no matter what area of work you aspire for, and to help you and your family make this important decision, we have created a ‘Look Ahead’ Post-16 options guide in collaboration with our partners in education to make this decision a little easier.

You can download the 'Look Ahead' post-16 guide below:

Look Ahead Post-16 Options Guide Booklet Front Cover to Booklet

Look Ahead - A Guide to options for Post-16 Learning
Download (6.03MB - PDF)

There are lots of exciting changes afoot for education in Doncaster, with a big part of that focusing on our post-16 education and training offer. This also includes increasing our young people's understanding of the huge range of options available to them to reach their aspirations and goals.

Options for Post-16 Education and Training

There a lots of different pathways for post-16 education and training, each with their differences which suit different strengths and aspirations. You may feel you work better in a classroom environment, love to learning by 'doing', being taught by those already working in your chosen industry and more. There may also be routes in employment and training that you've never heard of! 

Embarking on your life journey after the age of 16 is an exciting time, but it can also be difficult for some young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Doncaster has a local offer for SEND students with services to help you access the study you require to fulfil your ambitions for the future

Visit the Local Offer at

Some of the pathways available to all young people in Doncaster include:

Apprenticeships After Year 11 there are two types of Apprenticeship that are available to you, Level 2: Intermediate (equivalent of 5 GCSEs) and Level 3: Advanced (equivalent of 2 A Levels). The Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships are only eligible to you if you have a Level 3 qualification already. Apprentices in Doncaster earn around £170 a week, on average.
Sixth Form/6th form College Most sixth forms offer A-Levels, with some offering you the option to take BTECs or A Levels combined with BTECs.
Further Education College At college you are more likely to have to choose between a vocational course (focused on developing practical skills and technical knowledge needed for a particular career), like a BTEC, or choose to focus on academic options, such as A Levels.
Training Provision Local training provision is offered mainly by independent providers and is
available at all levels – from Entry Level to Level 3. Options include study programmes and traineeships. Some providers also lead on the delivery of
apprenticeships. This booklet includes a directory of some local providers and their websites.

Reaching Your Aspirations in Doncaster and Beyond

Doncaster is one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, with a record employment rate of 72.8%. This means that for young people, the number of employment opportunities is growing, including in health and social care; engineering; creative, media and digital and transport (including rail).

Whatever your ambition, it is likely that you can fulfil it either here in Doncaster or more widely, in South Yorkshire. There is also a great tool designed to help you understand the local job opportunities in South Yorkshire, with the 'Shape your Future South Yorkshire brochure

Support for young people

Pathways to Progression is a new programme designed to support young people in Doncaster to realise their potential and help them understand the steps to take to achieve their chosen career.

We work with young people who are:

  • Aged 16-18
  • Living in Doncaster
  • Not in education, employment or training

For more information see the leaflet below or visit or call 01302 736100 or email

Pathways to Progression
Download (2.47MB - PDF)

Find Out More

If you need further information about your options for after you leave Year 11, you may want to have a conversation with the Careers Advisor in your school or alternatively you can contact Doncaster Council's Participation and Transition Service on 01302 862150 (10am-4pm). More information about this service is available on the page: Participation and transition service

Further information and support can be found online at:

Raising the Participation Age

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training. This doesn’t mean that young people must stay in school or that young people can’t get a job. Young people can still leave school at the end of Year 11, however they must continue to participate in some form of learning until at least their 18th Birthday.

The main options are:

  • Full time education (school, college or training provider)
  • An apprenticeship/traineeship
  • Part-time education or training, combined with employment,self-employment or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

Find out more information on 'Raising the Participation Age'


IMPORTANT - Coronavirus Guidance for Pupils Transitioning to Post-16 Education

Post-16 Choices in Doncaster
As you may know, young people who are leaving school at 16 are now required to stay in some form of education or learning up until (at least) their 18th birthday, and this will continue to be the case during the ongoing corona virus pandemic.

The post-16 options available to them include:

  • Full-time education (for example at a school, college or training provider)
  • An apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Part-time education or training combined with one of the following: employment or self-employment for 20 hours or more a week, or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week.

You can find out more about this on the Raising the Participation Age page.

Information on Post-16 Providers in Doncaster

Your transition into your next steps MAY be impacted by the ongoing corona virus pandemic. If you are already planning on attending a post-16 education provider such as a sixth form, college or an apprenticeship, those providers will contact you to discuss your transition into your next steps, or alternatively we would recommend you contact them directly with any queries around transition.

Doncaster Post 16 Provider - Plans 2020-2021
Download (20KB - XLSX)

Tips and Guidance to Transitioning to Post-16 Education During the Corona Virus Pandemic

The impact of corona virus MAY affect your chosen route or post-16 education provider and it’s important that you or your family makes contact with them to check whether there may be any changes. Here are some further tips we encourage you and your family to take note of:

  • If you have an apprenticeship or traineeship organised for next year, it is strongly advised that you contact your provider/employer as soon as possible to confirm that your placement is going ahead and to confirm the arrangements for your studies
  • Make sure that you have a ‘back-up plan’ in place - for example, if your apprenticeship is no longer going ahead, make sure you contact your training provider to discuss another option or think about other routes into your chosen pathway, such as college. Where some ‘work-based’ training has been postponed due to the corona virus, training providers are currently working to offer alternative, interim training where possible. It is therefore strongly advised to contact your provider to discuss this and if necessary, arrange a back-up option.
  • If you are uncertain about next steps or your Post-16 destination, talk to your Careers Advisor at school at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • If you need further information, contact your school’s Careers Advisor in the first instance or alternatively, Doncaster Council's Participation and Transition Service on 01302 862150 (10am-4pm). More information about this service is available on the Participation and Transition Service webpage.

Further Information

For more information to help you make your decision, visit one of more of the following:


Last updated: 23 August 2022 12:07:21

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