Parents and carers

How you can support your teenager

There is such a wide choice of post 16 options that it is easy to become confused by all that is on offer.

By encouraging your child to research the courses carefully and the qualifications that are on offer locally as well as talking to the professionals who will be able to explain what is available, they will be in a better position to make an informed decision.

child and parents choices FLAT

Encourage them to:

  • Read the information they will have received from school
  • Use the local online prospectus: This gives lists of courses and schools/colleges that offer post 16 education and training
  • Talk to people who can help them such as their teachers, advisers and the people who run courses such as college lecturers and subject teachers in schools
  • Attend college and school open days/events and check application deadlines. Be aware that popular courses fill up quite quickly
  • Investigate apprenticeships which can provide an alternative career route
  • Don’t forget that apprenticeships can lead to degree level study through higher and degree apprenticeships

Remind them that better qualifications can improve job prospects and that there are fewer jobs available that require little or no qualifications.

  • That more young people are continuing with their education/qualifications either through courses or through training in a job
  • By helping them to see what they choose now, will have an effect on their immediate and long-term future. And the ‘best’ choices are those that keep their options open for longer
  • If they have a career in mind, they may need to take specific subjects, grades and qualifications as well as relevant work experience too

They can find out about specific career requirements by talking to their adviser or by looking online at

Encourage them to have a back-up plan, (just in case) it will help them and you feel that there are other options and give a feeling of more control over their lives.

New GCSE grades

Don’t forget that students taking GCSES in English language, English literature and maths will be graded on a new grading system from 2017.

For more information

Careers information and advice aimed at parents