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Our Lady’s R.C. High School

To Know, Love and Serve God


Post-16 Choices, Where Next?

All young people by law MUST be in education or employment WITH TRAINING until they are 18.



Our Lady’s is fortunate in that its students can access a variety on 6th Form Colleges, FE Colleges and local training providers.


6th Form Colleges – 16 to 19.

The majority of students’ progress onto Loreto and Xaverian 6th Form Colleges, based in Hulme and Rusholme respectively. As Catholic Colleges based in Manchester they provide continuity in Catholic education.

In addition some of our students progress to Holy Cross College, a Catholic college based in Bury, or Cardinal Langley, based in Middleton.

Oldham 6th Form is located centrally in Oldham.


6th Form Colleges’ main focus are L3 courses.

For the most part these consist of A levels. However some colleges offer BTECs Extended Diplomas at L3 (worth 3 A levels).

In certain instances, students may be able to study a mixture of the two: a BTEC Diploma worth 2 A levels with 1 A level, or a Subsidiary Unit of a BTEC course worth 1 A Level plus 2 A levels. A limited number of L2 BTECS are offered, to be completed in one year before moving onto the L3 qualification.


If Maths and English are not achieved at grade 4 or better, these must be studied.


FE Colleges -16 to “no upper limit in age”

Our key colleges, where students traditionally go are: TMC (The Manchester College), Salford College (multiple sites), Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, Oldham College, and Connell Co-Op College.


Whilst some of these do deliver a suite of A levels, e.g. Salford College at their Pendleton site, most specialise in vocational pathways. These can be accessed at various levels – L1, L2 or L3. Level of entry will be determined on the grades achieved at GCSE.


Some colleges will start delivering T levels as of 2021 in limited sector areas. FE Colleges will offer Apprenticeship Training. THIS IS NOT AN APPRENTICESHIP.


If Maths and English are not achieved at grade 4 or better, these must be studied.


Training Providers – these are generally independent training companies who provide training for Apprentices or stand along vocational qualifications. They may help you find an employer in cases.

NB. Be careful not to be “taken on” where there is not a suitable employer match for you. You will be left waiting, sometimes months, and be classified as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).



A Levels – traditional in nature, they are delivered in the classroom and have a linear delivery. 2 years of study with exams at the end of the course.

All colleges ask for a very minimum of x5 grade 4-9s at GCSE, including at least a 4 in Maths and English. In addition, x2 of the grades need to be a 6 or better.

If students wish to pick up a Science, Maths, or Computer Science, a very minimum of a 6 is required in Maths and/or Sciences. In addition some subjects may have special requests.


Some of the “older” universities, particularly like A Levels achieved in Maths, Sciences, MFL, History, Geography or English subjects. They are sometimes referred to as “facilitating” subjects. Students need to check out their planned next step as they choose their A levels. See


Vocational L2 and L3 subjects – often more practical or applied in nature, these subjects generally combine coursework/assignments and exams.


Like A levels, L3 course have rigorous entry requirements. Dependant on the subject, they may accept minimum x5 4-9 grades with Maths and English, and may require other “strong subjects at a 6” dependant on the subject being studied. L3 courses if achieved at top levels facilitate entry to most universities, (e.g. DDM, MMD) see


For L2 entry most colleges accept x5 or more grade 3-9s with either Maths or English (but preferably both). For L1 entry most colleges accept students with a spread of GCSEs at grades 1-2


T Levels – these are new for 2021 students. At L3, they are worth 3 A levels and it is promised that should students choose to apply to University, they will be accepted as a requirement. Initially to be delivered in IT, Construction and Child Care subjects.

Entry requirements will be the same as L3 vocational subjects. They work on a ratio of 80% class based learning and 20% work based learning/training (An inverted Apprenticeship!) See


An Apprenticeship is a job with training. The student must secure an Apprenticeship via being “hired” by a company. A college or training Provider will then provide the 20% required formal training either as day release in the college, or by visiting the company perhaps 1 day/month and the remaining 3 days training being provided on line.


An Apprenticeship can be completed at L2, L3, right up to degree level. Most companies like to take Apprentices at 18 or at least with some college based learning in their sector.

**Due to COVID 19 Apprenticeship vacancies are about 40% of the expected number for the time of year (October ’20). Opportunities for 16 year olds are scarce. See



Please refer to information published on Yr. 11 Google Classroom. This contains dates and links for all Open Day events, information about the colleges and information on how to apply.


ALL applications need to be made by 7th December (or closing date – which ever earliest) Mrs Cooke or Mrs. Lowrey need to be informed of any application made (What and Where)



Come and find Mrs. Cooke or Mrs. Lowrey in school, (technology base area) or email them at: