Some students just get fed up of sixth form. This is understandable, as sixth from just isn’t for everyone. It could be that some individuals have just had enough of the school environment and the teachers. Sometimes, two years is just too much time to endure subjects that a student may hate so much! If you do want to drop out of sixth form or already have, there is no need to panic. There are plenty of other paths you could consider which will also lead to rewarding careers.
If you want to discover five examples of these paths and discover which one would suit you the most, carry on reading this article!
1. Apply for an apprenticeship
If you have dropped out of sixth form because you are fed up with the content heavy learning and the numerous exams that you have to take, why not consider an apprenticeship? Most of your learning time will actually be spent in a workplace environment, so they are great for individuals who learn best in a practical manner.
Apprenticeships come under different levels, depending on what qualification they are equivalent to. You can check out what the different apprenticeship levels are if you check out this article from Think Student.
If you drop out of sixth form, you won’t have achieved any A-Levels. As a result, you would most likely apply for a Level 3 apprenticeship.
This level is for students who are 16 or older and they are often equivalent to two A-Level passes. You can discover more about the Level 3 apprenticeship if you check out this page from UCAS.
Apprenticeships are gaining more popularity due to how valuable they are seen as by employers. This is due to the transferable skills you will earn, including soft skills such as being able to communicate effectively and having good decision-making skills.
Another perk of completing an apprenticeship is that you will get paid! You could even be in line for a full job at the company at the end of your apprenticeship too if they are impressed with your work. If you want to discover whether you should do an apprenticeship or not, check out this article from Think Student.
2. Consider going to college
If you still want to complete a set of A-Levels or similar qualifications, going to a college could be a great alternative. College does have some similarities to sixth form, however there are also a wide range of differences.
Sixth form colleges are often seen as more relaxed compared to sixth forms. This is because sixth forms are still connected to secondary schools. This means that children from Year 7 to Year 13 are all in the same building, with the same teachers, and often all following similar rules.
In comparison, colleges only teach students aged 16 or over! Students can be any age above 16, so even older adults could be in the same classroom as you. As a result, the atmosphere tends to be more relaxed, with fewer of the same rules imposed upon younger students.
Colleges often have a wider variety of courses, including many different types of BTECs and T-Levels. Consequently, if you want to explore a wider range of courses and possibly feel too restricted by sixth form, college could be the way to go!
College is also a great alternative to sixth form if you are fed up of just being in the same environment for nearly all of your life! Sixth form is extremely similar to school. In comparison, college is more similar to a university, as it is less sheltered.
If you go to college, you would be meeting people from a wide range of backgrounds and be having new experiences out of your comfort zone. If you want to discover more differences between sixth form college and sixth form, check out this article from the University of Newcastle blog.
Alternatively, if you want to discover more about what you would do in a college, check out this article from Think Student.
3. Carry out full time employment or volunteering
According to this page from the Child Law Advice website, you could participate in full-time volunteering or have a full-time job when you are above 16 years old. Therefore, if you have dropped out of sixth form and want to do something for the greater good by volunteering or want to start earning, these are great options!
If you want to discover why volunteering could actually be very good for you, check out this article from Think Student. However, the conditions are that you will also have to do part-time study or training alongside your job. The job that you do must last for eight weeks as a minimum and you will be required to work twenty or more hours per week!
However, annually, you will also have to have done 280 hours of education and training alongside your job or volunteering. This means that you will probably still have to attend a college. However, this averages at around only seven hours a week if you go there for 40 weeks of the year.
This is not a lot of time in the classroom at all!
4. Apply for a traineeship
If you want to get straight into the world of work after dropping out of sixth form, completing a traineeship could be a fantastic option. Traineeships are simply courses that individuals can take that help them to get ready to apply for a job or an apprenticeship.
You can discover more about what traineeships actually are and what they entail if you check out this article from Think Student. Even though they may seem similar, traineeships are different to apprenticeships, mainly due to the differences in how long they last.
Traineeships often only last six months. As a result, this would probably only be a good option if you dropped out of sixth form in your second year, as you have to be in education until you are 18. Then, you could start a full-time job! Alternatively, you could complete an apprenticeship after you finish your traineeship if you start one when you are 16.
Traineeships are for individuals who want to start an apprenticeship or job but feel as if they don’t have the correct skills to do this. Therefore, this option would be great for you if you have little work experience but are ready to learn about specific job roles in order to be employed.
According to this article from the government website, traineeships are not for individuals who already have enough skills and work experience to start a job or an apprenticeship. However, they are really useful to those who need a bit of support in order to get ready for employment.
5. Complete online courses
If you still want to complete your A-Levels but just don’t want to be in sixth form anymore, completing an online course could be a great option for you to take. These courses allow students to study the correct A-Level content in detail online from their homes!
They will often take two years to complete, similar to the usual duration in sixth form. Some courses will actually allow you to complete an A-Level in one year. However, this could be very difficult, as A-Levels are meant to be spread out between two years due to the amount of content!
Check out this article from Think Student to see if it’s possible. Don’t be thinking that online A-Level courses won’t be as thorough as learning in the classroom though!
You will have access to a wide range of resources – depending on what company you choose – and more often than not, a personal tutor! If you want to discover more about what online courses could offer you during your A-Levels, check out this page from the Oxford Learning College website.
You would receive an A-Level certificate which would display your grades at the end, just the same as if you attended a sixth form or college. The only difference is that you would have to organise how you would sit the exams yourself.
This means that you would need to research your closest examination centre. You will then also have to pay a fee to take your exams. Check out this page from the Oxford Learning College website for more information on this.
Finding good online courses can sometimes be difficult. If you want to discover the best ones, check out this article from Think Student, where a number of A-Level online courses have been ranked.
How do you drop out of sixth form?
Dropping out of sixth form is a relatively easy process. However, you may find that certain subject teachers and your tutor may try to stop you. After all, they are looking out for you.
However, if dropping out of sixth form is your final decision, there is nothing they can do and it is over to you! You will have to have a conversation about dropping out with them first so that they can also help you make your next steps.
You will need to find an alternative route to be educated until you are 18, as previously discussed in this article. You may then have to fill out paperwork to finalise your leaving. To discover more information about how to drop out of sixth form or college, check out this article from Think Student.
Should you drop out of sixth form?
This question depends entirely on you. The best thing to do when considering this question is to write a pros and cons list. Consider what benefits sixth form offers you as a student and weigh up the costs as you do so.
If you are fed up being in the same school environment and just feel restricted, perhaps it’s time to consider an alternative. If A-Levels are the problem, you may want to explore different qualifications that colleges can offer, such as BTECs and T-Levels.
Alternatively, if you want to learn in a more practical based manner, apprenticeships and traineeships are probably more down your alley. However, before making any decisions, it is best to fully research your options.
Speak to your teachers about what your next steps should be, after all, you will have to stay in education until you are 18 – no matter if you decide to drop out or not! Check out this article from Think Student to discover what happens if you don’t.
Just remember that it is your decision and nobody else’s. Go with your gut feeling and do what feels right.