Full-time study for young people aged 16-18 at Colleges and Sixth Forms in Bath and North East Somerset

Most schools in Bath and North East Somerset have Sixth Forms, including Special Schools. Mainstream secondary schools and Academies principally offer academic courses at A Level or equivalent. There are two Further Education Colleges (City of Bath College and Norton Radstock College), which offer specialist vocational courses at Levels 1,2 and 3 (A Level equivalent) relevant to most occupational areas. They also offer pre-vocational courses and courses suitable for some young people who have attended Special Schools or who have had a Statement of Special Educational Needs or a Learning Difficulty Assessment.

Young people who are resident in Bath and North East Somerset are also able to apply to study at an institution outside the Local Authority.

Raising the Participation Age

From September 2013 the Government is expecting all young people who complete Year 11 in July 2013 in any school to participate in learning for a further full Academic Year. This could be in a full-time course in a College or Sixth Form, in an Apprenticeship, or in part-time study whilst employed. The Government will publish regulations on this later in 2012.

Information, Advice and Guidance

There are three main ways of finding out what courses are available:

  • From the college or school

    These will have a prospectus which may be available online or in hard copy. Each provider of post-16 full-time courses will also have staff who can advise on the courses and on application for a place

  • National Careers Service (NCS)

    This has a website which can be used by young people. Please note that the NCS does not offer face-to-face advice and guidance to young people

  • Youth Connect

    Youth Connect, on behalf of the Local Authority, provides targeted support through Personal Advisers for young people who need additional support or who are at risk of not participating in education or training post-16

Please note: there is no longer a Government-funded universal careers information, advice and guidance service for young people. From September 2012 the Government requires schools to make suitable arrangements for this (with the exception of targeted support).  This is subject to Statutory Guidance which can be accessed at….

Choosing a course and applications

Most courses will have specific entry-requirements, details of which will be given by the college or school. Application should be made direct to the college or school offering the course, It is not unusual for young people to apply for more than one course and to make their decision on which one to take when they have their GCSE results. However, it is advisable to apply well before the end of Year 11 to secure the offer of a place.

Young people who aim to go to University normally need qualifications at Level 3 (A Levels or level 3 Vocational Qualifications). They are advised to check carefully which subjects will be appropriate for their intended area(s) of degree-level study.  (See page on Higher Education also.)


There are no tuition fees for young people aged 16-18 at the start of their course, whether at a college or school. There may be costs specific to the course which will have to be paid by the student or parents, and the cost of travel between home and the place of study will have to be paid by the student. The Local Authority’s current policy on Transport does allow for transport costs for learners with a disability to be met by the Authority.

The Government’s Bursary Scheme offers financial support for learners aged 16-18. This is administered by each college or school. Certain groups of young people are entitled to a ‘guaranteed’ bursary; otherwise, there may be funds remaining which can be used for discretionary bursaries. Colleges and schools can provide details of how to apply for a bursary.


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