You might have heard that you need to stay in learning until you're 18, but this doesn't mean staying in school.
Because of the Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) to 18, you have a number of options you can take after leaving school.
What choices do I have?
1. Stay in full-time education
You can stay in full-time education at sixth form or college, doing A-levels or other learning courses. This doesn't have to be the sixth form at your current school - why not see what else is out there? List of Suffolk and border colleges and sixth-forms.
Taking A-levels? Keep in mind the changes being made to A-levels. There will generally be less coursework, and A-level exams will now be taken at the end of the two years - your AS-levels won't count towards your final grade. For more info, take a look at this guide to A-level reforms.
2. Do work with training
If you feel ready to go into work, there are a few options you can take. With apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships you can gain work experience and learn at the same time. You may also like to look at information on supported internships at West Suffolk College.
3. Work with a training provider
Training providers offer the opportunity to gain training and qualifications, including apprenticeships and traineeships to suit your needs. There are lots of independent training providers in Suffolk and you can find out about some of them in our list of post-16 providers.
Download - Ipswich post-16 providers flyer
4. Start your own business
Want to start your own business? You can do this as long as you are also learning part-time and working towards a qualification. Find out more about what it takes to start your own business.
5. Take a short course to improve your skills
To find out more about your options and short courses available to you locally, such as Princes Trust (ages 16-30), Talent Match (ages 18-24) and Minding the Gap (ages 15-24), take a look at our page: l've left school and I'm stuck.
Find out more:
To find out more about the details of RPA and how it affects you, read our page of Frequently Asked Questions.
For more info on your options you can also download our leaflet on your post 16 options.
Where do I start with my 16+ choices?
It all starts with researching your options so that you can decide which path is right for you. Visit icanbea for local careers information and careers advice pages on this website..
Watch the video on this page to hear a bit about what each option might involve, which was made by apprentices working in Suffolk.
Visit the National Careers Service website to search for learning opportunities with colleges, sixth forms and training providers: find a course.
You could also take a look at websites of local colleges and training providers to see what they offer and search for courses, training and apprenticeships.
It might help to talk to someone at school about your career ideas, and there's lots to help you understand what jobs and careers are possible in our Careers Advice section.
Explore subject areas - browse some of the subject areas that you may be able to study, with related careers and videos with people talking about their jobs.
Not managed to get a C/4 grade in maths or English?
From September 2015 if you've not got that magic 'C' grade in maths and English (or a minimum of a grade 4 under the new system), you'll have to continue studying until you do pass the exam and get that grade!
I've left school and I'm stuck
If you've left school and didn't get the grades you expected or needed, there are still plenty of options to get back into learning, work or training. To find out more about your options, take a look at our page: l've left school and I'm stuck.
Learning opportunities for young people with additional needs
There are lots of learning opportunities available for young people with additional needs or disabilities.