Learning is important throughout all of life’s different stages. It not only affects our career and personal development, but also our confidence and our worldviews. We learn in order to gain new skills, to learn how to perform specific tasks or to progress in our careers.
In England - unlike in the rest of the United Kingdom - everyone between the ages of 16 and 18 years is expected to be engaged in full-time or part-time education or training.
This effectively extends the duration of compulsory education to 18 years. And makes understanding the full range of funds, bursaries, grants and loans available to support you whilst you learn all the more important.
The available funding is primarily directed at two key phases:
For students entering the 16 to 18 education phase, it is important to seize this opportunity to choose what you can learn and how you can learn it. Academic subjects are not the only option. General and vocational qualifications are also great ways of gaining work-specific skills and qualifications.
As a 16 to 18 year old, you can generally approach your studies in three different ways.
On the one hand, you can choose to continue your schooling (sixth-form) at a school or college (commonly called Year 12 and Year 13). On the other hand, you may choose to leave school after Year 11 and pursue further education and vocational training at an FE college.
Alternatively, you may decide to start a work-based training program in the form of an apprenticeship or traineeship. If you opt for any part-time education, however, you will be required to work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week.
Beyond the 16 to 18 year old phase, there is adult learning. The initial focus is mainly on raising basic skills with maths and english qualifications, and encouraging adults back to learning and employment.
However, adult learning also includes apprenticeships and publicly funded programmes that lead all the way to highest qualification levels. The highest qualifications are offered by higher education institutions, further education colleges, and alternative providers.
Higher and further education programmes are structured on a five-level framework, with three cycles of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies. The framework includes short programmes such as foundation degrees and postgraduate certificates.
A-Levels are the most common entry qualification to bachelor programmes, but other qualifications may be accepted. Well-established routes - like Access programmes - exist for those who lack formal qualifications.
So what are you waiting for?
With so many providers, and so much information about courses, programmes and packages - in so many different places - are you finding it difficult to determine where to begin looking?
That’s exactly why we’ve created our Guide to Funded Training in England!
Our guide to funded training in England will help you to quickly and easily see which funding best suits your needs, without spending hours researching (we’ve done that bit for you!)
We’ve summarised what you’re eligible to apply for (based on your age and where you live), as well as the kind of funding you’ll get and whether you’ll have to pay it back.
About the author
Dean Ehrlich is a digital content editor at findcourses.co.uk.
He develops content to support product and site growth. Originally trained as a lawyer, he converts jargon into human.
Photo of Millennium Bridge, London, United Kingdom by James Padolsey on Unsplash