All 16 and 17 year olds (i.e. those reaching the statutory school leaving age in 2010 and 2011) are entitled to an offer of a suitable place in education or training (this has been known as the ‘September Guarantee’ in the past). Having an offer before they leave school can help give young people a clear goal to aim for – especially if they need to achieve certain GCSEs.
Local authorities have responsibility for putting in place processes to make sure that offers are made, and many have area-wide protocols in place.
You might want to discuss your role with your local authority with regards to:
Making young people aware of their entitlement to an offer that meets their needs regardless of what they have achieved in school, and how to find out about the opportunities available in your area.
Establishing young people’s post-16 plans, and providing additional support to those who haven’t decided what they want to do post-16. It is good practice to make sure that pupils planning to go into employment, or applying for the most popular courses, have a fall-back plan should they be unsuccessful.
Monitoring applications for post-16 learning to identify pupils who have still to apply, or whose application(s) have not been successful.
Using GCSE results day to check that pupils have plans for September, and offer additional support to those wishing to change their post-16 choice in light of their results.