GCSE results: College principal’s advice on options for what to do next

Yvonne Kelly. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College.

Yvonne Kelly. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College. - Credit: Archant

Getting your GCSE results is an exciting time. There are plans to be made about the future and what to do next. This year has been especially challenging for students and we know many are anxious about receiving their results.

Whether or not you secure the results that you wanted, there are lots of excellent options available to you, in addition to the familiar option of A-Levels.


This year the government has pledged an additional £111 million for traineeships targeting 16-24 year olds. A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. It can last up to 6 months. There is a whole range of traineeships available, just contact your local college for more details.


An apprenticeship offers you the chance to earn a wage while you learn. Generally you spend one day a week at college and the rest of the week learning as you work. Apprenticeships are available in all sorts of areas – from construction to accountancy.

BTECs and other vocational courses

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You do not need A-levels to go to university. Barking & Dagenham College offers BTECs, including Level 3 extended diplomas (equivalent to 3 A-levels) in a wide variety of subject areas. With a BTEC national diploma under your belt, you can go onto university, do a higher qualification such as a HNC or HND or do a higher or degree apprenticeship.


If you didn’t get the results you needed, don’t panic. At Barking & Dagenham College you can resit English and/or maths alongside studying a vocational course, so you don’t have to put your education on hold.

Free advice and guidance

Whatever you decide, your local colleges are a fantastic resource for you. At Barking & Dagenham College we have a team of advisors who can help guide you through the options and help you choose a course that is right for you.

You can register to attend our Virtual Information and Enrolment Event, including a live Questions & Answers session on Monday, August 24 using this link: zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GRgbaDoYSWqLLnyUNgbkiw