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Supporting 4000 Students
The Excel Academy


Careers Contacts

Named Careers Lead: Mr D.Owen

Academy Tel Number: 01782 882700

Email Address:

Our Local Authority Careers advisor is Karen Harrison . Karen is available onsite on a Monday and Friday each week. You can contact Karen by email at:

We use Compass+ to evaluate our provision at least once a term to ensure that we are meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks. Our full programme is reviewed at the end of the Academic year and activities adjusted accordingly. 

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Please preview or download the documents below for further careers information

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School Leavers - Your Options at 16

Think carefully about the options open to you after year 11 before deciding on your next steps. There are many college courses, apprenticeships and training programmes to choose from. Find out about your options so you can compare them and decide what will suit you.

How to find out about your options:

  • Look on college websites, attend college open events, and talk to your careers adviser in school. Use the careers websites on the other side of this page to research A levels, BTECs, and Apprenticeships.
  • Talk to your family and teachers about your options, as they know you well and what may best suit you.

Courses start at different levels depending on your GCSE grades – a level 4 equals a Pass (C)

Types of courses & training offered:

Vocational Learning – BTEC Diplomas

  • This is a mixture of hands on learning, classroom learning and work experience
  • You are assessed through course work and exams
  • Courses directly relate to a career area like childcare, social care, I.T, hospitality and public services
  • There are different levels of Diploma (Level 1, 2 and 3) depending on your GCSE results

Academic – A Levels

  • Are more classroom and exam based and you usually choose 3 or 4 subjects
  • Most are now linear and you study for 2 years before taking your A Level exam
  • You can choose subjects that you did at GCSE, or you could choose different subjects that you have not done before like Law, Psychology, and Sociology
  • To get onto most A Level courses you will need to achieve at least 5 GCSE’s at grade A*-C (9-4 ) including Maths and English, with a 5/6 in the subject you wish to study. Some colleges may ask for higher grades so always check individual college entry requirements


  • This type of learning involves on-the-job practical training
  • You would usually go to college or a training provider one day a week then work for 4 days a week with an employer at their premises
  • You can do an apprenticeship in many career areas. To find out more look on the apprenticeship web site
  • You may have to find your work placement yourself and competition for vacancies is high, so you will need a backup option such as a full time college course, a study programme or a traineeship


  • If you are not quite ready for an apprenticeship, and may need some work experience to help you secure a placement, a Traineeship may be suitable.

Study Programmes

  • Designed to help you to improve your skills to be ready for a traineeship or apprenticeship and are based at small providers throughout the City.

Useful Careers Information Websites for School Leavers

Careers Sectors

Animal & Land Based




Farming & Food

Health Care


Media Careers

Motor Vehicle


Public Services



Sports Careers


Labour Market Information

Other providers

PM Training

Reasons to choose PM Training:


Construction & Engineering Course:

Office / Business / IT / Accountancy Courses:


Apprenticeship Vacancies:

Virtual Tour:

If you require a paper copy of any of the pages / documents published on this website, please click here and complete the form stating which page(s) / document(s) you require along with your name and address.


If you’re a former student of The Excel Academy/ Holden Lane High School, we want to hear from you!

Your experiences since leaving could help to motivate and inspire our current students to feel more confident in making decisions about their future. We’d love you to join our alumni network and stay connected with the school.

We’ve partnered with the national education charity Future First, who specialise in helping schools like ours to stay connected with their former students.

You can choose how and when you help – perhaps you can act as a career and education role model, provide work experience, become a mentor in person or online, or help with donations,

It doesn’t matter when you left us, whether you’re in further education or employment, whether you still live nearby or have moved further away, there are still ways you can help.

‘The Excel Academy student’s are hugely inspired by role models they can relate to. We have had some past student’s come in and deliver activities and it has been a great success. We have a record number of past students working in the Academy this year and we would like to think you could come and inspire our students with your own personal journey.

In order to sign up, just follow this link and fill in the online form – we promise it will only take a couple of minutes.