During S4 you can choose from a number of options in terms of what you want to do next.

"The Scottish Government's 16+ learning choices. Policies and practice framework: supporting all young people into positive and sustained destinations" (April 2010) set out the Scottish Government's wish that from December 2010 onwards, all young people will continue in education after 16 years. You may wish to remain at school until 17 or 18 or you might choose to attend a local college to study a course there. Alternatively, you might want to go straight into work and earn a living. There are lots of options but planning for your future will begin before you leave school.

Transition meetings

Before you leave school you should have a transitions meeting with your teacher or career co-ordinator or a careers adviser. This face-to-face meeting should happen at least 12 months before leaving school. To prepare for this meeting you should

  • meet with your careers adviser to discuss what subjects you are enjoying and achieving good grades in, which subjects you plan to take for exams and your aspirations for life after school
  • talk to your subject teachers about your strengths and which subjects you are best at and enjoy most
  • talk to your Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Careers Adviser and your parents about what you may want to do after completing S4. You might be considering staying on, a local college, further training or going straight into work
  • think about any difficulties you are having in school so that you can talk about these at the meeting
  • always ask for additional meetings if you feel you need them.

As well as careers advisers, teachers and your Qualified Teacher for the Visually Impaired, your parents or carers will also be invited to attend the meeting. If you feel shy or nervous about raising things at the meeting it is a good idea to talk through any issues with your parents, carers or a member of staff beforehand. You may also be able to have an Advocacy Worker who will help you plan before and support you during meetings.

A report will be written after the meeting which summarises everything you talked about. Your parents will be sent a copy and you can read through it to check that you are happy with it. If you think anything has been missed out, talk to a member of staff about it. This report is for you to refer to in the future. Remember, it's your plan for your future so it's important that you feel it says what you think is should.

Further information

If you need extra help at school for any reason, Enquire Scotland can help you to understand your rights. Enquire offer lots of ways to find out about support for learning and hear from other young people about what has helped them. For more info visit the Enquire website.

Calculate your benefits

The benefits you're entitled to depends on your own personal circumstances. We have an easy to use calculator that asks you some questions about your situation and then tells you exactly how much you may be missing out on.

What benefits should I be receiving?