It’s never too early to talk to your child about what they want to do after school. Especially if in they are in high school (and even more if they are in Year 9 or later), it’s important to begin having conversations with them about what they like doing, what they’re good at, and the sorts of hopes and dreams they have about their future.
You can begin talking to your school and begin creating action plans so that you have plenty of time to talk to your child and prepare for the future.
The more you know about what’s possible and the range of options available post school, the better your planning can be. This will also help your child consider what they want to do after school and how they could get there.
There is lots you can consider and do to help your child plan for their adult life while they’re still at school.
If your child is wanting to continue study beyond secondary school, there are three options available (which are the same for all young people in Victoria):
- Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – a senior secondary certificate undertaken in Years 11 and 12 which provides pathways to further study at university, TAFE or in employment.
- Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is also a senior secondary certificate which suits students in Years 11 and 12 who require a senior secondary qualification based on practical experience.
- Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools, which can help create more pathways for senior secondary students and give them most choices post-school.
Some of these options might be better than others for your child and meet their interests and aspirations more appropriately. Generally, you will need to make a decision which approach you will take before Year 11.
For more information, visit the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority website.
Of course it can be hard for anyone to know what they want to do until they’ve tried it! So there are a range of opportunities to find out more about work and what your child might want to do.
Work experience activities are an opportunity for students over 14 years of age to experience what it’s like to work with an employer. These are organised by the school and usually last for one or two weeks. Students with a disability will benefit from being well prepared for their work experience. Ensuring that the experience has been well structured with their needs in mind will ensure a more positive experience.
The Department of Education and Training has a range of resources to assist you and your school as you consider your child’s career and pathway options.
Their web resource around Pathways Planning for Young People with Disabilities is a great starting point. They also have an excellent resource around Strengthened Pathways Planning for young people with disabilities. This provides advice for parents on careers and transition planning for young people with disabilities, and brings together information about Strengthened Pathways Planning in schools, and the broad range of options available to their children when they leave school.