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"I didn't feel ready to leave school"

Alan Chadwick, head boy at the North Liverpool academy, believes his career prospects would have been greatly diminished if he had left school at 16.

"It was always my intention to stay on in the hope that one day I could go to university," he said. "No one in my family has ever been to university so it was quite a big decision for me. At 16, I didn't feel ready to leave school and didn't have the qualifications I thought I needed for me to get where I wanted to be.

"I also just didn't feel equipped to go into work. I don't think you have the experience at 16 - you're still so young.

"There are more vocational courses available now, which is really good and allows us to do so much more with our education."

Alan is studying PE, ICT and travel and tourism. He hopes to study sports science at university.

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