He has to be in education or training until 17. He doesn't have to decide just yet though. You can apply to more than one sixth form or FE college and make a final decision after GCSE results day. I would stand over him until it's done. That doesn't mean he has to go, just that he is keeping that door open.
If he was going into Sixth Form at his existing school, he would probably be allowed to change his A Level choices post results' day as long as his new choices fitted into the timetable. Quite a few students at DD's school changed their minds once they had their results.
He really does need to hand the form in though. It doesn't commit him to anything.
He needs to apply to do what he thinks he wants to do.
Then also to some kind of fall back or 2 if grades aren't as expected.
And maybe an aspirational is grades are way better.
As I said to my DD, better to have a thought-through plan B in place now, than be scrabbling around on 20th August trying to find any vaguely interesting sounding course that still has spaces. (Which is also what will happen if he doesn't apply to anything now).
Having got a place he can try to change courses on enrolment if there are spaces, but at least he will have a place.
From what you've written, are you sure he wants to do A levels? Maybe he is feeling obliged? Perhaps he would rather do a BTEC or an Apprenticeship so is forcing the issue by not applying, because he thinks you'll be disappointed?
Same problem with my son last year. I made him apply to two colleges for BTEC and 6th form for a levels to cover all bases. He could then decide once he had results. When he had his results he knew instantly what he wanted to do. He needed them before he could really decide. It was the uncertainty that was stopping him. Once you have a place at a college or 6th form it is much easier to change subjects than applying late.
Thank you for the thoughts....I will present him with a form so that at least he can secure a place at his current school - he can always change his mind and yes Heyho I think it must be easier once the results are in hand.
He doesn't seem at all keen on our local colleges but at least with one place we have an option.
I really hope he doesn't feel obliged I did A levels and found them really hard work so have said that he is free to choose...I think that the amount of choice is a bit overwhelming when up to now its been just school - albeit with options at GCSE...