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FAQ for parents

Can my child apply for more than one college?
Yes, students can apply for as many different colleges as they wish.

What is the closing date for college applications?
Different colleges have different dates so it is worth checking on their website, however we would encourage all students to apply for college by Christmas of year 11.

Do parents attend college interviews?
This is personal choice; colleges encourage parents to attend but there is no judgement made either way.

How many courses do the students chose?
It is normal for a student to apply for either three A Levels or one BTEC. If a student is achieving grades 8/9 in all subjects, then some colleges will allow four A Levels.

What is the difference between A Levels and BTECs?
A Levels are exam based and the student will study for two years and sit the exams at the end whereas BTEC’s are unit based and normally have coursework for each unit rather than a final exam.

What are T Levels?
T Levels are Technical Levels and are slowly going to be replacing BTECs. Taught the same way as BTECs but they will also include 45 days of work experience. They are being rolled out to try to reduce the confusion so that students will either study Academic Levels (A Levels) or Technical Levels (T Levels).

Can you study both A Levels and BTECs?
Normally no, as an Extended BTEC is equivalent to three A Levels, however there are some Subsidiary BTECs that are only equivalent to one and can be studied alongside. It is always best to check with the college that the student is applying to.

Will students need to re-sit English and Maths?
If a student does not achieve a grade 4 in English and Maths they will need to re-sit this at college. This will be built into their college timetable. This rule is set by the Government and not by the college.

Do universities accept BTECs?
It is a misconception that universities will not accept BTECs, most will as they are equivalent to A Levels. However, all universities have different entry criteria so it is best to research first to double check the requirements.

What happens if a student starts college and realises they have chosen the wrong course?
It is vital that if a student feels that they are on the wrong course that they speak to the college as soon as possible as the students are able to change course (if space is available) within the first few weeks.

When do students apply for apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships are jobs and are only advertised when a company is ready to take on the apprentice. Bigger companies can advertise in advance (e.g. BAE, QinetiQ) but most companies start advertising around March/April of year 11.