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Welbeck Defence 6th Form College

(23 Posts)
ReinettePompadour Fri 07-Jul-17 21:22:43

DC has decided today that they would like to consider Welbeck for their A Levels. They have an interest in RAF Engineering Officer careers and this is a route they could follow from here.

Does anyone have any experience of Welbeck?

The other choice is currently an engineering degree at Cambridge (hopefully) followed by Cranfield to study Aeronautical engineering or similar and then possibly RAF Officer training.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as obviously speaking with the RAF careers officer there is no better route than Welbeck despite the 12 year commitment required from a 15 year old

ragged Fri 07-Jul-17 22:00:59

Welbeck is not Cambridge but it is well regarded.
What does your son want that he would get from the military life but not as a civvie?
There are some old MN threads about Welbeck, too.

ReinettePompadour Fri 07-Jul-17 22:19:59

My DD wants to be an engineer on fighter jet planes and aeronautical engineering in general. Civillian roles are rare in that specific field but she wants a good enough degree to use in Civillian life after she has done her time in the RAF/MOD.

scaryteacher Wed 16-Aug-17 19:16:28

If the MOD funds the degree, there will be a return of service; twas ever thus, even when dh joined in the 70s. Have to say that Dh's B.Eng didn't matter when he retired after 34 years in, his C.Eng, MA, and experience were of more interest to employers. The Forces will help with the C.Eng, and are up to speed now with documenting experience, equals etc so that they transfer to civvy street.

Gforgary Fri 15-Sep-17 17:00:42

Our daughter has just started at Welbeck in the 2017 entry.
It has been a lot of work for over a year in order for her to reach this point, but from the little we hear from her, she is absolutely living her dream.
Your concern about the commitment from a 15/16 year old up until the age of 25/26 is well founded, it was one of my biggest concerns too. After many hours of testing and questioning her appreciation of the commitment, she said something to the effect of,
"I was always going to do A levels and go to university. I will then train to be an officer, get specialist training and a few years of practical experience leading intelligent people, often older than myself. If I want to leave after that, I will be 25, have a degree, leadership and specialist skills, years of job experience,and a reduced student loan, what's not to like?"
Welbeck is the first stage of the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme, so at the completion of their a levels they go to one of 11 DTUS affiliated universities to read an engineering degree. These are all top flight engineering universities including Oxbridge, all well respected in the private engineering sector.
As you may know, the DTUS scheme gives a £4000 yearly grant whilst at university, but the student must attend weekly Officer Training Corps meetings and pass fitness tests to remain qualified. At Welbeck, parents are means tested for contributions to food and boarding expenses.
On completion they then go to their respective service's officer training course, then onward onto specialist training before becoming operational.
As for Welbeck, if your child is interested in engineering in the military or MoD civil service, it is first rate. The all round education and the facilities produce wondeful young adults, thoroughly prepared for their next steps in their chosen career.
I would advise you book onto an open day to have a look around and chat to current students, I am sure you will be impressed.
Should you require any further information, feel free to ask. Gary

madgirl Sat 16-Sep-17 19:44:08

Hi there
sorry to hijack this thread, but I am really, really worried about my DS who has also just started at Welbeck. He hates it...he said the U6 and some of the L6 are bullying and annoying - and his wallet and retainer have been taken from his room (both on his desk). He is saying that it is not the place for him, despite the huge effort and hard work it took to get him there. It was his dream and now it seems like he wakes up every morning in a nightmare. He is also super concerned that he will not be able to go into the Infantry regiment, despite the army website saying that whilst most students go into a technical or engineering corps there are limited places in other corps.
I know he has to give it longer than 2 weeks, but he is home next weekend on exeat and I really fear that he will be distraught at going back.
He won't say anything about the bullying to staff as he says the boys will make his life hellish.
Does anyone have any experience at all of this at Welbeck?
My other concern is - if he does decide it's not for him what will he do in terms of his A levels? Will he end up in the least popular local sixth form because it has spaces? Is he allowed do you know to do something else and then restart year 12 next year with a fresh application?
Sorry again to hijack thread - but there is an amazing lack of experience of Welbeck recorded!
I'd really appreciate some advice/feedback/opinion. Above all I'm sor worried he's unhappy and he'll end up in a shit sixth form sad

SoPassRemarkable Sat 16-Sep-17 19:54:22

My brother went to Welbeck, admittedly about 8 years ago. Was bullied and also said the standard of teaching was shit. He refused to go back after half term in L6.

BadCarrot Sat 16-Sep-17 20:09:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gforgary Sat 16-Sep-17 21:22:12

Hi Madgirl
What form is the bullying taking? I know he said that some of the students are bullying and annoying, I wonder if a few have tried to act the part of resilient potential officer to get over the homesickness and perhaps there is a bit of bravado in there somewhere?
I know from daughter that there is some homesickness, predominantly with the boys at the moment, which is why they are kept busy from morning to evening. We have only had a smattering of texts and two short calls in the last 10 days.
Despite his fears about repercussions I would insist he speaks to a house tutor or the house master about the property going missing and the way he feels.
Please read the parents handbook, there is some information and guidance on the issue in there; including a couple of Padres and an independent listening counsellor's numbers to call.
It sounds like he may be feeling homesick, and different people deal with that in different ways.
From my experience the MoD does not tolerate theft and deals robustly with bullying.
He has expended a ton of time, effort and emotion to get to where he is and has shown the potential to be an officer. He needs to try to get the issues sorted or he may regret not taking his opportunity.
As for the infantry regiment, the careers office and the recruiting materials point the students to a career in military engineering only from what I saw.
I really wish you both good luck, I have been on tenterhooks as it is such a massive change for daughter and parents.

madgirl Mon 18-Sep-17 21:13:30

It's immaterial now tbh, because he is desperately unhappy and I think we're going to bring him home.
now i'm stressing majorly about where he's going to do his alevels sad

Gforgary Mon 18-Sep-17 22:06:47

I'm sorry it has got to that stage, but isn't it worth a coupe of phone calls to ensure every eventuality has been covered?
Are you on the Welbeck parents facebook group? There is a good comment by a mum who was in in similar position as your family. Short version, son was homesick, only just went back after first exeat. Managed to carry on until Christmas and then left to go to a college at home. After two days there he decided he wanted to be at Welbeck. He was allowed back and has since graduated and gone onto uni.
Would it help if my daughter caught up with him for a chat? Maybe a different perspective and a friendly face would help?
I know that out local college takes students on in these circumstances. A call to your local college tomorrow may even be able to arrange a tour and interview for Monday morning prior to needing to return from exeat.this may confirm your son's decision one way or another.
Don't hesitate to message me. 😕

Gforgary Sun 01-Oct-17 19:14:13

Reinette, did you progress your interest in Welbeck any further?

My daughter is having an amazing time up there, and when back for exeat weekend last week, couldn't stop talking about all of the activities.

madgirl Mon 02-Oct-17 08:35:30

Glad your daughter is loving it so much. Worth saying though that it's not everyone's bag. 10 students from DS's house didn't return after exeat shock

sheri12 Thu 02-Nov-17 11:40:10

Apologies to divert the conversations
@ Gforgary
My son is in yr 11 and is extremely interested in joining Welbeck , thinks exactly like your daughter but I was worried like most other parents. Your message above has calmed me down a little.
We have booked the open day this month but I would like to know the following before it is too late-

When and how do we apply for the admission?
Do we apply via the MOD website now i.e- Nov of year 11?


Gforgary Sat 04-Nov-17 19:10:44

Hi Sheri
I understand your concern, it isn’t for everyone and it is a huge commitment.

The closing dates for applications vary according to which branch your son is interested in joining. On a quick search, for closing dates it looks like the following but don’t take this as gospel.
Army = 1 December
Royal Navy = 8 December
Defence Engineering and Scientific Group = 15 January 2018
RAF = 28 March 2018.
There are links to the applications on the DSFC Welbeck website.
If it’s one of the three armed forces, I would also get down to the local careers office and have a chat and for your son to show his interest there. Our local careers office was absolutely fantastic, and daughter still keeps in contact with her recruiter.
The open day should give your son a good idea about the college, but make sure he does his homework about the particular branch or branches he is committing to after that if he is still keen.
I was really impressed with the Royal Navy approach, they will give candidates the opportunity to carry out several Potential Officer Visits (POVs), three days in training and operational establishments around the UK where they live in the wardroom and look around the establishment and ships, they also speak to lots officers doing the job. This included officers who were leaving the RN for assorted reasons that they were happy to discuss, so she knows some of the pitfalls and the way of life.
Daughter looked at all branches of engineering training on surface fleet, submarines and aviation in one POV. She then had a POV looking exclusively at submarines (that’s all she did as she is certain she wants them).
I would imagine that the RAF and the Army have similar programmes, they don’t want to waste time, money and limited spaces if all parties aren’t sure.

maxjake01 Fri 30-Mar-18 09:55:15

Hello Madgirl and anybody else who could answer this query please...

Just been searching for some advice re Welbeck and read this Welbeck thread. I hope your son is happier now (Madgirl). My son is waiting to find out if he has been accepted. Did you have to payback any fees to Welbeck? My son was told at AOSB that they would have to; which concerns me as Welbeck is not for everyone - 18% left last year!

anniehm Tue 17-Apr-18 08:25:18

From Welbeck you can attend Cambridge, it’s not an either/or plus they get a bursary. My daughter is loving it, but I won’t sugarcoat, there were a lot of drop outs, not all kids are emotionally ready to leave home. It’s a tough schedule, lessons six times a week, competitive sport, fitness tests and rubbish food. It’s an engineering college so all sponsored students are expected to follow this career path in the military, everyone studies physics and mathematics. The commitment is Welbeck, degree, officer training and three years in the forces, anything less than that and you need to repay bursaries. Hope this helps parents - listen to your kids, let them investigate, visit the college, but ensure they know they are committing for the long term.

maxjake01 Tue 17-Apr-18 09:33:56

Thanks anniehm - so the only bursary to be repaid would be £4000 x 3 to support the university stage; is that correct?

MegaMeghan Fri 20-Jul-18 17:08:45

I’m exceptionally concerned reagrding reports of bullying, my daughter is in her summer holidays between her 1st and 2nd year.

She has just told me about a girl in her house who became so miserable that she had to leave. First she moved houses and then she left the college because the tormenting just didn’t stop.

I’m extremely concerned to send my daughter back to a boarding school where it seems that the staff are very knowledgeable about these incidents!? I cannot afford to remove her but will have to remortgage the house if it gets that far. My daughter does not want to talk to house staff because they just laugh at her.... I’m at an absolute loss as to what to do!!

abilockhart Sat 21-Jul-18 22:36:18

The other choice is currently an engineering degree at Cambridge (hopefully)

Welbeck is a good option but not when the other option is Cambridge.

errorofjudgement Sun 22-Jul-18 16:21:27

@megameghan is your DD being bullied or is you concern to do with the culture at the school? I think if it were my DD my reaction would be slightly different Depending on how my DD was faring, though the culture sounds very poor, and I think you are right to be very concerned.

whateveryousay Sun 05-Aug-18 13:25:23

I had a child go through Welbeck College, and he stuck it out, but hated every minute of it.
Some of the things that he had to endure were shocking.
My advice to anyone would be to think long and hard before sending your child there.
My child is still on the scheme, and it’s great once you are through Welbeck, but there are better ways to start a career as an officer in the armed forces, I’m sure.

TeacherK8 Wed 22-Aug-18 10:33:55

I am the VPP at Welbeck (arrived Jan 2018) and would be happy to discuss any concerns you may have. We never want students, or parents, to worry - and if there are issues I would hope that the student, or parent, could raise them with tutor, house staff, or directly with me. I will always take your concerns seriously, and will always listen.

Other posters are correct - Welbeck is not right for everyone. One of the points I stress to parents at Open Days is that this must be what the student wants, and it is hard work and challenging. There are support systems in place - especially in the first few weeks - but even so some pupils realise that they have made the wrong choice.

Getting a 'free' independent school education is great - but we aim to produce the STEM officers of the future - a very specific goal - so unless you want to be an engineer this is simply not the right place to study.

I think this is a great place to be, but I am also aware that we can always improve and become a better version of ourselves. If there is something you think we can do better please let me know. I am always happy to hear from current, or prospective, parents.

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