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Dd wants to go to college not 6th form......what next?

(12 Posts)
brightwell Sun 27-Sep-09 18:22:40

Dd is in year 11, she's being bullied at school..(that's another post). She's now saying she doesn't want to stay on for 6th form. She wants to go to the local college of further education to do A levels. Anyone know how we go about it, she's got the prospectus, I've said we need to go to the open day. Will college be free for her or will I have to pay? (I'm a lone parent) What else do I need to do & know?

colditz Sun 27-Sep-09 18:24:09

the college will be free for her unless it's specifically a private college (like private school), it will be as if she is going to another school.

I'd back her up on this - it could be the chance she needs to blossom.

bluebump Sun 27-Sep-09 18:26:44

Yes college will be free for her (bar any trips/visits/materials for her course etc but there is usually help available for this should you need it.) Do go to the open day and then submit an application form, she'll probably be called for an interview then. Or at least that's how it works in the college where I work.

LIZS Sun 27-Sep-09 18:27:04

It should be free, just like a 6th form college and she may also be eligible for EMA. It may or may not offer what she wants to do . The courses tend to be more vocational ie NVQs. She may need to apply for a particular course and be interviewed before accepted.

brightwell Sun 27-Sep-09 18:32:00

Wow Thanks for the fast responses. She's looking at doing A levels, I don't know how many they're expected to do. And I suppose it all depends on her grades. She's keen to do Geography, sociology, possibly philosophy.

bluebump Sun 27-Sep-09 19:42:18

3 A Levels would quality her for EMA as that is classed as full time (she has to do over 12 hrs for EMA) but some students do 4 A Levels.

missingtheaction Sun 27-Sep-09 19:54:03

phone the college and check when applications open, and send in the application the minute they do. our local college was full by open day! doesn't matter what a levels she wants to do, no commitment at that stage.

EMA if your household income is less than £30k or thereabouts; local councils do half-price travel tickets and our county council does a moped loan scheme too

my dd is LOVING 6th form college

mumeeee Mon 28-Sep-09 21:12:23

College will be free. Find out the dates of the open days( there are quite often more than one)and then take her to one. She will ne able to talk to the college tutors and discuss her options with them. This is the right time of year to be applying for college a lot of year 11's will be doing the same.
DD317 did not really get on that well in school and only had a couple of friends there. But she went to collrge last year ,loves it and has made lot of friends.

Prinnie Mon 28-Sep-09 22:18:16

Just another vogte for college - I went to 6th form college and it was fantastic. You also tend to get a much higher standard of teaching as the teachers just specialise in 16+. The college I went to also promoted independent study a lot more than schools as well which was great preparation for Uni

brummiemummie Tue 29-Sep-09 22:56:43

I have triplets just gone into Year 12; one has stayed at the school sixth form, one has gone into a private sixth form and one has gone to the local college. I personally believe that the standard of teaching is higher at the college, and they are treated more like adults - because the teachers are almost exclusively teaching 16-18 year olds so are very used to teaching that age.

It will be free (assuming it's a state college) although there are obviously things like travel to consider (DD's train pass for the year was over £500 shock). If you are on a relatively low income though you will probably be entitled for help with that, and your DD will get EMA of up to £30 a week.

With regards to how many subjects to do, it seems most do 4 in the first year and then drop one between Year 12 and Year 13. If your DD is bright she might think about carrying on with all 4 right the way through but that is not a choice you need to make now by any means. The staff at the college should be able to help you decide on subjects if you talk to them at the open day.

Make sure your DD chooses ones she enjoys though, not just ones she's good at - DS started Physics A-Level because he got an A* at GCSE, and ended up swapping after a week because he absolutely hated it. It doesn't matter too much if she doesn't know exactly what subjects she wants to do at this stage though - DD has changed her mind completely from this time last year and is doing 3 different subjects than she actually applied to college for!

BM x

Karam Wed 30-Sep-09 00:23:46

Let her apply for everything she is interested in. Better for her to have a place and later turn it down, than to leave it and not get a place.

I agree with PPs. I teach in a FE college (although it predominantly offers academic 'A' levels and very few vocational courses). As others have said, Colleges can actually be great as they treat the students as adults - some students really thrive and come into their own in this type of environment, especially if they didn't get on at school. It is also better preparation for uni, as there is more emphasis on student led reading and so on. Finally, as an 'A' level teacher, I focus solely on this form of teaching, so I have been able to put a lot more effort into my teaching, as my time is no longer split between 'A' level and lower school teaching.

Research all your options and keep an open mind. I tell my students when I interview them that there are two main ingredients to success at 'A' level 1) being somewhere you want to be and 2) doing the subjects you enjoy.
HTH

MuffinToptheMule Wed 07-Oct-09 09:33:52

I went to college to do A levels instead of staying at 6th form. It was the best choice I ever made and it really helped to prepare me for university. Not everyone was in the 16-18 age bracket as there were also mature students. This meant the classes were often more interesting and it helped me to grow up. The teachers were more like lecturers and had more experience dealing with UCAS applications.

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