Choosing what’s next
As a parent or carer it can be very confusing when it comes to helping your child make that all-important decision on their next step in education.
Choosing to stay on at school, going to college, picking the right qualifications and subject area, and wondering whether it will lead to the right sort of career are all legitimate concerns that every parent worries about.
Find out when our next Parents’ Information Evening is or contact the learner engagement team if you would like to arrange a visit to the college to enjoy a one-to-one tour of our new facilities:
Frequently asked questions
Is it now law that my son or daughter has to stay in school until they are 18?
In 2013, the age of compulsory education rose to 18. The intention of this move was to tackle the problem of young people leaving school unskilled and unprepared for the world of work.
Young people can choose to stay at school, go to college, become an apprentice or be in employment with training.
Will my son’s/daughter’s attendance at college affect our state benefit?
No, your child attending full-time study should not affect your Child Benefit or Family Tax Credit, but you should inform the appropriate authorities once your child moves from school to college.
How is college different from school?
At West Notts we place more emphasis on a comprehensive education experience and ensure that our students’ time is enhanced with learning outside of the classroom. This might include work placements, visits to the industry the students hope to work in, talks from experts and specialists in their subject area and trips and visits that enhance the overall learning experience.
As well as professional teaching backgrounds, our tutors have industry-relevant experience – meaning our students are taught by people who’ve been there, seen it and done it. By coming from an industry-specific background, tutors are able to bring their working knowledge into the classroom.
We pride ourselves on the pastoral support we offer, which includes a personal tutor to guide students through their studies, learner coaches to help with motivation and time management, a careers team, a health and welfare team and a Students’ Union for those who want to get involved with volunteering, community projects and fun days out.
Can you provide me with some stats about VWNC?
We regularly rank highly as one of the top performing colleges in the country based on overall success rates.
The college is approaching 34,0000 students:
- 16,996 are aged over 19
- 3,500 are aged between 16-18
- 12,000 are on an apprenticeship programmes
- 500 students are studying at university-level
In 2014, 71% of students progressed onto further study, with 21% continuing to employment. We’ve also seen a 5% increase in progression onto Higher Education, with opportunities available at college thanks to the Vision University Centre.
Our A Level students continue to exceed the national average – – with a 99% pass-rate for 2016. 88% of our A Level students get into their first choice of university.
And we have a 98% vocational overall pass rate, across a variety of subjects.
What transport is available?
The college bus service operates over 12 routes across two counties, and is one of the easiest ways to get in to college. The current price works out at less than 37 pence per day during the college year, and your child may even be eligible for a free bus pass depending on your circumstances. For more information, visit our college bus services page for more information.
How will I keep up-to-date with my son’s/daughter’s progress?
We will send you a written report and invite you to an event during the year where you can meet the tutors and hear about his/her progress. We are always happy for you to contact us about any issues that you, your son, or daughter may have and we will be pleased to arrange a meeting for you to come and talk to us about any concerns and provide you with further progress information.
How do you monitor the quality of teaching?
Every tutor is observed by a specialist cross-college team during the year and by their line manager. We also provide the opportunity for peer observations so that tutors can observe and share best practice with their colleagues. Some of our awarding bodies also monitor teaching and learning when they visit.
What are the entry requirements for college?
Each course has its own entry requirements. We offer a variety of qualifications at different levels, so we have something to suit all abilities. You’ll find more information on our course types page.
What happens if my son/daughter doesn’t achieve the grades required for the course they have applied for?
Don’t worry! An advisor will speak to your child and advise them of their options. If they don’t achieve the required grades, we can usually offer an alternative at a lower level.
My son/daughter had support at school – will they get support at college?
Yes, the additional learning support team (ALS) offers support, advice and guidance for students with a wide range of learning needs or disabilities. For more information visit the additional learning support page.
Why are courses given a ‘level’?
By giving all courses a level, it allows students to compare different qualifications according to how advanced they are. There are nine levels in total, from Entry-level to Level 8. The courses in the full-time prospectus (aimed at 16-19 year olds) range from Entry-level up to Level 3. Courses that are Level 4 and above are considered to be university-level qualifications.
What support will my child receive?
As a student at West Notts, your child will have access to a comprehensive range of monitoring and support.
The student health and welfare team offer free and impartial advice to anyone who needs it on issues including bullying, sexual health, motivation and accommodation.
The Students’ Union represents all students at the college. It organises a huge range of extra-curricular activities and events, including fundraising for charities and community projects that enhance the CVs of our students and promote citizenship.
There is the opportunity for all students to become course representatives to speak for their area with Learner Voice – this is a great chance for students to get involved in college politics and push for positive changes that their peers want to see. Again, this is valuable, CV-enhancing experience that we encourage our students to get involved with.
Do you run the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme?
Yes we do! The scheme, for 14-25 year olds, is a chance to get outside, go on expeditions, try something new, gain skills and meet new people. It will also look great on your child’s CV.
What library and IT facilities do you have?
The college has a large learning resource centre at the main Derby Road campus, and smaller resources available at our other sites. Books, DVDs, newspapers and magazines are available to borrow and computers can be used for college work or the internet. Specialist software is available for those with learning needs and staff can provide support if your child needs help with research or accessing information.
What catering facilities do you provide?
Most of our campuses have a diner, refectory and/or vending machines for students to use. Hot meals and snacks are available at the Ashfield Centre, Construction Centre, Derby Road and the Engineering Innovation Centre.
My son/daughter is not sure which course they would like to do. Who can help?
The college has a careers and employability team who deliver professional and impartial advice and guidance that aims to help individuals make informed, considered and timely decisions about their education, training and employment.
Careers advice and guidance is designed as a comprehensive support package to compliment the student journey from pre enrolment through to progression from college and beyond. Find out more on our careers advice page.
Can my son/daughter do more than one course?
It is not possible to study more than one full-time course at the same time. Students who choose to study A Levels can take up to four A Level subjects.
What financial support is available for students?
The college is committed to doing everything we can for students to allow them to attend college free from financial worries.
The Government will be making additional funding available to colleges to support students who have difficulty in attending college because of financial considerations. This includes a 16-18 Guaranteed Bursary and 16-18 Student Support Fund. For detailed information please visit the financial support page.
We hope to be able to use the expanded fund to provide additional grants or bursaries where there are situations of hardship.
Help with childcare and the cost of study materials and equipment will also be available to those who meet the funding criteria.
If you require any further information please call us on:
My son/daughter is really interested in applying for a course – how do they apply?
The many ways to apply for a place on a college course:
- Apply online - find a course you are interested in and click the apply online link.
- Complete an application form found at the back of a college course guide and send it back to the Freepost address.
- Come along to an open evening and apply on the night.
- Come in to any West Notts College reception and our customer enquiries team will help you complete an application form.
Courses will often require your son or daughter to come in for an informal interview before being accepted onto a place at college. The learner engagement team can arrange for a place on an interview preparation workshop with our careers team, to help get rid of any pre-interview nerves. If you’d like to find out more information on this, please contact the learner engagement team on 01623 627191 ext 8720.
Where can I find out more?
At West Notts we hold regular Parents’ and Carers’ information evenings which gives you the opportunity to speak to senior management about the college and the courses we offer, as well as find out about practical information on finance, learning and personal support available to your child once they start a course with us. If you have any questions about these opportunities, please call the learner engagement team on 01623 627191 ext 8720, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What steps are in place to protect young people at college?
We take the safety and security of our students very seriously indeed. We have robust and well-documented processes for keeping students safe, and have a zero tolerance of any form of bullying whether that be in person or online.
Safeguarding is the term used to describe activities that help make our students safe and free from home in college and in their lives outside of college. All staff has a responsibility for safeguarding, which means they all need to have an awareness of health and safety, and be able to identify and report concerns about students if they feel they are subject to abuse. To find out more about the term safeguarding, or the procedures in place in relation to safeguarding students, click here.
Prevent is a strand of the government’s counter terrorism strategy. As a college, we have an integral part to play in helping to help prevent terrorism, and protect young people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
Our staff are fully trained in the Prevent strategy and are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
If you have any concerns, and would like to speak to a member of staff, please call 0808 100 3626.
Further education and skills parents and carers questionnaire
Ofsted inspects this college.
They have an online questionnaire for parents and carers to help give them your views about the college.
If they are learning or training with more than one provider you may be sent an email by each of them and are welcome to complete a questionnaire for each one. Please note that the link to the questionnaire will be different for each provider. Inspectors will use the results during inspection to identify issues to look at in more detail.
They would be grateful if you would fill in the questionnaire to help them understand how well the college supports its learners to ensure the best possible outcomes.
You can complete the questionnaire and find out more information about it by clicking on the link below.
If you have any queries or require assistance please call them on 0300 123 1231 or email at email@example.com
Thank you for taking the time to complete our questionnaire.