Information for Parents

Here at Stoke on Trent College we are committed to our philosophy of a real education, which means giving every student the support needed for success. We work closely with parents and guardians every step of the way, from the time your young person is thinking of applying to the day they get their qualification and find the ideal job or go to university.

Last updated: 17 June, 2021

The College embraces and promotes the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.  We promote this this through our tutorial system, curriculum delivery and all of our learner voice mechanisms.  Everyone is expected to respect these values too.

How will college prepare my son/daughter for employment?

Work Experience placements are for College learners on full time Study Programmes. To ensure placements are meaningful and relevant they need to be planned, tracked and recorded for all learners.

Placements will enable learners to develop timekeeping, appearance attitude, conduct, initiative, motivation, communication, self-management skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills which will support them both on their course and in a real work situation when they progress from college to industry.

The Work Experience Team and Curriculum staff will direct and assist all students in the search for suitable placements by following a work placement preparation programme across College. This should include a basic understanding of health and safety, safeguarding and behavioural requirements and will complement any ‘employability’ module being taught as part of curriculum.

This year Stoke on Trent College will be using software called Connect to manage work experience placements for all students. Learners can access this via the Connect – Placement Manager App, which is free to download via The App Store or Google Play. Learners will be informed about this during a tutorial delivered by the Work Experience Coordinator.

Process for students


· Register on Connect – Student to create an account on the Connect App- includes parent or guardian and health and welfare needs.

· Work Experience Research & Preferences- Student to fill in employer details and placement dates on Connect when a placement is confirmed.

· Work Experience Placement Information- WEX team to verify placement with employer.

· Student to complete a pre-work personality questionnaire on the Connect App.

On Placement:

· During placement – Student to attend placement ensuring that they demonstrate employability skills (timekeeping, appearance, conduct, attitude, initiative, motivation, communication, self-management and teamwork).

· Work Experience Monitoring Visit- WEX team to attend or make a phone call to check.

Post Placement:

· Student Feedback – Student to fill in post-work personality questionnaire.

· Employer Feedback – Employer to fill in feedback on placement.

· Certificate will be received by the student.

For more details, please view the Work Placement: A Guide for Parents and Carers.

Work Experience Officers


How will my son/daughter be supported while at Stoke on Trent College?

Whilst we feel giving students the freedom to be individuals is very important, we offer a full range of support facilities to each and every student. These range from personal tutors and a careers service through to learning support and financial assistance.

In addition, there are lots of activities during the induction process, all designed to help them meet new people and quickly settle into Stoke on Trent College life.  Our Award Winning Learner Involvement and Enrichment Team* are here to help every learner develop, through a fantastic range of activities, clubs and societies.

*National Student Services Awards 2020 held by NAMSS (the National Association for Managers of Student Services)

How will I be kept up-to-date about my son/daughter’s progress?

We want to work alongside you throughout your child’s studies. We organise parents’ evenings, operate a report system and work with parents on a one-to-one basis if any problems should arise.

Do students have to pay any fees?

Course tuition is free for 16 to 18 year olds. Payment may be required for course materials and other items but this will be explained. Financial support may be available to help with these costs.

For people aged 19+, please refer to the website or contact us for the latest information.

Call 01782 603604 or email

Does my son/daughter have to be in college when they do not have a lesson?

Students are expected to supplement class time with additional individual or group study. Most students study in the Learning Resource Centres and Libraries, which have a comprehensive range of learning materials.

Of course, being a student isn’t all about studying. There are some great times to be had too! We offer a range of activities to support student development and the Students’ Union also offers a lively social scene.

Will studying a vocational qualification affect the chances of my son/daughter going to university?

Many Level 3 college courses are recognised as equivalent to 3 A-Levels and are accepted by universities as an alternative entry route. In some cases, a specialist Level 3 vocational qualification may even be preferred by a university. You will need to look at each university’s prospectus individually to see what each one requires for entry onto a degree programme.

Even if your son/daughter won’t be studying a Level 3 course straight away, they can progress onto these at a later date.

How can I be sure that my son/daughter is enrolled on the right course for them?

The Admissions Team is available at any time to give advice to young people and their parents on the range of options available.

Once your child has applied for a course at the College, they will be invited in for an informal course discussion. This is so that we can ensure that they have applied for the right course. It also gives students a chance to meet the tutor, ask any questions and get more detailed information about the course. Parents are welcome to attend.

What additional learning support will be available to my son/daughter?

We will never discriminate against anyone and welcome applications from people with a disability, learning difficulty or additional needs. We have progress coaches, student mentors and learning support assistants or can provide support in exams or specialist equipment to give the support students need.

Please contact the Learning Support Team on 01782 603563 or visit us anytime.

How do I find out more about what the College has to offer?

For an informal chat call us on 01782 603747.

How can I keep my son/daughter safe online?

Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Ask them to teach you to use any applications you have never used. Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience – and that they are less likely to act inappropriately (i.e. via webcam).

Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends — personal information includes their messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone may be looking at their images and one day a future employer could!

If your child receives spam/junk email & texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them. It’s not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain — it could be a virus, or worse — an inappropriate image or film. Help your child to understand that some people lie online and therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with and strangers without an adult they trust.

Always keep communication open for a child to know that it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.

Teach young people how to block someone online and how to report them if they feel uncomfortable.


Will my son/daughter need to do English and maths?

Developing students’ maths and English skills is a key priority for Stoke on Trent College. All students will develop these skills regardless of their prior achievements. For some, this will be through English and maths incorporated within their study programme. However, for all 16-18yr olds who do not yet hold a GCSE grade A– C or 9 – 4 in English and Maths it is compulsory for them to continue to study these subjects.

This will be in dedicated English and maths lessons. Good English and maths skills are essential to prepare students to progress onto higher levels of qualifications (including university), onto an apprenticeship or into employment. In addition to widening opportunities, these skills also considerably increase a student’s earning potential. If your son/daughter starts college in September without GCSE A- C or 9 – 4 grades in English and Maths, they will be studying either a GCSE or functional skills course as appropriate. The most suitable course will be identified following a through initial advice and guidance process.

Details of the appropriate course and class times will be arranged during enrolment and will be on the student’s timetable. All students MUST regularly attend these classes in order to secure their space on the course.

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