Parents’ Hub

Parents and Carers

Stratford-upon-Avon College strives to provide as much information to parents/carers as possible and we aim to include you in everything that we do. We know how important it is for parents to understand all of the processes involved in applying to College, the next steps, finances and much more, so we want to make it simple for you. Please take a look at our frequently asked questions and the other information below.

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What happens now?

Your son or daughter has chosen their course and submitted an application — what now?

For an overview of each step choose from the following:

Useful Links

Starting College

Your son or daughter will be invited to formally enrol at the College. They should bring their birth certificate or passport, certificates of any qualifications and means of payment for any fees related to their course. New students will have an individual interview with teaching staff and will also be assessed in literacy and numeracy. This is so we are aware of their current ability and can tailor their learning appropriately. They will also be given instructions for their first day.

Once term begins, each student will meet with their personal tutor and draw up a Learning Plan. This is an agreement between the student and the College and sets personalised goals for students to achieve in the term ahead. Teaching staff use these Learning Plans to track progress and you and your son or daughter will also be able to monitor their targets and progress. You will be invited to regular consultation evenings at the College where these achievements will be fully discussed with you.

You will first be invited to the College early in the first term, after courses have commenced. This gives you the opportunity to meet us and for you to learn about the College and your son or daughter’s course and department. You will also be given details on how to contact tutors.

Additional Learning Support

If your son or daughter has a learning difficulty or disability it is important that they indicate this on their application form. SUAC believes that every student should get the most out of their studies and College life so we offer very high levels of support and have correspondingly high expectations.

We can provide class-based or total one-to-one support and we have specially adapted learning areas, technology and exam provision. All this is delivered by expert staff, who have an outstanding track record in helping students attain their full potential.

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The Application Process

New! How is the GCSE grading scale changing?

The way GCSEs are graded is changing to a 9-1 scale, with grade 9 being roughly equivalent to a top A* grade and a grade 4 equivalent to a low to mid grade C.

Not all GCSE subjects are changing to the new 9-1 scale immediately, rather the new scale will be gradually introduced starting with English language, English literature and Maths GCSEs exams taken in 2017. By 2020 all GCSE subjects will be graded using the new 9-1 scale.

To see a table showing how the new 9-1 GCSE grade scale compares with the old scale click here:

For more information about how the new 9-1 GCSE grade scale will be introduced click here:

My son/daughter previously studied at ; will their application receive preferential treatment?

No, the College does not give priority to applications from students who have previously enrolled at any particular school.

Where can I find my son‘s/daughter’s student and application reference codes?

You can find the student and application reference codes on the letter we sent to your home address at the end of July. You may also find it included in emails your son or daughter has received from the college.

Can I still get in touch if my son/daughter hasn’t already applied?

Yes! It’s not too late to apply. We still have places on many of our courses.

My son/daughter hasn’t got the grades they needed to get onto the course they applied for. Is it still worth contacting the College?

Yes. Call our team on 01789 417400 to discuss your options. We definitely have a course to suit.

My son/daughter really likes the sound of one of your courses they are worried that they might find it’s not quite right. What should they do?

Don’t worry! All of our courses offer a two week trial period so if you discover it’s not the course for you, our team will work with you to find one that is.

What are your opening times?

The College is open throughout the summer however we’re opening later than normal on (and after) GCSE results day.

The College Merger

General Information

New! What if I have a complaint about SUAC?

You should be able to resolve most issues with the help of your child’s Academic Tutor. If you feel this is not the case, you can contact us and your message will be forwarded to the College Principal.

New! What is SUAC’s Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure?

SUAC has a comprehensive Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure. Disruptive behaviour, unauthorised absence and missed deadlines will be address with actions set for the student, detailing what needs to be improved, how and by when. If the misdemeanour continues, a formal disciplinary stage will start. This will involve a formal verbal warning, final written warning and ultimately may lead to exclusion from SUAC. For serious breaches of the Student Code of Conduct, formal disciplinary action will be taken.

New! How does SUAC ensure my son‘s/daughter’s safety at College?

SUAC is a single campus College so everything your child needs is easily available on our secure site. Our staff maintain a high profile across the College. They work closely with the Safeguarding team and are experienced in dealing with social and emotional difficulties. The College also has a clear child protection and welfare policy.

New! Will my son or daughter need any special equipment kit or uniform?

Some courses may require specific clothing and your child may choose to do an enrichment option or sport, which requires extra kit. Information will be sent to applicants in advance of the start of their course.

New! Where will my son or daughter eat at College?

There are numerous healthy eating options available in our campus restaurant called The Brazz. There is also The Oasis Café where you can pick up drinks and light bites.

New! What advice can you offer regarding my son‘s/daughter’s use of the internet?

As your child grows and becomes more independent, it is only natural that they take this independence online. In our teenage years we explore, try new things and sometimes push boundaries and take risks, this is an essential part of growing up.

With all of the potential that the online world and new technology offers, young people now have access to huge opportunities. They use technology to express themselves, explore, and be creative; it has changed the way they communicate.

The internet has changed all of our lives, and your child has grown up during this change. Many of the things that confuse, baffle or even scare us, are part of the everyday for them. For many of us, this can all be a bit too much.

Whether you’re a technophobe or a technophile, it’s still likely that you’ll be playing catch-up with the way your child is using the internet.

You might wonder whether what they are doing is safe, and you might also be thinking how can I be as good a parent online as I am offline?

Go to the CEOP website www.thinkuknow.co.uk for more information.

New! What are the College’s expectations in regards to time management and attendance?

Students are provided with timetables and learning plans, and encouraged to take responsibility for their own success with staff support. Every student is required to attend ALL lessons on their timetable, including English and Maths (if required), Tutorials and Enrichment. The College has student attendance monitored closely by staff and help solve problems with getting to College. If a student is unable to attend College, they must contact the college to confirm they will not be coming into College that day.

Permission will not be agreed for holidays or travel during teaching time.

New! How do you support success?

In addition to the course of study your son or daughter has chosen to pursue, there are many ways in which the College prepares students for future success:

  • Literacy and Numeracy and ICT
    These skills are vital for future success, so SUAC will provide your son or daughter with a formally accredited programme of study to help them present their work confidently and professionally.
  • Tutorials
    The tutorial scheme at SUAC is designed to give your son or daughter an individually tailored learning experience. Every student has a personal tutor who can help with any queries they may have or support they may need.

New! What support is available?

For all the additional areas of help and guidance you and your son or daughter may need during their time at SUAC, the College provides expert education, career and financial advisors, a confidential counselling service and medical services, including a College nurse. All of these services are free to students.

New! What support is available for looked after children and care leavers?

Starting college can be an exciting time, although for some it can feel a bit daunting to start with as they get to grips with a new environment, a new routine and meeting new people all at once. And if you’re a looked after child or a care leaver there may be additional challenges too.

We want every student to get the most out of their time at college and we offer an exceptional level of support.

New! How can my son or daughter get to and from College?

SUAC is extremely well served by public transport. There is a main line train station within walking distance of the campus and we are easily reached by bus. Alternatively, the College has ample free parking for students and secure spaces for bicycles, motorbikes and mopeds. Vehicles should be registered at the beginning of term and parking permits clearly displayed.

What involvement will I have as a parent/carer?

We really value the support of parents and carers, and will involve you right from the start. As soon as your son or daughter applies, you will all be invited to an Admissions Afternoon, where you will be given a tour of the College, get the chance to meet key members of staff and ask any questions you may have.
Once your son or daughter starts college you will be invited to progress evenings and be sent termly reports on their progress. Your son or daughter will have their own Learning Mentor and we encourage you to get in touch with them if you have any issues you wish to discuss.

Our team will contact you if we identify any problems with your son or daughter.

What additional learning support is on offer to students?

Ensuring our students receive the correct level of support and achieve the right level of progress is vital. As soon as we receive an application from a student, and they attend an Admissions Afternoon, a one-to-one interview will be arranged.
This interview will establish what support has already been put in place at school, and what can be offered while studying here at the College. We can discuss classroom support as well as additional learning support on a one-to-one or small group basis.
We can also arrange for you and your son or daughter to come into college during the summer period to ensure a smooth transition from school. You are welcome to come and have a look around the College several times.

What financial help is available for students?

The College has been awarded a limited amount of money to help students in need of financial support. The bursary fund is mainly used for helping students with transport costs and essential equipment and materials.
We receive a large number of applications for funding and aim to pay a percentage towards student costs while funding lasts. After the initial payment has been paid, further payments are subject to good attendance and behaviour.
The fund is discretionary and the College has set up a panel to assess claims and appeals to ensure fairness.
In order to be eligible for this support, the household income including benefits has to be £19,000 or under. Evidence of household income will be required as will receipts for monies paid out to students from the bursary fund.

What is college life like?

We have really high expectations of our students, just like any school. In order for our students to be successful they will need to be dedicated and hard working in the same way our lecturers are committed to them.
As there is a greater degree of freedom at college, for example, students call lecturers by their first names, there is no college uniform and students are not required to stay on-site at all times; we have high expectations of the level of maturity shown by students. College is a great stepping stone between school and university/work.

What is a college day like?

A typical college day starts at 9am and finishes at 4pm. Your son or daughter will have a timetable which will identify their taught sessions. However, we also expect them to be doing at least 3 hours independent study per day, and homework will be set regularly.

What can students study?

We offer a full range of subjects that can be studied at several different academic levels, including:

A Levels
These two year Level 3 programmes are typically classroom-based, with a large element of independent research and study. Students choose three subjects from a wide variety of A Level subjects. AS exams are taken at the end of the first year and in year two students study at A2 Level.

Vocational Programmes e.g. BTECs
On the whole, vocational programmes are more practical and work-related, tending to focus on a specific occupational area. They can be studied from Levels 1-5. Level 3 qualifications such as a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma are at the same academic level as A Levels and like A Levels allow progression to university.

GCSEs
For students who want to re-sit GCSEs we offer our Gateway to Level 3 GCSE re-sit programme.

Apprenticeships
These can take between 1-4 years to complete depending on the level of study and industry chosen. With an Apprenticeship the learner gains job-specific skills while working towards a nationally-recognised qualification.

What does Raising the Participation Age mean?

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training, requiring them to continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from 2013 and until their 18th birthday from 2015.

This does not necessarily mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through:

  • Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
  • Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training
  • An Apprenticeship

What happens after college?

Our students progress onto a wide range of opportunities once they have completed their course here. We provide advice and guidance on:

  • Careers
  • Applying to university
  • Apprenticeships

We hold a Careers & Higher Education Event in the Autumn term, where we host over 80 universities and employers from across the country, all of whom provide information and advice on what to do next.

If a student completes a BTEC vocational qualification can they still go to university?

Yes! BTEC National Extended Diplomas are equivalent to 3 A Levels and are highly valued by universities, attracting UCAS points like A Levels. They provide practical skills and experience alongside the theoretical understanding and underpinning knowledge required to progress to university or employment in the chosen subject area. The qualification is scored based on distinction, merit or pass, or a combination of all three.

How is student success recognised?

Student success is recognised in the classroom and at progress evenings. For students that show outstanding achievement we hold an Annual Awards Ceremony where over 20 students receive an award.

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Become a friend of SUAC

We welcome you to visit our coffee shop or one of our many restaurants, and enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere of the College.

  • Coffee loyalty card.
  • Part-time & leisure courses.
  • Free wi-fi.
  • Discounted performing art tickets.

Latest College Stories

Professional Cookery Apprentice Conor Barron with The Cowshed Restaurant Manager Julia Jones
Film director Joe Stephenson with Stratford-upon-Avon College Media students
Dance students from Stratford-upon-Avon College with Edge Hill University’s Debbie Milner (far left)

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My daughter has attended Stratford-upon-Avon College for nearly 5 years now, and in that time she has achieved great results and qualifications. She is wheelchair dependant and needs assistance with everything she does in life. The support that she receives at the college to achieve her ambitions is nothing but excellent!! She would not have been able to achieve this if it wasn’t for the fantastic work of the staff and tutors, giving her the encouragement to reach her goals.

I would highly recommend the College to any people with disabilities as the support network is brilliant!

Carole DavisCurrent Parent / Guardian (2015)

I am a parent of two students currently at the college, one studying A Levels and one studying the L3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production. I have seen a real progression in both of them and my eldest son achieved A’s in two of his AS subjects last year. The Creative Media course has really focused my other son and his confidence has grown, both academically and socially.

Denise ChapmanCurrent Parent / Guardian (2015)

The College is a fantastic and vibrant learning environment for its students, providing them with the confidence to grow as individuals and to stretch themselves whilst working towards a University placement or their first job.  As a parent, it is reassuring to know that my daughter is regarded and respected as an individual and that her learning is tailored to her own needs.  The staff are friendly, approachable and inspirational to their students and provide them with excellent knowledge and guidance.

Jackie HandyCurrent Parent / Guardian (2015)