College and Sixth Form Applications 

A HAPS Family Guide 

Moving onto their next steps after school is a huge milestone for any young person. As their family, you have a key role to play in helping to support your child through this process. 

We appreciate the process can be confusing and that there are many options for students at age 16. We hope this guidance and information will help you in navigating the process and assisting your child to select a fulfilling and appropriate pathway for them. 

College Applications 

Applying to colleges and sixth forms will be the first time that many young people have to complete an adult application process. Communication regarding college applications is directly between the young person and the institution to which they have applied and does not involve school. Whilst some institutions will inform us of applications from young people, not all do. It is critical therefore that you speak to your child regularly about their applications and help to remind them to respond to emails and calls.

A separate application will need to be made to each institution that your child is applying to. The majority of college and sixth form applications are online with the exception of Loreto and Xaverian Sixth forms. There are other training providers and colleges out of the area to which your child may apply so please speak to your child to keep up to date with where they are applying, school will not always be able to provide you with this information.  

Colleges will not accept applications after deadlines have passed. Colleges may also require your child to attend an interview in person or over the phone and any offers may be withdrawn if they do not attend. Most colleges will also withdraw offers if they are not confirmed by your child. 

Please help to remind your child of deadlines and ensure they are checking their email to pick up interview information and confirming any offers of places. 

Checklist for Families 

  • Ensure your child has an email address to which they have access and that they are checking regularly. Check their email to see that they have completed applications for colleges. 
  • Make sure your child picks up any phone interviews and rearranges any that are missed. They will need to do this directly with the college. 
  • Ensure that your child has applied to more than one institution. Young people can apply to and confirm places at as many institutions as they wish. 

Make a note of the college enrolment dates you will be given for in the summer and inform the colleges if your child will not be in the country for enrolment.

Students who do not attend enrolment at their chosen college will lose their places – even if these have been confirmed.

What qualifications should my child choose? 

There are a range of qualifications that are available for young people aged 16, vocational and academic. Your input will be vital in helping your child choose the right pathway for them. All students also receive independent careers guidance and an action plan at school. It is important to pay attention to your child’s projected grades so that you can ensure their desired pathway is achievable for them. 

Entry requirements may vary between colleges so please check their websites for further information. 

Qualification Overview Entry Requirements 
A’Levels The A-level is a two-year course in an academic subject. Students usually take 3 A’levels. A’levels give students UCAS points that they will need to apply to university. A’levels are assessed by a final series of exams in the second year. 5 GCSEs Grade 5 or above. Students will need a grade 6 in the subject (or similar) that they wish to study at A’level. For subjects like Science and Maths they will require at least a grade 7 in that subject. 
T’Levels T-levels are a new two-year qualification currently being introduced to provide post16 students with a more practical, handson and vocational alternative to A-levels. They are like a half-way house between Alevels and apprenticeships. T-levels focus on providing students with technical and practical skills for the workplace. However, the majority of students’ time – about 80% – is spent in the classroom studying. Like A-levels, T-levels lead to UCAS points which can be taken into account in higher education applications. However, instead of selecting a number of subjects, as with A-levels, students undertake a single Tlevel programme.5 GCSEs Grade 5 or above. Students will need a grade 6 in the subject (or similar) that they wish to study at T’level. 
BTEC A BTEC is a practical-based, vocational qualification. It can be studied at a college or school. Learning tends to be more project based and assessment is based on assignments rather than solely through exams. BTECS can be studied at various levels, each of which equates to a different qualification: Btec Level 1 and 2 = equivalent to GCSEs Btec Level 3 = equivalent to A-levels  Level 3 BTECS provide UCAS points and access to university. Most universities accept BTECS but you should check the entry requirements of individual universities in advance.Level 3 5 GCSEs Grade 4 or above.  Level 2 5 GCSES Grade 1-4
ApprenticeshipsAn apprenticeship is a means of working and gaining qualifications at the same time. Apprenticeships are available in nearly all employment sectors including managerial and professional jobs.  Applying for an apprenticeship is the same process as applying for a job. Your child will need to check regularly online for vacancies and complete an application for each vacancy. They will usually require a CV.  You can find more information on apprenticeships and local vacancies here: 
Entry Requirements will vary for each individual apprenticeship.  Level 3 5 GCSEs Grade 4 or above.  Level 2 5 GCSES Grade 1-4