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Information for Parents & Guardians

Information for Parents & Guardians

As a parent you know that this is an important time for your son or daughter when making decisions for their future career paths and deciding where and what to study. At Calderdale College we want to help support you in what can seem like a difficult decision making process.

Calderdale College offers a wide choice and extensive range of vocational courses that school sixth forms are not able to offer, plus our extensive links with employers ensures that students are offered relevant work experience to prepare them for the world of work.

College offers a different environment to a school sixth form. Students learn in a less formal, more adult environment, and our aim is to equip students with research and study skills, as well as the confidence and self-discipline. This will help them stand on their own two feet as independent students whether they progress on to the next level of the course or into Higher Education, an apprenticeship or employment

Can my son/daughter apply for a university course with a vocational qualification?

Calderdale College provides a wide range of Level 3 Vocational qualifications that can lead to a Higher Education course. Achieving a BTEC Extended Diploma qualification over 2 years is the equivalent of 3 A level grades.

When will they enrol?

All students with offers of places to start in September are sent a letter in early August inviting them to come and enrol on their course.

The letter specifies a date and time they should come to College. If you have any queries or wish to change the appointment, please call the Admissions Team on 01422 399316.

What will it cost for my son/daughter to study at Calderdale College?

If your son/daughter is under 19 on the 31st August before their course starts they will not have to pay tuition fees for a further education course.

Will my son/daughter need any special equipment, kit or uniform?

Some courses may require special equipment such as protective boots, specialist kits and/or uniforms. The College makes every effort to provide free specialist equipment for students, if there is a cost; those with a low household income (below £22,403) can apply through student support funds to finance this.

What if my son/daughter does not get the GCSE grades they need or do better than expected?

We know that students don’t always get the grades that they were predicted or do better than expected. If your son or daughter didn’t achieve what they were hoping, don’t panic, come and speak to us at the enrolment appointment, we may still be able to make your child an offer on the original course. If not they will be offered a place to  study on a lower level that represents the grades they have achieved.

If they have done better than expected and the option to move onto a higher level course is ticked in the provisional offer letter, they may move levels within the curriculum area.

With certain courses, such as Construction, Plumbing and Electrical courses, the students will need to start at Level 1 regardless of academic qualifications or ability.

Will my son/daughter be at College five days per week?

College attendance is different from school and full-time courses do not necessarily run every day of the week. Some courses require 4 or 5 days attendance at College while others require less. Most courses require self-study and students can study in the Learning Resource Centres when they are not in classes.

My son/daughter received extra support at school. Is this available at Calderdale College? 

Yes, we can provide one-to-one support depending on your their needs; we also have a Learning Support Team who work closely with students.

Can my son/daughter work while they are at College? 

We recognise that many students have part-time jobs, which are valuable financially, and develop their skills. However, students need to maintain a balance between their course and work commitments.

What do students at Calderdale College progress on to?

During their time at College all students will have a regular tutorial with their tutor and have access to course and careers information whilst on their course. Student Services provide this in the form of structured group talks on options for progression and one-to-one guidance interviews. Students are fully supported to progress on to the next level of the course or into Higher Education or employment. The College can help students prepare for and find employment if they do not wish to go on to university.

Raising the participation age & what it means for you

The Government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training until they turn 17 from 2013 and until their 18th birthday from 2015.

Choose a route that suits career aspirations: Raising the participation age (RPA) does not necessarily mean staying in school. Young people have a range of options to choose from the age of 16:

  • Full-time education in a school, college or with a training provider (A-Levels, NVQs,BTECS* & NVQs)
  • Part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteeringfull-time (20 hours or more a week)
  • Work-based learning such as an apprenticeship

* BTEC National Diplomas are equivalent to 3 A-Levels, enabling students to continue to university or employment


After visiting Calderdale College in 2014, key findings by Ofsted were:

  • Outcomeson the apprenticeship programme are outstanding
  • Studentsand apprentices make good progress in improving their personal, social andemployability skills
  • Teachingin practical sessions enables students to acquire skills they need for work
  • Teachersand assessors promote equality and diversity very effectively
  • ThePrincipal and senior managers have high expectations of students andapprentices, and promote high standards of quality and performance
  • TheCollege is highly responsive to the needs of employers and key stakeholders

Pastoral care

Calderdale College welcomes parents, carers and guardians to become involved with the College and the young person’s learning to maximise the success of the learning experience.

We fully recognise the value and necessity of working together where the student is still dependant on family support, and encourage you to make contact if any issues arise. Parents, carers and guardians will receive a written progress review twice a year, and will be invited to attend parent/carer events during the first and second term.

A Parents' View

Anne Chambers, mother of former Level 3 Public Services student Mark Chambers from Mirfield, who also studied a Foundation degree in Health and Social Care at the College said:

“The College has been very good because he hated doing A-Levels at school and he’s now at university –he really has just come on leaps and bounds. I think its great from his point of view; hes very sociable and the enrichment was really good as he also took part in other activities such as American Football. I would definitely recommend the College for someone struggling with their A-Levels because I think you get more of a focused subject and its still a Level 3 qualification.

As for myself, I would recommend it as I do not think I would of completed my degree if I hadnt have done it at Calderdale College. The College was fantastic; I wouldnt have wanted to do it anywhere else being a mature student. It just gives you that comfort and cushion and the whole placement of the College is great - its easy to park, easy to get to and I cannot praise the College enough.

Contact Us

Find Calderdale College on GOogle Maps

Calderdale College,
Francis Street,
Halifax, HX1 3UZ

+44 (0) 1422 357 357

Course Information:

+44 (0) 1422 399 399

Admissions Team:

+44 (0) 1422 399 316