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Frequently Asked Questions (Parents/Carers)

Choosing where and what to study after GCSEs is an important and life-changing decision, and parents and carers often have many questions about college. Here we’ve compiled some of the questions we get asked most often – and the answers:

What is the difference between college and school/sixth form?

In many ways, college and staying at school (or going to a dedicated sixth form) are very similar – we all want the best future for your child. 

Many students feel they have outgrown school by the time they have finished their GCSEs and look forward to being in a new environment, making new friends, and choosing what they want to study to help them succeed in their chosen careers. 

At college, we have a wider selection of courses than most schools or sixth forms, with tutors that have worked in industry, to equip your child with the skills they need for their future.

We use our study programmes – which include work-related learning, work experience and employment skills, and their main qualification (as well as English and maths, if they have not achieved a grade 9-4 at GCSE) – to encourage them to begin thinking, working and studying more independently, while still providing high levels of support. This helps our students become better equipped for the workplace or further study.

Can my child still go to university if they study at college?

Yes – nearly all of our Level 3 courses will enable your child to earn UCAS points, the same as studying at school or going to a specific sixth form.

We offer a wide range of vocational courses at CCCG. Our Level 3 Extended Diplomas (often called BTECs, named after one of the validating organisations), studied over two years, can give the same number of UCAS points as studying a programme of A Levels at school or sixth form – find out more at UCAS’ website.

What is the cost of my child studying at college?

The Government pay course fees for learners aged 16 to 18 directly to the college, though there might be travel costs and specialist equipment required for their course.

There are many financial support schemes, including bursaries, for eligible students – find out more on our course fees and financial help page.

Will I still receive child benefit?

The eligible parent or carer of any learner under 20 can continue to receive child benefit, whilst their child is in full-time education. For more information, please click here.

How does the college support my child?

Your child’s tutors have the responsibility of ensuring that the individual students in their group achieve their potential. We encourage all students to approach our staff with any concerns they may have. 

We encourage you to contact our staff if you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress. 

There are also specialist services to which students can be referred. These include careers, welfare and specialist mentors. 

Students follow a structured programme of personal and social education, careers and higher education, together with one-to-one monitoring of their progress. Students and staff discuss progress and set and monitor targets for improvement. Attendance and punctuality are also formally monitored. 

We use an online service for students to check their progress and set targets to improve their learning. You can access this, and see your child’s progress and attendance by asking them to log in.

Are there Parents/Carers evenings for me to attend?

Each student has a minimum of three formal progress reviews each academic year. These reviews consider attendance, attitude to work, participation in class and progress, amongst other factors. 

For parents’ evenings, you will be invited to visit our centres, meet our staff and discuss your child’s progress. We hope you and your child will be able to attend.

You can help your child by encouraging them to leave sufficient time for study outside of college so that they complete all their homework and assignments by the stated deadlines and to the best of their ability. It is expected that students on two-year courses will continue into the second year, however, this is subject to satisfactory attendance and progress. 

Please see our Parents’ Evenings booking form page for details on how to book your appointment.

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