The transition from school to college can be very exciting and rewarding. Your child will be entering into an environment in which learning is celebrated and supplemented with practical application; they will be able to make friends with like-minded individuals; as well as take more responsibility for their own progress.
But we do appreciate that for some parents, the idea of college can seem daunting.
If you have any questions or simply want to find out more about the courses we offer, we warmly welcome you to come along to one of our open days (publicised at regular intervals on our website), or contact our team to discuss any queries or concerns you may have. We would be delighted to help!
Meanwhile, here’s a quick at-a-glance guide to some common questions:-
- Will my child be safe?
Everyone who works at the college is aware of the importance of safeguarding students, and our staff are informed about this when they undergo induction training. If, in the unlikely event your child has a concern, he/she is more than welcome to raise the issue with any member of staff. We also ensure that we make them aware of specific managers they can talk to, should they need to.
- How good are your teachers?
Our lecturers are double-qualified and experts in their field, holding invaluable industry or business experience that they can pass on to your child. Our teachers also receive teacher training, just as they would if they taught in schools. All of this means that our students learn their trade from someone who is both qualified to teach, and knows exactly what employers in their profession look for in a candidate.
- Will my child get a job?
Here at Lewisham Southwark College, our main purpose is to get people into employment: not just ‘a job’, but a fulfilling and rewarding career that they really want. We therefore only offer programmes that have been carefully designed alongside industry requirements, so your child will become trained up to directly meet employer needs, and maximise their chance of gaining a job in their chosen career track.
- Could my child progress to higher education?
Yes. Your child might progress to full-time study, for example, or take up employment with part-time study. They can continue all the way up to higher education and degree level (no matter what qualifications they have when they first join us). Our ambition is to get your child from their starting position to their ultimate goal.
- Will my child be happy?
Our college environment is friendly and welcoming, and we really want to see our students thrive. We suggest you attend one of our open days with your child, to meet the staff and other young people who share your child's ambition, and to get more of a feel for the environment in which they might be working.
- When should my child apply?
They can apply in Year 11 as soon as they’ve decided on the course/s they want to study. For the best chance of getting a place on their chosen course, they should send in their application as soon as possible and not later than the Easter holidays. However we realise that not everyone knows what they want to do at that stage, so we still accept applications after the Easter holidays.
If your child isn’t sure which course to apply for, our open days are a great chance to talk to tutors, access advice on which courses are best for which careers, and get a taster of what different courses are like. To find out about our next open day, visit our events page.
- Which is best - College or sixth form?
Lewisham Southwark College offers a very different environment to a school sixth form. Students learn in a more adult environment and gain skills that will help them stand on their own two feet as independent learners, such as research and study skills. We also prepare them for the world beyond College – working life or university – by promoting self-motivation and good time management skills. In addition, the College gives students the chance to take part in a huge range of extracurricular activities which smaller school sixth forms can’t match, and is a fantastic way of meeting new friends with similar interests. Obviously this environment won’t be for everyone but for many young people it can really motivate them to achieve. Our students tell us that they enjoy the more mature environment that College gives them, where they are treated as adults while still getting great support and guidance.
- What does it cost for my child to study at College?
If your child is under 19 on 31 August before their course starts they won’t have to pay tuition fees for most courses. However if your child is aged 19 or over, they will be responsible for paying tuition fees for their courses unless they fall into certain categories. To find out more about financial support for 19+ learners, visit our Finance Support page.
- My son/daughter has accepted a conditional offer but now changed their mind about which course/s they would like to do. What do we do?
- What if my son/daughter does not get the GCSE grades they need?
We know that students don't always get the grades that they were predicted. We offer courses at a range of levels along with additional support in key subjects so if this happens, the most important thing is not to worry. If your child gets lower GCSE grades than expected, they should still come along to the enrolment appointment they’ve been given. Tutors will be able to discuss all the options and advise them about the courses available to them. This might be an alternative course or, where possible, a lower level course in the same subject area.
- Can my son/daughter apply to more than one college/sixth form?
Yes, students can apply to as many different places as they like. They can then decide – through research, visits and taster days – where they would most like to study.
- When does my son/daughter start at College?
All students with offers of places to start in September are sent a letter inviting them to come and enrol on their course or subjects. The letter specifies a date and time they should come to College.
If they have not received a letter by mid-August, have lost the letter or are unsure of the arrangements, please call the Admissions Team on 0800 834 545 and they will confirm the date and time for enrolment for your son/daughter.
Good attendance is vital to students’ success on our courses. We monitor each student’s attendance at each lesson and if your child does not attend a lesson – and they have not notified their tutors that they will be absent – we will ring you. If you cannot be reached, a letter will be sent out and a disciplinary hearing may be arranged. If your child is unable to attend College due to any reason (illness, lateness or unforeseen circumstances) please call 0800 834 545 or contact the tutor preferably by 12 noon on each day of absence.
- Term dates
You can find a full list of term dates here
- Student support
We want our students to have an enjoyable, full and inspiring learning experience at Lewisham Southwark College, and have a range of Student Support available to help your child get the most from their time here. This includes careers information and guidance (including help with finding employment and applying for higher education), advice on fees and financial support available, and Special Educational Needs (SEN) support.
Each student aged 16-18 also has a Progress Coach who works with lecturers and other support staff to ensure that learners have all the help they need to do well at College and take their next step towards a fulfilling career.