HomeLife at 色漫天堂Advice & GuidanceInformation for Parents


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Preparing your young person for college.听

Starting college is the stepping stone between school and future employment, apprenticeships or progression on to university. It can be both exciting and a little daunting, not only for new students but for parents, guardians and carers too.听听

Becoming increasingly independent is a step towards adulthood and a significant element of a young person鈥檚 personal development and future success.

Your support is key during this time of transition, so to help you, we have provided some useful advice and information about how you can help and guide your young person through this new chapter!

Need further assistance?

Please get in touch with our Advice & Guidance Team:

North Devon
01271 852422
01884 235330
Further information

With a variety of resources available to students post-16, it can sometimes be overwhelming to decide what would be the best fit. At 色漫天堂, we have a fantastic team of Advice & Guidance professionals on hand to assist students throughout the whole process.

We offer a wide range of courses and qualifications including:

A Levels

A Levels are a Level 3 programme, which adopt an academic approach to learning. They can be brilliant in developing a deep understanding of a subject area and provide the resources to progress to university. Typically three subjects are studied over a two-year period and are assessed by examinations. More information can be found on our A Level page.

T Levels

T Levels are a Level 3 programme that offer an industry work placement for 20% of the week, alongside 80% of students' time being spent in college completing practical and theoretical work. T Levels have been developed alongside employers and offer a fantastic opportunity for workplace experience and in depth classroom study in many industry areas. More information can be found on our T Level page.

Vocational Programmes

Vocational programmes are a blended learning experience, offering both classroom tuition and practical learning with work experience. Courses range from Level 1-3 and are fantastic for a more hands-on approach, being offered in real-life work settings. Two year, Level 3 vocational courses are equivalent to three A Levels and are brilliant for developing employability skills. Discover more on our vocational course page.


Apprenticeships enable students to enter straight into employment for 4 days a week and spend 1 day a week at college. This means that 80% of a student鈥檚 time will be spent with the employer and 20% will be spent in college completing the theoretical side of learning. They are a great way to earn as you learn and can provide students with a high level of understanding within their industry. To begin, young people must first source an employer offering an apprenticeship opportunity. More information can be found on our Apprenticeship page.

Explore all options

Once your young person has an idea of what course, or subject they would like to study, it is advised that together, you explore multiple colleges to find the right course for them. Consideration should be given to the different topics studied, entry requirements and how a course is assessed. Most important is what and where feels 鈥榬ight鈥 for them as individuals. We encourage you to attend Open Events together which can give your young person a clear indication of the feel of the college. Whilst in school, they will also be invited to Year 10 Taster Days, which enable them to get hands-on with a particular subject area they are interested in. Multiple applications for colleges and courses can be made if a student is unsure, providing them with time to think over the best option for their future.

Your impartial support and reassurance will be of great benefit at this point as many young people find making these decisions challenging.听

If your young person is considering two or three different courses at 色漫天堂, they can apply for all of them, keeping their options open. If they do change their mind or make a firm decision, just contact us and we will alter their application for them. All applications can be made through our website.听

色漫天堂 offers many different courses at different entry levels, which ensures we provide opportunities for all young people, whatever their personal or academic ability. From entry level courses with no formal entry requirements to Level 3 courses, there is something for everyone.听

If GCSE grade 4 is not achieved in maths and/or English, learners will continue studying these subjects alongside their chosen course and may not be able to progress onto a Level 3 course until a grade 4 has been achieved.听

Find out more about entry requirements here or contact our Advice & Guidance Team.

色漫天堂鈥檚 Parent Portal is a secure online facility designed to foster communication between 色漫天堂 and parents/carers of students aged 16-18.

You can access the portal if you are a named contact of a student at 色漫天堂, enabling you to:

  • View targets, check attendance records and class timetables
  • View college application and interview details听
  • Complete the Off-Site Activities Consent form
  • Make payments

To find out more about the Parent Portal and to log in, visit听

An 'Off-Site Activities Consent Form' is required by 色漫天堂 before any student can participate in any trips. It needs to be signed by the student and by a parent/carer for students under 18. It only needs to be done once and will cover their entire time at 色漫天堂.

To complete and sign the form, all you need to do is log onto the Parent Portal at /parent-portal-my-petroc/

You may also be asked to provide additional visit consent for trips which take place outside normal college hours. This can be done in the Educational Visits section of the Parent Portal.

Attendance is directly linked to achievement, so it is vital that students attend all their lessons to increase their chances of success.

Should a student be absent, they will need to let us know before the start time of the lessons that will be missed. Please encourage your young person to undertake this themselves, wherever possible, to support their independence.听

Students can do this easily via their my色漫天堂 portal, where they can select 鈥楻eport an Absence鈥. If they are unable to log their absence online, they can ring the Student Absence Line Number on 01271 852441. This telephone number can also be found on the back of their ID Card.听

You can view this detailed guide for further information.

Unfortunately, there may be times when a staff member may be absent due to illness or special leave requirements. Wherever possible we try to cover teaching sessions, however, sometimes this may not be possible. On these occasions, we aim to contact learners via email before the start of the session and provide them with an alternative task to work through independently.听

At 色漫天堂, we are committed to providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment where all our students can thrive. We are keen that young people develop socially and emotionally, as well as academically, demonstrating positive attitudes and behaviours that will enable them to succeed in life.

Our expectations for this are outlined in our Community Code of Conduct, which holds the three tenets of Be Ready for learning, Be Respectful to all around you and Be Safe at all times.听

We provide great support to our learners, however, if we do identify an issue that may put a student鈥檚 success or wellbeing at risk, we will seek to explore the issue and, where needed, will contact parents/guardians so that we can work together to enable the young person to get back on track.

A Student Certificate - or Student Disregard - can be used to support benefit applications, open student bank accounts or provide official evidence to support your student status for Council Tax disregard.听

The Student Certificates include the learner's name, address and date of birth, the course they are studying on, start and end dates, and weekly average hours.听

We offer certificates for apprenticeships, further education courses and higher education courses.听

We can provide the certificate for the learner or a parent named as a correspondent.

Education is free for all students aged 16-18 (on 31 August of the year they start their course).听

If a learner requires financial help to cover additional costs such as books or travel, they may qualify for a 16-18 Bursary Fund. Find out more about the criteria and application process on our Bursary Fund page.

The application can only be made by the learner via their my色漫天堂 account. The evidence of the household income can be uploaded by the learner, brought into the Advice & Guidance Centre, or emailed to guidancecentre@petroc.ac.uk

Funds towards books, kit and equipment will be issued after three weeks of 100% attendance. We will request bank details from the young person to be uploaded via their my色漫天堂 account, this can be the bank details of the learner or of the parent/guardian.

Our campuses are located on good local bus routes, and have on-site parking and lots of bike shelters, ensuring plenty of travel options for your young person.

For more information on bus routes, bus passes and parking permits, please visit our travel page.

Help with the cost of a bus pass may be available from the Bursary. An application will need to be submitted for both a travel pass and the bursary.

色漫天堂 is committed to ensuring all students learn in a safe and friendly environment by providing the support needed to thrive and succeed at college and beyond.

If your young person needs any Additional Learning Support due to sensory or mobility impairment, an ongoing long-term/progressive medical condition, a specific learning difficulty, a mental health condition, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, or ADHD, the Additional Learning Support Team at 色漫天堂 is on hand to offer the best possible support. Find out more on our ALS page.听

Our Safeguarding, Wellbeing and Support Teams provide a safe and confidential service, offering one-to-one support and guidance to help learners through any barriers faced while studying at 色漫天堂. To find out more about the service we offer, please visit our safeguarding pages.听If required, please contact our Wellbeing Team prior to the start of term, to organise meetings over the summer, to assist your teen in establishing a relationship with key support staff.

Our friendly School Liaison Team is happy to meet you, offer a tour of the campus, and help with any questions you may have. Please email schoolliaison@petroc.ac.uk to book an appointment.

After completing their course at 色漫天堂, our students go on to amazing things - some head straight into employment or begin an apprenticeship, some move onto the next level of their course and others apply for a place at university.

Our University Centre for Northern Devon offers a whole host of exciting opportunities to study for qualifications including HNCs, higher-level apprenticeships, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, foundation degrees and honours degrees (validated by the University of Plymouth) in subjects that meet the demands of industry - both locally and nationally.

Every year, hundreds of our students are supported by 色漫天堂 with their UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) application to progress on to university. As a parent/guardian, it can feel like an overwhelming process, so we aim to stay in touch with you throughout the process with email updates and twilight information sessions.听

Students who are on a 2-year, Level 3 course, will begin their UCAS journey in their first year of study,. They will begin to explore future options and careers within their Personal Development sessions and will have the opportunity to speak with a vast range of universities at the UCAS Discovery Event held during the spring at Westpoint in Exeter. They should then begin their applications by the end of their first year of study. Within Personal Development sessions, we provide full support with completing the UCAS application and ensure that their Personal Statements are of the highest possible quality, before adding predicted grades and references.

In the autumn of their second year, students then submit their UCAS applications by our 色漫天堂 deadline and await decisions from the universities that they have applied to.听

If a learner decides to apply for university after the UCAS deadline, we can still support them to apply and submit a late application; they just need to let their Personal Development Coach know.

At 色漫天堂, we believe that what can be achieved at college is far more than just the value of a student鈥檚 study programme. We aim to support their holistic development, enabling young people to seize opportunities that will develop them physically, socially and emotionally, whilst also supporting them to build power skills of communication, teamwork, collaboration and critical thinking. Most of all, we want them to have fun and build their confidence and self-efficacy.

色漫天堂 Plus is our extensive programme of extracurricular activities* that includes academic, arts and sports academies, social and wellbeing activities, social action projects, Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, ambassador and volunteering opportunities. Our expectation is that all learners will participate in at least one activity each year.

Students sign up for our 色漫天堂 Plus academies and activities at the start of the year via their my色漫天堂 portal, though many can be joined at any time during the academic year, subject to availability.

You can view the full range of opportunities on the enrichment pages of our website.

Newsletter -

We don't believe your financial circumstances should be a barrier to you fulfilling your potential here at 色漫天堂. That's why our Advice and Guidance Team offer help and support on a range of funding options.

Education is free for all students who are aged 16-18 (on 31 August of the year you start your course).

If you are aged 19 or over, you may have to pay to study, however, there may be funding options or free courses available to you.

Whatever your age, should you need financial help to cover the costs of books or travel, we may be able to help you; take a look at the information below or contact our friendly Advice & Guidance Team for more information.