Here at The Isle of Wight College we aim to make sure that all our learners achieve their full potential. To achieve this we need the support of parents and guardians.

As a parent or guardian you want your child to get the best possible start in their career. There are many options available to young people after they leave school, and in this guide we outline information and benefits about The Isle of Wight College as a key route into a successful career.

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training. If your child was born on or after 1 September 1997 they must stay in some form of education or training until at least their 18th birthday.

This does NOT necessarily mean staying in school! Young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through:

  • An apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider.
  • Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training.

If you have a young person in your household who is currently in Year 11 or 12 who is considering sixth form, a vocational course or an Apprenticeship, browse through our courses and training opportunities to find a study programme they will love.

The Isle of Wight College has outstanding results for vocational courses from Entry Level to Level 3 (A Level equivalent) and we have an excellent range of university level courses. Irrespective of level and interest there is a course to suit any learner.

You are invited to attend one/or all of our open events. Come along and see the facilities for yourself, speak with staff and get all your questions answered.

We look forward to welcoming you to our College soon.

All Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds at The Isle of Wight College are designed to include:

  • Work experience which is effective, relevant, and useful and takes place with an external employer, external to the place where you study, where you can experience the real demands of work
  • English and maths, where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4 – 9  (A*- C) in these subjects by age 16
  • Non-qualification activity, such as tutorials and work-related learning, to help further develop the personal skills relevant to your progression goals
  • A substantial vocational qualification which will form the substantial part of the programme

These four elements of the programme should combine to provide stretch and challenge helping to prepare young people for progression to employment or further study.

The review evening is an opportunity for you to come in and meet your son/daughter’s tutor and find out about their progress. You will receive an academic written report before the evening written by your son/daughter’ tutor and other staff who teach them, along with an invite to the review evening.

It is vital you make every effort to attend to ensure your child has continued motivation and so you are alerted to any problems or difficulties your child may be experiencing.

At The Isle of Wight College we want our students to leave College both skilled and ready for the workplace or university. For this reason every student has an E Tracker Guide designed to look at the student’s overall goals, and how they need to develop their skills in order to reach these goals.

The E Tracker Guide forms part of the tutorial process, which also includes “Targets”. Targets have been designed to equip students with the skills that employers expect employees to have. Examples

of these Targets would be the student creating for themselves a full CV and job application letter, or attending a money management session.

We also encourage students to find part time work in order to prepare them for full time employment at the end of the course. We ask that parents and guardians support this, as an excellent way for students to gain experience of the real working world.
On site we have access to a full time Careers Advisers who operate an appointment and drop in service. Students also have full access to the Internet and Press and we would encourage them to use these facilities to gain an understanding of working opportunities.

There is a lot of information available for parents about young people’s higher education options. The Which? Parents Guide to University – Which? Higher Education – Careers Advice for Parents and Young People. If you would find it useful you may talk to the College’s Careers Adviser. Book your appointment via main reception on 01983 526631.

Visit for advice for parents concerning University courses.

Labour Market Information

If you would like to explore labour market information to enable you to have an improved understanding of the changing labour market you may find the LMI For All website very useful.

As well as academic study we encourage students to take part in activities that will help them develop their social and personal skills. We run a number of enrichment activities through the year, which could be anything from attending the London Boat Show to a ‘learning to swim’ taster session

You can download The Isle of Wight College Charter from our Downloads page.

You can download The Isle of Wight College student handbook from our downloads page.

As a College your child’s well being and success is of the utmost importance to us. If you have any queries about anything to do with your child being part of The Isle of Wight College then please feel free to contact your son/daughter’s tutor at any time, or come into the College and there will be a member of Student Services on hand to help you in any way they can. Alternatively, please call (01983) 526631.

Parent View gives you the chance to tell Ofsted what you think about your child’s school, from the quality of teaching to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour.

An apprenticeship is a real job with training, which would allow your daughter or son to earn while they learn, whilst gaining a nationally recognized qualification.

Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and cover 1,500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, public relations to veterinary nursing.

Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond.

  • Earning a salary
  • Training in the skills employers want
  • Excellent progression opportunities whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
  • Increased future earning potential – apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime
  • Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
  • Paid holiday.

Entry requirements

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.

Apprenticeship Levels

There are various levels of apprenticeship your son or daughter could apply for depending on their current skills and qualifications. Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

  • Intermediate: level 2, equivalent to 5 GCSE passes at grades  4 – 9 (C – A*)
  • Advanced: level 3, equivalent to 2 A level passes
  • Higher: levels 4,5,6 and 7, equivalent to Foundation degree and above
  • Degree: levels 6 and 7, equivalent to Bachelor’s or master’s degree

All apprenticeships will include elements of on the job and off the job training leading to industry recognized standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships will require an assessment at the end of the program to assess the apprentice’s ability and competence in their job role.

National Apprenticeship Service

Supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of Apprenticeships throughout England.

Your Guide to Apprenticeships

Provides essential information and sources of further advice and support on Apprenticeships.

You can find further information on our College FAQ page.

You can take a free online course to help inform parents on how to sensitively talk to your children about self-harm and tactics for increasing mental resilience.

You can find information about online safety on the Isle of Wight Safeguarding Children Partnership .

You can book a free two hour session which will enlighten both parents and professionals on:

  • what young people are using the internet for
  • the technology they are using
  • managing the risks
  • taking positive action.

The session is not hi-tech but contains practical content and advice for parents and professionals that will make a difference.

Learn more

Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It is part of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy.

The college is in the process of updating its three-year strategic plan for the period covering 2017 to 2020. This is the plan which sets out the long term direction for the college and is fundamental in influencing the college’s priorities for the next few years.

Parents and carers have a key role to play at the college and we are keen to hear your views of what we should be focusing on in the coming years.

To help inform your views we have published a draft, abridged version of the strategic plan setting out the college’s proposed mission, educational character, strategic aims, values and delivery priorities.

View Draft Plan

We have also proposed below some ‘discussion points’ that you may wish to use to respond to.

Discussion points

  1. How can the college best support its students, their parents and carers, local business and the community?
  2. What do you see as the skills and development priorities for the island? Do you have any suggestions as to how the college can best contribute towards this?
  3. What do you currently see as the college’s strengths?
  4. In what areas do you think the college needs to develop / improve its provision?
  5. Is there anything the college currently does not do that you think it should do?

If you would like to contribute, please can you email your comments to

Thank you in anticipation of your help.

Roland White, Assistant principal.

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