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Information for Parents/Carers

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Choosing what to study, and where to study, is no easy decision for any school leaver

We realise that the decision is just as big for you, the parents and carers, as it is for your son or daughter. When thinking about their future they value your advice and guidance, and so do we.

The Bedford College Group strives to provide a successful, supportive, and safe environment for all of our students, so you can relax in the knowledge that your son or daughter is free to worry about their studies, and nothing else.

Parents of existing students with The Bedford College Group

We hope your child has settled in well to their student life with The Bedford College Group. If you have any questions that are not covered below, please do not hesitate to contact us here or their Personal Achievement Tutor directly.

What's the difference between study at college than school?

At The Bedford College Group we pride ourselves on providing a more mature learning environment where our students are treated as the individuals that they are. Some young people do not thrive in a school environment and college studies offer a real change for these students. There are no bells for lessons and tutors are called by their first names, creating a culture of independence and mutual respect. There are also smaller class sizes in college so each student can receive more focus and attention to help their learning.

What can my child study at college?

At The Bedford College Group we offer a wide variety of both vocational and academic study courses at different levels of ability. Full details of all our full time courses can be found here

How do I know which level my child can study?

Entry requirements for each level of study differ between courses. Once your child has decided which subject area they are interested in then their level of entry into that subject will be dependent upon their GCSE grades and ability. This will be discussed with them in more detail during their interview and guidance session following application.

What support is available if my child has any problems or concerns?

All learners are assigned a Personal Tutor who they can go to at any time. We also have Student Services at each campus and a free, confidential counselling service for all our students.

College will be a big change after school. How you help my child settle into their new course?

We understand that it can be very daunting for some students to move out of school and into a college environment. In the summer term many of our courses run a ‘Welcome Day’ event which we encourage all ‘soon-to-be’ students to attend. This full day of events gives them an opportunity to meet their tutors and new fellow course members as well as finding their way around the main areas of the college. Enrolment day and freshers week are also all aimed at helping our new students to settle into The Bedford College Group as quickly as possible.

My child is unsure on what course they want to study. What if they change their mind during the course?

It is important to us that our students are happy and have made the correct choice. They can contact their Personal Tutor at any time and the progress review week held in October provides an opportunity to complete a formal one-to-one meeting to ensure they are in the right course at the right level for them.

How will I know if my child is attending college?

At The Bedford College Group we expect 100% attendance on each course. We will monitor your child’s attendance at college and, should there be an issue, you will be notified by letter.

Will someone make sure my child is not falling behind on their work?

Each student at The Bedford College Group is assigned a Personal Tutor who has regular meetings with them to discuss their progress and learning goals going forwards. If your child/ward is under the age of 18 we will send you two Progress Reports during the year and invite you to attend Parents’ Evenings to discuss your childs’ progress.

Does the college help with travel arrangements?

The college operates a transport scheme which provides access to public transport bus services. If students are struggling to pay for their transport into college help may be available through the Learner Support Fund. Our Student Services team will be pleased to discuss any concerns with travel arrangements with you.

Do students have to be in college when they do not have formal lessons?

As part of our culture of independent and mature learning we do not insist that students are on campus when they have no formal lesson scheduled. However, students are expected to supplement their class time with individual study or group work and we find that many of them use our well-equipped Learning Resource Centres, IT suites and study areas for this purpose.

Does the college organise events/trips as part of the courses?

Enrichment activities are organised throughout the year by both tutors (to support studies) and the Students’ Union as part of a social activity schedule. We firmly believe that these types of activities are a major part of college life that help our students to develop their social skills.

What refreshment facilities are available at the college?

We have modern, well-equipped refectories on all our campus locations offering a selection of hot and cold snacks and meals. There are also vending machines providing snacks and drinks.

My child has special educational needs. How will they be supported?

We have a dedicated Additional Learning Support team that provides a range of services for students to make sure that everyone gets the most out of their studies. Support available includes Learner Development Assistants, Communication Support Workers, specialist equipment, one-to-one tutorials, small groups and extended teaching and learning time. If your child has specific needs for support during their studies then please contact us to discuss their requirements in advance and we will be happy to advise how we can help.

Will I have to pay for my child to study at the college?

Students aged 16-18 years old, who attend college full time, are not required to pay any course or exam fees. Some courses incur specific costs such as books, uniforms, special materials and equipment. Learners 19 or over will be required to pay for the cost of the tuition for each year of the course, exam and registrations fees although Learning Loans are available for some courses. If you are concerned about the cost of additional materials and equipment then please speak in confidence to one of our Customer Services team who can advise you about our Learner Support Fund.

Is there any financial support available to help with the costs whilst my child is at college?

Some students may be eligible for financial support to assist with the essential costs of coming to college such as transport, books, equipment and uniforms. Please speak in confidence to one of our Student Services team who will be pleased to provide you with additional information.

Where can I find out further information?

If you require any assistance or clarification with any aspect of your child attending college then please do not hesitate to contact us.


Applying to The Bedford College Group

Your child doesn’t have to wait to get their GCSE results to make an application with The Bedford College Group.

Applications for our full-time study programmes starting this coming September are now open. Please make your application as soon as possible to secure a place on your preferred programme.

We provide a safe and welcoming environment for students, staff and visitors

Read our Safeguarding policy

Find out more