Parents and Carers

Parents and carers

Raising the school leaving age

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.

Education and training could be either full-time education at school or college, an apprenticeship or part-time training or education if the young person is employed.

If your child is considering an apprenticeship, you can find answers to some of the questions you may have in this parent’s guide to apprenticeships.

Helping your child decide where to study

Deciding where to study can be a stressful time for both students and parents/carers. It is an important decision and one which must be made to suit your child’s individual needs, interests and talents.

There are various questions you may wish to discuss with your child before you both start looking at where to study, such as:

  • What does your child want to study/does the college offer it?
  • Does your child have any specific future career plans/will the college be able to help your child to achieve their future goals?
  • Does your child want to live at home or move away to study?
  • Would your child be happier in a small college or a large university?
  • How will my child get to college and finance their studies?

It is wise to look through prospective colleges’ websites, visit open days, look at Ofsted reports and take a look at any social media sites to get a feel for the experience your child will get whilst at college.

Open days

If your child is thinking of coming to study with us, please come along to one of our open days, meet our tutors and take a look around our facilities. Forthcoming dates can be found here.

Financial considerations

As well as course fees (where applicable), your child will need to ensure they are financially able to cover the other costs of studying such as stationery items, transport to college/work placements and to cover any living expenses they may have.

There are many sources of financial help and support available, from NUS and railcards, through to grants and loans. Please see our fees and finance page for more information.


We operate a strict zero tolerance policy in regards to bullying and harassment.

We expect standards of behaviour that recognise and respect the dignity of all individuals and regard any form of harassment, victimisation, intimidation or bullying as unacceptable behaviour.

We strongly believe that everyone is responsible for minimising the impact of bullying and harassment. This can be achieved by everyone acting with zero tolerance and reporting, as appropriate, any incidents witnessed.

Why choose us?

There are many reasons why people choose to study with us, such as:

  • Small and friendly – this allows us to be responsive to all of our students and creates a happy, close knit and caring environment
  • Specialised – you child will join a community of like-minded people as almost all of our students are studying and/or working in the animal care or veterinary sector
  • Work experience opportunities – our courses involve significant periods of practical experience, either on voluntary work placement or through employment. This allows students to gain real life work experience; strengthening their confidence, abilities and future opportunities
  • Experienced and qualified tutors – our lecturers all hold academic qualifications and industry experience in the subjects they teach and have either achieved, or are working towards, teaching qualifications.
  • Education and employment – Our latest Ofsted report commended us for having learners who work to a very high standard and develop excellent professional skills working with employers who are enthusiastic and supportive.

Family Lives – Help and support for parents and carers

Family Lives is a charity which provides professional, non-judgemental support and advice to parents and carers to help them have the best possible relationship with their children and deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life.

You can talk to a family support worker through live chat, email or phone to a confidential helpline (0808 800 2222) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on forums.

Visit the Family Lives website

Ofsted information

We were delighted to have received a ‘Grade 2 – Good’ across the board in our latest Ofsted inspection, undertaken under the new grading regime. View the full report here.

Releasing information to parents, other relatives and third parties

It is not uncommon for parents, particularly those who are contributing to tuition fees, to ask for information about their son or daughter. Unfortunately, the College is not able to disclose this sort of personal data (even to parents) other than in the most exceptional of circumstances because of the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Read more.