Pre-16 Myth Buster

Can I withdraw my child from school so that they can join Pre 16?

NO…this is not what Pre 16 is here for.

You might withdraw your child from school in order to home educate, and then apply for a place on Pre 16 to complement the home education you will be providing....AFTER a significant period of time. We must be sure that home education is taking place and that this has been an informed choice. We offer a limited number of Pre 16 places a year and acceptance is subject to the availability of places, suitability for your child to achieve in the College environment and whether we are able to support your child’s needs effectively.

So, if I have home educated from May can they start in September that year?

NO....we would expect applicants to have been home educated for an absolute minimum of 6 months. In this situation the circumstances would need to be explored before accepting the application and moving the process forward.

The vast majority of home educated students have been actively home educated for 2 years and longer; many have never attended formal education.

My child is unhappy at school so needs to come to Pre16.

NO…in this scenario it is vital that you speak to the school and discuss the full situation. They may be able to explore a managed move/ additional support/ reduced timetable or any number of strategies to enable your child to once again thrive in school and be able to complete their GCSEs as planned.

If none of these are successful, then the conversation may lead to exploring Alternative Provision such as Pre 16 at New College. At this point the school would need to contact the Pre16 Department and make an application.

My child’s school have said Pre16 is too expensive.

Pre16 costs schools £4,500 per year per student: generally, the equivalent amount the school receives per student per year.

I need to have proof of my child being taken off the school roll.

YES…if you have only recently (i.e. within the last 12 months) become electively home educated, we will ask for proof (a copy of the letter sent to the school or local authority). This is to ensure that funding will be available for your young person.

Priority is given to school funded students

NO…we are a selective provision with a commitment to supporting the electively home educated community in this area. All applications are dealt with in date order.

New College will accept any and all school funded students

NO…we are a selective provision and it is vital that we only accept those students who demonstrate a commitment to their education and maturity to manage being based within an FE college environment. We request copies of school reports and behaviour logs in order to gain an overview of the young person.

School funded students can study more subjects

YES…the key advantage to remaining on the school roll is that as such you are able to enrol on a full time College study programme. This consists of 5GCSEs (sat within one year).

Electively home educated students are limited to study programmes of 450hrs – the equivalent of 3 GCSEs (sat within one year). Thus allowing time for home education to continue alongside College.

I can apply for Pre 16 places at any time

NO…Our application process starts in January of each year and we tend to be at capacity by the end of June. An early application is key to a successful application.

Schools are issued with a closing date for applications which is generally early June.

Pre16s study only with other Pre16 students

NO…the reason for our continued success is that our students are successfully embedded within lessons with the FE students. This reinforces mature behaviour and a good work ethic. This also ensures that our students have the opportunity to choose from an extensive list of courses available.

My school has said they cannot fund Pre 16

This may be the case; each educational setting has their own budgetary constraints. As the majority of senior schools are now Academy status, the Local Authority cannot enforce any guidance upon them.

The Local Authority ask that in this situation you meet with the school to discuss all options and seek support from the Swindon Advocacy Service. The Educational Welfare Officers may also be able to provide support.

Pre 16s tend to be the young people who have not been able to follow school rules

CERTAINLY NOT…in fact the majority of Pre16s are long term home educated young people who join us to gain formal qualifications and broaden their knowledge.