Fresh Focus as College Places Pledge to School Leavers

THOUSANDS of school leavers have been given fresh focus as a leading college guides them into a bright future of further education.

Darlington College, which is first in the Tees Valley and sixth in the country for FE results, has pledged to offer every applicant a place on a course suitable for their needs.

In recent weeks, school leavers have been applying online for a range of courses, covering academic and vocational subjects, from level 1 to 3.

They have been given a taste of what is on offer virtually with a host of course-casts on a range of curriculum areas, as well as an online prospectus and a variety of content on social media platforms.

Help and guidance is being made available to school leavers on how to apply and enrol, student finances and college life in general.

A new video has been posted outlining how students navigate the college under the current social distancing guidelines, which will be updated as the new term approaches.

Marketing and engagement manager Claire Turner said: “We are really excited to welcome school leavers in September.

“Once they have chosen a course and applied, they will be sent a link after they receive their GCSE results on August 20. This link will provide a step by step guide to complete their enrolment online and finalise their place on a course. At every stage we are on hand to help them – they don’t have to make decisions on their own.”

If students want to change their course or have any questions, they can call (01325) 503030 or email

If school leavers feel they need extra help planning their next steps they can contact for support.

Claire said: “It’s going to be their year to achieve great things and Darlington College is there to get them started on the future they want to live.

“We’re pledging to offer all our applicants a suitable place with us, to give them support throughout their enrolment journey and to ensure they are not disadvantaged from recent circumstances that have been beyond their control.”

She said, for many school leavers, being unable to sit their GCSE exams had been disappointing and demotivating. But everyone in the country was in the same position and measures were in place to assess which level of study programme would best suit them.

Year 11 students applying to Darlington College would be supported so they could study their subject of choice.

Anyone applying to be an apprentice would still have an interview with tutors and employers but it would be via Google Hangout or Zoom.

In some curriculum areas a tutor might also call to discuss the course over the phone, while other tutors might invite them to join a Facebook group to keep in contact.

School careers advisors have also been provided with pre-work to give students a flavour of what to expect on their college course.

Claire added: “Whether the school leavers have their eyes set on the world of work or university, they will be able to get the very best from their career journey with Darlington College.”

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