COLUMN: '˜Results don't define you'

If you're a parent of a child who is making decisions about what to do after GCSEs or A-levels, it might be that the choice is clear cut and you think the next steps are all mapped out.'¨Or it could be that you're still weighing up the options. I want to reassure you that a technical or academic education route can take your child wherever they want to go.

Friday, 28th July 2017, 1:41 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:56 pm

As a principal of a college and a parent, I’m in a privileged position to see the positive impact all options can have. A view that not many have and one that I want to share with you, so that we can make sure the next generation are getting the skills they need in a way that suits them.

Where graduates were often the most favoured employees and a degree in any subject would open doors for you, the situation has changed. The political and economic climate means that employers are starting to value skills, experience and qualifications in equal measure. They want the whole package and an academic study route isn’t the only way to deliver that.

There are some careers which demand an academic study route and those which are best suited to technical or work based learning programmes. In the years that I have worked in further education,

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I have seen enough students and apprentices to know that it isn’t about where you start from, the type of qualification or the route you choose. It’s drive, determination and passion which takes people the furthest.

We need to encourage young people to understand their options and the way that they prefer to study to allow them to make an informed choice about what to do next. We should give them confidence to know that there is more than one way to get university-level qualifications and the jobs they want.

Our advice and guidance team are on hand throughout the summer if you need some help to make sense of the different options. Call on 01246 500500 to make an appointment. Keep it in mind that whatever is in that envelope on results day, it doesn’t define them for the rest of their lives. It’s what they do next that really matters!