Information for Guidance Teachers

NESCol offers a wide range of opportunities to Senior Phase pupils to support continued success and engagement with learning in preparation for the world of work.

If you are supporting a young person applying for a Schools-College course, it is important to ensure they are aware of the commitment they will be expected to make to the course, and that they are fully supported in the application process.

Schools-College courses continue throughout the Academic Year and are therefore not suitable for young people planning to leave school at Christmas time.

Pupils applying for these courses should be aware that there may be a requirement for them to travel to another venue, the course timetable may extend beyond the school day and there will be an expectation for some self-directed study out with lessons, either for the College course, or for lessons missed at school whilst attending College.


All relevant school staff will be pre-registered and provided with information on how to gain access to the Schools-College Portal, where the online application process takes place.

To start an online application, use the Apply Online button on the course your pupil is interested in. This will start the process. The user guide will take you through each stage of the online application process from start to finish.

Schools-College Portal: User Guide

After the application is submitted, school staff will be sent an automated email to confirm the application. School staff will be able to follow the progress of applications by logging in to their Schools-College Portal user account. There is also the option to withdraw an application or log a query if necessary.

For more information see the Schools-College Application Timeline 2020 – 2021

Full-time courses

Exceptional Entry

Exceptional Entry is for young people whose date of birth requires them to remain in school until the winter break and is a fantastic option for those who are ready to leave school, and take the next step in their education. If a pupil’s 16th birthday falls between 1st October and 28th/29th February, they would be eligible to start certain full-time, non-advanced courses at North East Scotland College from August, even though they are still officially a school pupil.

Despite being a student at North East Scotland College, under these circumstances those aged under 16 are still the responsibility of their school and the local authority. They will continue to have a named guidance teacher at school, and will continue on the school roll until their legal school leaving date before the Christmas holidays.


Pupils can apply for a full-time course on our website. They will find information on all of our courses, along with an application form which they can submit online.

For an application to be considered, the school will be asked to provide consent.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships are for Senior Phase pupils. From S5, this programme combines course work and extended work experience to lead to industry-recognised qualification at SCQF Level 6 (the same level as a Higher).

Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships


If you are having any issues when it comes to submitting an online application or using the Schools-College Portal, or if you have another query relating to Schools-College courses, please contact:

Telephone 01224 612393

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