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Information for Parents and Carers

Senior School pupils have a huge range of options available when it comes to employment, training, further education and higher education.

Schools-College courses

If your child doesn’t feel ready to leave school yet and are in the Senior Phase of Curriculum for Excellence, they can study part-time on a Schools-College course at College and stay on at school for another year.

If applying to take a Schools-College course whilst continuing at school, it is important that your child is supported by you in fully engaging with the course. Career education opportunities are available at a wide range of academic levels, and the courses offered by the College are highly valued by employers who actively recruit young people progressing from these courses.

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.


Pupils should discuss their application with their Guidance Teacher at school. All Schools-College course applications are carried out by school staff, who go through the online process along with each of their pupils who is interested in applying.

After an application is submitted, the school will be sent an email to confirm the application. Schools will be able to follow the progress of an application, ask a question or withdraw an application if necessary.

More Information

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.

Where it is the view of the College that a young person is not yet ready for full-time study due to non-attendance or poor behaviour, they will be returned to school for the remainder of their compulsory education. This process will involve communication with the school.


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.

As parent or carer, you must give permission for an Exceptional Entry school pupil/Winter Leaver to enrol on a full-time College course through completion of a consent form, which will be sent out along with your child’s offer of a place. Other than the consent form, the application process is exactly the same as any normal application for a full-time course at College.

Upon accepting an offered place, Exceptional Entry pupils will be provided with information regarding their induction to North East Scotland College. Enrolment will be completed at induction.

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 would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Guidance Teacher in the first instance, or the Schools Liaison Team at North East Scotland College:

Telephone 01224 612393
Email schools@nescol.ac.uk

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Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF)

The SCQF has produced a handy guide for parents and carers.

Download a copy


North East Scotland College is committed to the welfare and safety of all students. We have a legal duty of care to all under 16’s attending College, and have effective Safeguarding procedures in place. Should there be any concern that a young person attending College is subject to any abuse or neglect, this will be immediately referred to the identified member of school staff and the school procedure will be followed. All staff at North East Scotland College are members of the PVG Scheme.

Where a student is under 16 years of age, but no longer enrolled with a school, concerns or disclosures about abuse or neglect will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Parents and carers should be aware that the College is an adult environment, and supervision differs to what is in place at schools. Young people attending College should therefore be encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety and wellbeing at all times.

Should you have any concerns or queries regarding Exceptional Entry, advice can be obtained from your child’s school guidance teacher, Careers Adviser or from the College’s Student Advice Centre.

Some useful information is also available via the ‘Parents’ section on the My World of Work website.

Behaviour and attendance

It is important to remember that the College learning environment is considerably different from that of school. It is considered an adult learning environment, and the College is under no obligation to keep a student in the College if they are not attending regularly and behaving appropriately. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, and behave according to the College Students Code of Commitment.