Information for Parents
Here are a few things you might like to know about City College:
When your son or daughter becomes a student of City College, you can rest assured that they will be attending Southampton's leading college for outstanding success and state-of-the-art facilities.
"Students enjoy their studies and feel completely safe."
Ofsted March 2011
We specialise in level 3 and A Level courses which lead to university, employment or our own Higher National Diplomas - an affordable alternative to university degrees. We also offer high quality provision at levels 1 and 2.
"The college's approach to meeting the needs
and interest of students is outstanding."
Ofsted March 2011
It is not just our success rates and facilities that your son or daughter will benefit from, they will also have access to a wealth of support to ensure they are successful in their chosen career, whether university or future employment.
"Care, guidance and support are outstanding."
Ofsted March 2011
We are very keen to ensure that all students stay safe, make a positive contribution to the community, achieve economic well-being, enjoy their learning and be healthy. These are the 5 key factors for a happy and successful life here at City College and we call them ECM (Every Citizen Matters).
City College Southampton exists to provide a high quality service of education, training and promotion of learning.
The college will thereby:
- Increase the life opportunities of individuals and the productivity of organisations
- Strengthen the development and employability of individuals and employees
- Support the progression of individuals through further education into employment and higher education
- Contribute to the growth and economic development of the region through our curriculum offer
We are a high-performing college with student success rates well above national averages. In many curriculum areas we are the most successful college in the region. We are confident when we say your son or daughter can be successful with us.
Why are we so good?
"We have concentrated on developing the right courses for our students. We listen to our students in order to keep improving and have built superb new facilities to ensure your child has access to the best learning environments.
Our students are at the centre of what we do and we give all of them the most fantastic support and encouragement. Ofsted has graded us as a good college with outstanding features."
Lindsey Noble (Principal and CEO, City College Southampton)
City College and Parents - Working Together
We believe that your son or daughter has the best opportunity for success if you, as the parents/carers, and the College work together in partnership. If you have any concerns about issues relating to their achievement at City College, or simply want to discuss their progress, please contact their teacher at any time. Likewise, your son/daughter's teacher will contact you if they have any concerns.
We actively encourage all students, regardless of age, to proactively involve their parents/carers in all aspects of their College journey.
However, for students over 18, the law does not recognise any right of parents/carers to information about their children. It would therefore be a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 if we released information to a parent without a student's permission.
Our main message is to ask you as parents to attend your son or daughter's Review Evenings. There are two planned Review Evenings to add to your calendars:
27th November 2012 and 21st March 2013. Teachers will notify their students of any other dates relevant to their curriculum areas. This will give you the opportunity to see what they have achieved and how you can help them to realise their full potential.
Term dates 2012/13
First day of Term
Staff training day (college closed)
29th October - 2nd November
Staff training day (college closed)
24th December - 6th January
First day of Term
Staff training day (college closed)
Staff training day (college closed)
18th February - 22nd February
29th March - 14th April
First Day of Term
Staff training day (college closed)
27th May - 31st May
Staff training day (college closed)
Last day of Term
First few weeks
Your son or daughter's course will start with a one day 'City Ex' event in July. This is an opportunity for students to meet who they will be working with and get a taste of what is to come. It is also an opportunity for them to make that all important well informed decision that City College is the best place for them to learn.
In August students are invited to attend confirming week and Freshers' Fair. During confirming week students will be able to inform their tutors of their exam results. They will also be able to access useful information about City College and participate in fun activities at Freshers' Fair.
Once term starts in September, the course will commence with an induction programme providing them with information on the facilities available, what is expected of them on their course and the student code of conduct. They will also enjoy some team building exercises to ease them into the way of college life.
During October all new students will have a detailed review with their course tutor. During this review we will ensure that your son or daughter is taking the most appropriate course and is fully aware of all the facilities and resources of the College. Parents are encouraged to attend these reviews.
It is important that your son or daughter attends College on a regular basis and is present in all classes. We know that there is a direct relationship between students' attendance and their success in achieving their qualification, and non-attendance may cause your son or daughter's work to suffer. By not attending regularly your son or daughter will be missing key parts of the curriculum and there will be little continuity of learning.
- It is the policy of City College to encourage 100% attendance and punctuality.
- Your son or daughter should let the College know why they are absent. This must take place in the morning of the first day of absence by phoning 02380 577666.
- Unauthorised absences will impact on your son or daughter's ability to participate in enrichment activities such as trips and also on their eligibility for bursary.
- Absence will be authorised at their teacher's discretion. Only illness, family emergencies or bereavement will normally be considered.
- Medical and dental appointments should be made out of College hours. If unavoidable, your son or daughter will need to complete a self-certification form in advance of the appointment.
- Teachers will mark a register for each class as they take place during the day.
- Lateness or absence will be recorded and followed up.
- Holidays should not be taken in term time.
- If your son or daughter's attendance at College falls below expectations for their course the Student Disciplinary Procedure will be invoked.
If you have any concerns regarding your son or daughter's attendance, please do not hesitate to contact their Teacher or Student Adviser where appropriate.
Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity
City College is committed to providing an environment where students, staff and all members of the College community can feel safe and secure. In addition, we believe that the College should be a place where concerns relating to a person's safety or well-being are noticed and responded to appropriately.
We have a very secure campus; CCTV and a secure computer network means that bullies are never tolerated and we operate in an adult, work like environment. Poor behaviour is always challenged and we do not tolerate behaviour which makes another person or group of people feel unhappy, uncomfortable or unsafe. Every student is responsible for making sure they or their friends do not behave in ways that cause others to feel unhappy, uncomfortable or unsafe.
The college has a designated safeguarding team who deal with any concerns raised and work with external agencies such as the police and social services where appropriate.
Ofsted said "Students enjoy their studies and feel completely safe. They comment very positively about the security arrangements in the college and understand the importance of adopting safe working practices and healthy lifestyles."
Equality and Diversity
City College Southampton is committed to the principles of Equality and Diversity for everyone. This commitment underpins and impacts on every area of activity and influences how the college works and what it does.
This means the college is a place where ALL students and staff, whatever their circumstances or background:
- Are fully respected
- Feel welcome
- Are treated in a friendly way
- Have equality of opportunity
- Have appropriate support
As a result, Ofsted said "Equality and diversity are well promoted in this inclusive college. The senior leadership team sets high expectations for the work of the active and influential equality and diversity panel."
Support for your son/daughter
We want to ensure that all our students are successful and happy. There is nothing more important than students enjoying their studies, feeling supported and achieving their full potential. From time to time we all need extra help and City College recognises that students may need someone to talk to.
As well as all the support for learning, we also support students with issues relating to housing, finances, health, and any other issues that may impact on their ability to attend and achieve at college. We also have a College Counsellor to whom students can be referred. We maintain close working relationships with specialist third party agencies to ensure that our students have access to the best support available. Student Advisers work closely with tutors and students to provide support. Referrals can also be made by tutors or students themselves by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or talking to one of the Student Advisers.
Ofsted said "Guidance and support of students are outstanding overall".
Learning Support and progression is about finding ways to help your son or daughter become more independent and confident in their studies. We offer one-to-one and small group sessions and are experienced in working with students with a range of learning difficulties. We also offer support to all students regarding personal and social concerns that are impacting upon their learning.
Every student is assessed individually but, if they have a Statement of Educational Needs, have received support at school or feel that learning support would help them to achieve, then it is likely that they will be able to receive Additional Learning Support. This is assessed during induction in the first weeks of term by a tutor or Learning Support Assistant (LSA). Referrals can also be made by tutors or students themselves by emailing email@example.com or talking to one of the LSAs or tutors.
Ofsted said that "Excellent provision of learning support ensures that students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are as successful in their studies as their peers."
We appreciate that not every student will arrive at City College with GCSE grades they are happy with and that will allow them to progress as they would wish in their education and employment. That's why we offer a functional skills programme in English, maths and ICT that will enable your son or daughter to achieve a qualification that is recognised by universities and employers. Our classes offer individual programmes for each learner's needs where they can work on the skills they need at their own pace.
Information, Advice and Guidance
We are delighted to be able to offer your son or daughter a comprehensive, impartial careers information, advice and guidance service here at City College. This is available via the Podium by reception. It is important for us to ensure we can provide high quality information, advice and guidance to enable your son or daughter to make the right decisions about their future career plans. With over 60 years of experience and the Matrix Quality Assurance Mark, we are able to help with:
- Course information
- How to apply and enrol
- What financial support may be available - which might include the cost of materials, kit, uniform, childcare, tuition, exams and travel
- Careers guidance
- Where to go for any other help including learning support or personal issues
- Applying for university
- Information on college facilities:
Sunrise Nursery, Aspire Restaurant, Kudos Salon, Learning Resource Centre and Refectory
Enrichment, Tutorials and Learner Voice
This service is offered free of charge to everyone.
Enrichment means 'to make more meaningful or rewarding' and this is demonstrated by our fantastic enrichment opportunities available to students at City College. Your son or daughter will have the opportunity to undertake additional activities that are designed to enable them to pursue personal interests. The purpose of these enrichment activities is to enable students to reach their full potential; to provide opportunities to develop new skills and experiences; to support students to make a positive contribution to the community and to allow them to meet new friends. Their attendance at such activities will contribute to broadening their CV or enhancing their university application.
Your son/daughter can expect to experience weekly tutorial provision whilst at City College. This may be focussed on a theme, current affairs or useful topics to support the development of young people such as healthy living. Tutorials also provide valuable opportunities for students to catch up with their course tutor, Learning Support Assistant or Student Adviser on their progress.
We want to make sure your son or daughter has a fantastic experience at City College and the best person to ensure we are providing this is them! We will proactively engage your son or daughter in providing feedback in a number of ways, from online surveys, to tutorials and even focus groups with our Principal. By doing this we aim to ensure that students contribute towards our development and growth and are at the centre of everything that we do at City College.
Progression: employment, education and apprenticeships
We are committed to providing your son or daughter with the skills and knowledge required to progress, whether this is on to further education, higher education or employment.
For students looking to progress to employment, the college operates an employability programme which offers students the chance to develop CVs, learn interview techniques and formal letter writing, identify and apply for relevant jobs and even participate in work experience.
For those looking to progress to university, we offer dedicated support from application to acceptance. We also promote opportunities to experience university life and to help students and parents/carers to understand tuition fees and funding. We have good relationships with universities and also offer Higher Education courses at City College.
The college works in partnership with many local businesses to provide apprenticeship opportunities and have a designated team to help support students to identify, apply and gain apprenticeships. For further information on apprenticeships, please visit our Apprenticeship website.
What your son or daughter can expect from us:
- Help to choose a programme of study that suits their needs
- An induction to their programme of study
- Guarantee of delivery of their programme
- Classes that start and end on time (and quick notification about unavoidable changes)
- Learning Centres and services to support their studies
- A clear picture of how they are to be assessed and regular advice on their progress
- Encouragement to help evaluate the course throughout their period of study
- Access to advice, information and counselling on any educational or personal matter throughout their time here
- An increasingly safe, secure, pleasant and accessible environment for their studies
- A quick response to any problem and confidential support if necessary
- A caring and supportive atmosphere
- Respect and celebration of differences of all in our community, and promotion of the College Equal Opportunities Policy
- Up to date information about developments within the College which may affect them
What we expect from your son or daughter:
- Take pride in the good name of the College, abide by College rules and behave responsibly at all times
- Take responsibility for their learning by attending regularly and punctually, working hard at their studies and completing all their assignments on time
- Co-operate with their tutors and other College staff and make active use of learning support
- Seek help if they need it
- Help to make the College a safe place for all by adhering to the College's policies and health and safety
- Be considerate of the rights and interests of other College users
- Take care of the College buildings and furnishings, and respect other people's property
- Treat everyone with respect, regardless of differences in culture, ability, race, gender, age, sexual orientation nor social class
- Play an active part in Equal Opportunities by refusing to take part in jokes or behaviour that degrade others, challenging and reporting discriminating behaviour
- To let us know quickly if they feel we have not provided the service we have promised, or if you have any other problem.
- Always carry a valid campus card when attending college and show their campus card to any member of staff who requests it
- Behave appropriately during timetabled sessions and at all times while attending college
- Respect all of the College's buildings, furniture or fittings including IT equipment and health and safety equipment
- Fully cooperate with the directions of the security staff
- Never sell, use, be in possession of, or under the influence of, illegal substances never consume or be under the influence of alcohol
- Not smoke anywhere other than in the designated smoking area
- Only eat or drink in the refectory or other specifically designated areas
- Always abide by the College's IT user policy
- Only bring onto the College site a moped, motorcycle or bicycle and only park in a designated area, driving their vehicle within the College speed limit and in a manner which never endangers others
- Not act in ways which others may find offensive by, for example, dropping litter or spitting
- Use language which others do not find offensive
- Treat everyone respectfully, particularly in regard to differences in culture, ability, race, gender or sexual orientation
- Never threaten or act aggressively towards other students or staff, whether physically or verbally
- Not engage in any other type of behaviour which may endanger, threaten or harass another member of the college community, including rumour-mongering and cyberbullying, whether during College hours or not
If your son or daughter is aged 16-18 and you are in receipt of an income-based benefit or Jobseekers Allowance, they may be entitled to financial support. This is to help with kit, trips and travel though our Bursary scheme.
For more information contact our advice team on 02380 48 48 48.
For your son or daughter to continue receiving financial assistance through the City College Bursary Scheme they must attend college regularly.
City College is in the centre of Southampton, just a short walk away from shops, parks, restaurants, cafes and cinemas. Whether students want to get some lunch, do some shopping or meet up with friends, everything they need is close by.
It's easy to get to the campus which is just a short walk across the park from the main high street. There are many bus routes into Southampton City Centre and students aged 16-18 are able to purchase bus tickets at specially negotiated reduced rates from First and Go South Coast (Bluestar).
If your child is travelling from further away, they may need to get the train. The Central railway station is approximately 12 minutes walk away, or you can cross the Itchen Bridge to Woolston station.
A lot of our students live further away from Southampton and your son or daughter may have to allow some time to travel to College. You can find our travel guide on our website under Student Support, Travel and Transport.
City College are delighted with their new 'State of the Art' facilities known as 'the hub' and based at the heart of the city centre. These fantastic facilities form part of the college's £34 million third phase development of the site for learners of all ages, the local community and local businesses.
The comprehensive new development includes:
- A 240 seat professional theatre incorporating the latest professional equipment
- Aspire - a fully functional commercial restaurant
- Kudos - professional hair and beauty salons
- Media studios with around £1million worth of industry standard equipment
- A TV studio that can be used to film in full HD
- A central cafe, run by the College's hospitality students
- Numerous seminar rooms and break out areas
- State of the art fitness centre
The Learning Resource Centre (LRC)
The LRC has a wide range of resources to help your son or daughter with their studies. These include books, magazines and online resources all within a welcoming environment where they can study in groups or individually. The LRC is equipped with a vast array of software available to every student. It is also one of the many points in the College with Wi-Fi wireless internet access allowing students to use the Internet and pick up emails on laptops.
The Learning Resource Centre team and ICT team have developed a brand new service called The Information Station. This is a growing collection of online resources that are suitable for all subject areas offered by the College. Resources include: e-books, e-journals, databases, websites and study guides. The Information Station can be accessed via CityBit (City College's virtual learning environment) or via the main College website.
Also located within the LRC is the Success Centre where students can drop-in for additional learning and study support. The centre is staffed Monday to Friday by tutors and Learning Support Assistants.
Our Student Charter sets out the standards of service we aim to deliver and we will try at all times to achieve these standards. If, however, you feel we have failed in some way, the information below sets out the steps you should take in making a complaint.
We are committed to dealing with complaints speedily and at the point of delivery wherever appropriate. For this reason we would ask you to raise your complaint initially with the member of staff providing the service. If you feel that this is not possible then you may raise the matter informally with the Manager immediately responsible for the service in question. This would normally be a Head of Faculty or Business Support Manager. Our Reception staff can advise you as to who is the most appropriate person with whom you should raise an informal complaint. We hope that the majority of complaints can be quickly and amicably resolved at this level.
In the event that you are dissatisfied with the response to an informal complaint or consider that your complaint is too serious to be pursued through informal means, you should address a formal complaint to the Chief Executive's office. Normally, such complaints should be made in writing, clearly stating the facts as you perceive them and with reference to any relevant dates or responses to informal complaints. In the event that it is not possible for a formal complaint to be put in writing, our Reception staff are able to arrange an interview with the relevant senior staff on your behalf.
3. Responses to formal complaints
All formal complaints will be acknowledged within three days of receipt and investigation of any formal complaint will normally be carried out by the relevant Manager or Director.
The College will aim to give a response within three weeks of receipt of the complaint. Where this is not possible, you will be contacted within three weeks and provided with a progress report and an indication of the time scale for resolution for the complaint.
Final responses to complaints will indicate outcomes of the investigation, redress where appropriate and any action the College is taking regarding its service for the future. Where a complaint is found to be unsubstantiated an explanation will be given.
4. Independent review and adjudication
Where it is inappropriate for a formal complaint to be investigated by the Manager of the area or section concerned, the Chief Executive's office will make arrangements for an independent investigation to be conducted by a senior member or members of staff within the College. In the event that you are dissatisfied with the response given to a formal complaint you may refer your complaint or complaints to the Principal who will adjudicate on the matter.
The College will make every effort to deal with complaints in confidence where this is requested. Where a complaint relates to the actions of a member of staff or a student, College disciplinary procedures require that the person against whom the complaint is made is fully informed of the nature of the complaint. If the setting up of an investigation or disciplinary procedures might result in a breach of requested confidentiality, the matter will be discussed with you before further action is taken.