Tyne Metropolitan College urges parents, teachers and other key influencers to play a greater role in advising their children of future options, as new research reveals majority of pupils are unaware of post-GCSE choices

TyneMet College is calling for support to help as new research reveals that fewer than half of pupils preparing for their GCSEs receive specialist advice on post-exam options.   TyneMet has put out this call as research released today by the Association of Colleges, shows considerable confusion among young people about their post-GCSE options.  A half of Year 10 pupils surveyed were unable to name more than two post-GCSE qualifications; a quarter could only name one.

The study, which was conducted on behalf of the Association of Colleges has been released to launch the beginning of Colleges Week (26th September - 2nd October) and  involved interviews with  500 pupils aged of 14 who are currently studying for GCSEs.

The research found that while 63% of young people were able to name A-Levels as a post-GCSE qualification, very few could name any of the other choices available.

Only 7% of pupils were able to name Apprenticeships as a post-GCSE qualification.

Only 26% of pupils were able to name NVQs

  • Only 19% of pupils were able to name BTECs
  • Only 9% of pupils were able to name Diplomas
  • Only 3% of pupils were able to name Foundation learning courses

TyneMet comments: "The research highlights a very worrying trend among young people, with the majority reportedly having to make serious decisions about their future, without having access to all of the necessary information.  We regularly hear from our pupils that the advice they received prior to starting with us was patchy, with many completely unaware of all the options available.

"We provide lots of opportunities for both parents and prospective students to get in contact or to visit our College to find out what different courses and qualifications we have on offer.  In light of these latest research findings, I would strongly urge parents to get in touch and help their children to explore all of the options available to them, before they make any decisions about their next steps, after GCSEs."

The study found that half of all pupils do not feel that they have received enough advice from their school or academy in planning their future career.  It also reveals that only half receive advice from a specialist careers advisor.

Pupils also said that the advice that they receive from their parents about the options available to them after their GCSEs is more useful than that received from teachers or careers advisors.

Joy Mercer, Director of Education Policy at the Association of Colleges, adds:

"These findings show that parents have a hugely important role in helping their children to fully understand all of their options. Young people deserve to know about all of the post-GCSE options available to them and their peers. These results suggest that guaranteed face-to-face guidance from an independent source would be preferable to asking schools and academies to be the primary source of advice."

Parents and pupils can find out more about post-GCSE alternatives by visiting our TyneMet College and Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College Open Events.  TyneMet, Coast Road Campus, on Tuesday 27th September from 4-7pm for vocational options and apprenticeships and at Queen Alexandra  Sixth Form College, Hawkeys Lane, North Shields, on Tuesday 27th September from 5-8pm for advice and guidance on As and A2 subjects.

It's not too late to enrol on a vocational or A Level course, whether you haven't chosen a college yet or you're not sure if you have chosen the right one; TyneMet and Queen Alexandra student advisors are ready to help get you started on your perfect course.  Call 0191 229 5000, email enquiries@tynemet.ac.uk or for A Levels enquiries@queenalex.co.uk.   For more course details visit our websites www.tynemet.ac.uk  and for A Levels www.queenalex.co.uk

To down load your copy of TyneMet's new Full-time Prospectus 2012/13 go to www.tynemet.ac.uk