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Peterborough College Welcomes School Careers Advisors For Post-16 Options Event

Peterborough College welcomed Careers Advisors and teaching staff from local secondary schools for a ‘Spot the Difference’ Breakfast Event, where guests heard from experts on all things A Levels, Diplomas, Apprenticeships and T-Levels. Whilst served delicious pastries, fresh fruit, juices and hot drinks, guests watched presentations that examined the differences between the post-16 learning options that Inspire Education Group (IEG) offers across its Peterborough College and Stamford College campuses.

After a warm welcome from Vice Principal of Student and Staff Experience, Sarah Young, who touched upon IEG’s facilities, student support and the application process, Marilyn Kennedy, Assistant Principal of Academic Curriculum, began her ‘A Level Analysis’. A Level students at the Colleges achieve some of the best grades nationally, with the 2022 pass rate recorded at 99.4 per cent. Marilyn praised the students for their hard work in achieving these grades, but also spoke of the advantages of studying in a college environment. A key balance is struck at the College, where students feel an increased level of independence, but are offered a high level of support when it is needed. They also develop skills for university and the world of work alongside their curriculum studies, participating in work experience and a Community and Social Action Project, and also hearing from guest speakers, both internally and on field visits.

Next, Group Manager of Marketing & Communications, Kate Knight, commenced with the ‘Diploma Digest’ segment. Diplomas are practical qualifications which relate to a particular profession or technical skill, designed to make students readily employable. Diplomas are accepted by 95% of universities, and a handy UCAS points graphic helped to visualise the true value of diplomas, especially in comparison to its traditional academic counterpart, A Levels. Generally, diplomas take a more hands-on, practical approach to learning, assessed via coursework as opposed to seated examinations. They are perfect for those who feel as though they have outgrown school, or do not wish to pursue academic specialisms such as medicine and dentistry.

Thirdly, Apprenticeship Development Manager, Paul Ward, spoke of the benefits of a vocational route, through apprenticeships. Apprenticeships allow students to kick-start their career by gaining real-life work experience, practical skills, and qualifications. They’re the perfect way to earn a wage whilst studying, and over 90 per cent of apprentices progress into full-time work or further training. Paul explained how students can find an apprenticeship vacancy by visiting the gov.uk website, with full support from the apprenticeships teams at Inspire Education Group.

The Breakfast Event concluded with a presentation from Kate Knight, covering T-Levels. These are new, career-led, technical courses to follow GCSEs, designed to get students work-ready. Unlike apprenticeships, where students typically train with an employer for four days of the week and study for one day at College, T-Levels are structured to follow the format of 80 per cent classroom work, and 20 per cent industry placement with a local employer. T-Levels accrue UCAS points, and completion of the 2-year course is the equivalent to three A Levels. Inspire Education Group will introduce six T-Levels to its curriculum in September 2023.

Thank you to all those that attended the ‘Spot the Difference’ Breakfast Event. We hope that you found it inciteful, and look forward to further developing our partnerships with local schools in the future.