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Are you a parent and want to know more?

We often find at our open events, interview evenings and school events that it is parents that ask all of the questions. Whilst your son/daughter will have their heart set on the subject they want to study, or the job they want to get, it is you, the parents, that want more information on what these choices entail.

Here we will try to help!

Vocational or Academic?

At Hartlepool College of Further Education we deliver a wide array of vocational courses that are linked to career options. For example, studying a Health and Care course will give a successful student the qualifications to progress into the Health or Care sectors or studying Accounting will allow a successful student to become an accountant.

An academic route (or the A level route as it is often referred too) will see your son/daughter study a number of subjects (For example, A Level Geography, Biology and English Literature). We do not an academic route at our college.

Full time, Study Programmes and Apprenticeships - what are the differenecs?

If your son or daughter is under the age of 19 they will enrol to a study programme that is full time unless it is an apprenticeship programme. A Study programme include the main vocational course they choose (Engineering or Sport for example), Work Experience, Enrichment activities, Tutorial and Maths and English. Combined this can mean a timetable from 20 – 25 hours per week.

Maths and English

Maths and English are really important vocational skills, which young people need to progress in to employment, or further training and education. In order for your child to be successful in the future we will ensure they have opportunities to make progress with these skills. If your child DID NOT achieve a grade C or above at school they will be enrolled to a formal qualification (either Functional Skills or GCSE) as we support them to get the grades employers want. If they DID achieve a grade C or above our vocational tutors will provide extension activities in their classes and as directed time to develop these skills in a vocational context. Your help in encouraging and supporting your child with their maths and English is greatly appreciated.


Apprenticeships are an appealing prospect for most young people. With government backing, regional and national employer vacancies and great incentives they are also a very competitive market so finding out as much as you can and getting a step ahead can really help.

To make things a little easier we have created a parent’s guide that can be found at the bottom of this page.

Over on our apprenticeship page you will find links to the current vacancies and links to some of the companies we currently work with.

Associated documents

Associated documents will be one of the following file formats .txt, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, .dot, .docx. Please make sure you are able to view these file formats before opening.


Whatever course you choose, you'll get the highest level of training from specialist tutors, benefiting from their knowledge and experience of working not just in education but also in industry.