People of all ages will soon be able to study a choice of A-Level subjects at Stoke on Trent College, after Principal Denise Brown announced plans to make A-Level courses more accessible to people in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
A-Levels that include biology, chemistry, English literature, computer science, maths, PE, physics, psychology and sociology will all be on offer at Stoke on Trent College’s Cauldon campus from this September.
Announcing the move, Principal and CEO Denise Brown said: “We have identified a need within the community for more opportunities to study A-Levels. This includes students who are part of our talented athlete scheme; students who study a high level vocational course and want to combine this with an A-level, and significantly, older students aged 19 and over.”
She explains: “Currently the national funding policy on 16-18 education means that access to A-Levels is restricted to 16-18-year-old learners in many colleges and schools. There is currently no funded A-Level provision available for adults in Stoke-on-Trent, and adults looking to do A-Levels have had to go further afield. We don’t think that’s right – and that’s one of the things we are looking to change by offering these new A-Levels in an inclusive environment. We have had a lot of enquiries recently from adults who want to study an A- Level – so we have listened and responded to that feedback.”
She adds: “Another area of demand for A-Levels is our Institute of Sports Performance, where we have a growing number of students who excel both in their sport and academically. It is important for them to combine developing in their sport with studying A- Levels that match their university and career aspirations. The College is one of only four in the UK accredited on the Talented Athlete Support Scheme (TASS) which means we expect to attract a greater number of the region’s aspiring athletes.
“For school-leavers aged 16-18, we believe the new A-Level courses offer a great opportunity for people who are in easy travelling distance of our Cauldon campus, and also for those who are likely to achieve five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, but may not meet the entry criteria for other institutions.
“Stoke on Trent College is an integral part of the Opportunity Area project in Stoke-on-Trent which is all about raising the aspirations and achievement levels across the city, so this A-Level programme will fulfil an important role in meeting that aim.
Explaining the selection of subjects on offer, Denise said: “We are offering a number of the ‘facilitating’ subjects which Russell Group universities prefer, as well as those that have specific value to the region’s LEP priorities such as computer science. Others are good for combining with technical qualifications – for example a BTEC Sports with Psychology A-Level, or BTEC IT with a business or economics A-Level.
The College is accepting applications now for courses starting in September 2018 – and already has a number of staff with A-Level expertise including lecturers who act as A-level examiners in their specialist subject area. Recruitment of additional teaching staff is in progress.
Those who are interested in A-Level programmes are urged to visit the next Stoke on Trent College open evening on Thursday 8th February between 5 and 7.30pm, or visit The A-Level course page. www.stokecoll.ac.uk/A-levels. For an informal discussion with the College’s admissions team, call 01782 208208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org