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Want to know what to expect when your son/daughter starts at West Suffolk College? Read our Parents FAQ for information on what to expect from the College, what happens when your son/daughter starts College and the support we offer. We hope you will find the answers to most of your questions online. However, if you need any more advice you can message us in the chat on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get to College?

Please visit our dedicated transport area, where you'll be able to view timetables for public bus routes, as well as the buses run by West Suffolk College, where you can apply for a bus pass online. 

Can I get some financial support to cover some of my costs to come to College?

Yes you can apply for a bursary online.

I think I might need counselling, can I get this at College?

We have a dedicated counselling team to support you. If you feel that counselling is something you would like to explore, please visit Student Welfare which is located just near to the Library, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What support is there for children in care?

Children in care have an allocated adviser in Student Welfare. They are carefully monitored in conjunction with the virtual school in the county they are allocated to. They can get up to £1,200 in bursary costs to help with their course. The person responsible for children in care is Sarah-Louise Neesam. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What support is there for Young Adult Carers?

Suffolk Family Carers work in College to support young carers. Within the Student Welfare Team Claire Battey is the Welfare Officer responsible for offering support to these young people. You can contact her by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My child has a social worker. Do I need to inform anyone?

Please make contact with the Student Welfare team and a Welfare Officer will be allocated to support your child. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

My child has a mental health issue and might need additional support

Please contact Student Welfare by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have a safeguarding concern. Who should I report this to?

Sarah-Louise Neesam is responsible for safeguarding. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is also a daily safeguarding officer available in college.

My child has been awarded lunches from the bursary. How will they get the money for lunch?

Lunch money will be paid into the bank account provided. 

My child is being bullied. Who should I contact? 

West Suffolk College takes bullying seriously. Please contact your child's personal support tutor in the first instance.

I am worried that my ex-partner could try to contact my child and we have a banning order preventing contact. 

Student Liaison workers patrol the College sites supporting students with positive behaviour and keeping them safe. If you have an issue of this nature please contact Student Welfare and the Liaison workers will be informed of any additional dangers which may affect your child. Please contact Student Welfare by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

How does my young person enrol?

Information on how to enrol is included within the Enrolment Guide, however more detailed information will be sent to your young person via email closer to the date. Enrolment commences on Thursday 12 August and will take place online.  It is essential that your young person completes this process to secure their place at West Suffolk College.

What will happen if my young person doesn’t get the grades required?

First of all, be assured that every applicant is guaranteed a place at West Suffolk College.  If your young person doesn’t get the grades required, there are a few options.  Your young person might be offered a similar course within the Curriculum area, but at a lower level.  If this is not appropriate, your young person will be given the opportunity to explore other options here at the College.

What happens if my young person is undecided with regards to a West Suffolk College course or an alternative provider (for example, their current Sixth Form)?

We understand that students will sometimes wish to keep their options open.  We would encourage your young person to make a decision at the point of enrolment, however they will be able to change their mind at any point throughout August and also within the first two weeks of term. 

When does term start/ finish?

Term/Induction starts on the 01 September, however some courses will have an alternative start date.  Your young person will be contacted with their exact start date prior to the start of term.

Does my young person have to attend Induction?

It is essential that all students attend Induction.  This is an opportunity for them to meet key members of the team, receive timetables, meet their classmates and finalise vital information required before the start of term.

When will my young person get their timetable/ What days will my young person be in College?

During Induction, students will receive their timetable and be informed of the days they will be required to attend College.

Will my young person be able to continue with English and Maths at College?

If your young person did not achieve a Grade 4 in GCSE Maths and/or English they will continue with English and Maths alongside their course.  We have a team of specialist tutors to ensure your young person achieves the required GCSE grade, or a stepping stone qualification.

Will any online learning take place next year?

With online learning being so successful at West Suffolk College this year, some areas will include a blend of face-to-face sessions on campus as well as online lessons.  IT will be available onsite at College for young people without a computer and/or wifi access at home.

Can I apply for financial support?

At West Suffolk College we offer a discretionary bursary fund which provides support to learners who are experiencing financial difficulty with meeting the costs of learning. 

To be eligible to apply for Financial Support, students must meet these criteria: 

  • They must be an enrolled student as defined by West Suffolk College. 
  • They must have been resident in the British Isles for the last three years. 
  • Your household income must be below £19k for 16-18 or £25k for 19+ (if your income is higher, you may still be able to apply for funding, depending on your family circumstances. 

If you would like to apply for financial support, please follow the link below:

Apply for a Bursary (wsc.ac.uk)

How can I get my young person to College?

West Suffolk College is easily accessible via foot, bus, train, cycle and vehicle.

Bus Routes 

There are a number of bus routes which provide easy access for students from a wide area. Please refer to www.suffolkonboard.com for more details. 

Train 

We are only a 20-minute walk from the train station. 

Walk 

The Sixth Form Campus is a ten-minute walk from the centre of Bury St Edmunds, on the road leading to Newmarket (A14). 

The Built Environment Campus is based a short walk from the Sixth Form Campus on Anglian Lane. 

Cycle 

We encourage all our students and staff to lead a healthy and active lifestyle and where possible, to cycle to college. We have a number of covered places across the campuses, where you can keep your bikes secure. 

Cars, Motorcycles and Scooters 

Parking facilities are available at the Sixth Form Campus. There is a charge for car parking which is payable on entrance, with discounts available for advanced payment through the College Shop. Motorcycles and scooters can park in designated bays for free.  

More details regarding travelling to College, including discount cards and help with your travel costs can be found here:

Getting to the College (wsc.ac.uk)

Do we need to buy special kit/ uniform and can we get help with it?

The Course Teams will let your young person know if they require specific equipment for their course.  Please check the Summer Project Work (wsc.ac.uk) for further information, or wait for details at Induction.

At West Suffolk College we offer a discretionary bursary fund which provides support to learners who are experiencing financial difficulty with meeting the costs of learning. 

To be eligible to apply for Financial Support, students must meet these criteria: 

  • They must be an enrolled student as defined by West Suffolk College. 
  • They must have been resident in the British Isles for the last three years. 
  • Your household income must be below £19k for 16-18 or £25k for 19+ (if your income is higher, you may still be able to apply for funding, depending on your family circumstances. 

Apply for a Bursary (wsc.ac.uk)

Is there anyone to help my young person if they feel anxious at College?

Yes.  As well as financial and learning support, the College provides a robust pastoral and welfare support system.

Every student at West Suffolk College will be allocated a Personal Progress Tutor who they will meet in the first two weeks of starting their course.   Personal Progress Tutors provide support and advice and are a stable point of contact for students. 

Student Welfare are also available to help young people through any non-academic problems and are able to provide more in-depth support to students.  They also offer a free counselling service.

Do we have to find my young person’s work placement or does the College do this?

Work experience is an essential part of all our full-time courses. All students will undertake Work Placement as part of their course in varying forms, from Work Related Experiences within West Suffolk College, to an external Work Placement or Industry Placement with an employer directly related to the course for a meaningful experience. 

There is a team of dedicated Work Placement Officers to help your young person every step of the way.  We encourage our students to try and find their own work placements however the Work Placement Officers are on hand to support this process.

Work and Industry Placements (wsc.ac.uk)

What job can my young person go into having completed their course?

Each course has a range of progression routes and career options.  We have a team of specialist Careers Advisors who are available to offer confidential and impartial advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis to support all aspects of career planning.  The College operates a Job Shop and by working in partnership with local employers, provides learners with direct access to employment opportunities in the local area. 

For more information on the Careers Advice Service and the Job Shop please see the links below:

Information and Guidance (wsc.ac.uk)

Job Shop (wsc.ac.uk)

I have an additional question, who can I contact?

Please use this link to ask any further questions you have, this will ensure that it reaches the right team for a swift response.

https://forms.office.com/r/TCvSrK7s2D

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