Information for Parents

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This useful information is for the parents or guardians of students who are studying at Darlington College after they have completed their secondary education, or are currently in years 10 and 11 at school.

When students join Darlington College they are taking a step into adult life and we aim to aid the transition from school to college with a very welcoming, supportive and friendly environment where they can study, learn and thrive.

Young people will learn in the college environment and will be responsible for their own conduct and behaviour.

This section contains a range of information that may be useful to you during your son/daughter’s time studying with us.

College parent and guardian evenings

You will be invited to attend college parent and guardian evenings throughout the year. You will receive reports on your son/daughter’s progress three times each academic year.

Contacting the college

The main contact details for the college are available here. Central Point Information Desk is open from 8:30am – 6.30pm Monday, 8.30am – 9pm Tuesday to Thursday, and until 5.15pm on a Friday during college term time.

It may not be possible to talk immediately to your son/ daughter’s tutor due to teaching commitments. However a message can be left on the answer machine of the tutor.

Tutors will provide their direct telephone number at the beginning of their course. All staff can be contacted via email.

Transport arrangements

The college is not responsible for travel arrangements to and from the college and students will need to make their own travel arrangements.

To apply for a bus pass contact your local authority for an application form:

• Darlington 01325 388448 or email: schooltransportpost16@darlington.gov.uk
• Durham 0191 3835500 Option 4
• Middlesbrough 01642 201879
• Stockton 01642 526774
• Redcar and Cleveland 01642 444107

• North Yorkshire 01609 532008 or apply online: www.northyorks.gov.uk

Parents or guardians of pre-16 students may wish to discuss travel arrangements with their son/daughter’s school.

If your son/daughter is going to drive to college and park in the college car park, they must purchase a parking permit from the Course and Information Team. A deposit of £20 is required for the permit, which will be refunded at the end of the course. This permit doesn’t guarantee a space and the car park is subject to a daily charge.

Contact the Course and Information Team on 01325 503050 for more information.

Keeping students safe

Health and safety

All college staff who have regular unsupervised contact with young people are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked to an approved level. Risk Assessments are undertaken for each course offered within the college, and under the Health and Safety (Young Persons) Regulations 1997 we have a statutory duty to provide parents/guardians of pre-16 students with the results of any risk assessments on curriculum vocational areas. If you would like to receive a copy or information on the risk assessment, contact the college Health and Safety Adviser on 01325 503050.

The college regularly reviews and updates its policies in relation to:
• No smoking
• Equality and diversity
• Drugs
• Bullying
• Child protection and vulnerable adults
• Student discipline

If you would like to view a copy of any of these policies please contact the college’s quality office on 01325 503050. You, and where appropriate your son/daughter’s school and where appropriate, the Health and Safety Executive, will be notified of any incident which occurs on college premises.

Safeguarding

The college recognises that members of staff and students have an important role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children and preventing their abuse. The college has, in consultation with Social Services, written a comprehensive Safeguarding to ensure that the welfare of the child is always placed at the centre of its activities. A copy of this policy is available by contacting Course and Information Team on 01325 503050.

Useful information can be found in our Safeguarding Booklet  .

Radicalisation

Following a spate of terrorist attacks and the growing problem of extremists targeting children, the NSPCC has set up a helpline for parents who are concerned that their children are being radicalised, or who need advice on how to talk to them about wider concerns related to the impact of terrorism.

The charity’s counsellors have been trained to spot the warning signs of radicalisation so they can advise adults who are worried about a child being groomed. Adults calling the helpline will be advised about the signs which may hint at a child being radicalised. These include:

– Isolating themselves from family and friends
– Talking as if from a scripted speech
– Increased levels of anger
– Becoming disrespectful and asking inappropriate questions

You can call the NSPCC anonymously for free 24/7 on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk   You can view the NSPCC’s radicalisation campaign poster by clicking here.

Child and vulnerable adults protection policy

Darlington College recognises that members of staff and students have an important role to play in safeguarding the welfare of children and preventing their abuse. The college has in consultation with Social Services, written a comprehensive Child Protection Policy to ensure that the welfare of the child is always placed at the centre of its activities.

A copy of this policy is available by contacting Student Liaison on 01325 503050.

General information for parents

Identification cards (ID)

Everyone will require an identification card upon enrolling at the college. The identification card must be available at all times when on college premises. Access to the college cannot be granted without the card and staff may ask, at any time, to produce the card.

In line with child protection legislation we are required to inform you that this card contains a photograph which will be stored on the college’s computer system for the duration of the course. Only authorised college personnel will have access to this image. If you are a parent and do not wish to your son/daughter’s photograph taken, please let the college know in writing.

Lunchtime and break arrangements

The college provides a range of healthy meals and snacks which are available from the food court and restaurant.
If your son/daughter is under 16, and receives free school meals they may also be able to receive their meal at college. Their school will need to provide the name of the young person, in writing, to the college before the start of each term. Alternatively, the school may provide your son/daughter with a packed lunch or may ask your son/daughter to take receipts back to school to reclaim the money.

The college provides an adult learning environment and therefore there will be no supervision arrangements by the college at lunchtimes or during break periods or walking between sites. Young people are able to go off the premises if they choose.

In certain circumstances you may feel your son/daughter requires direct supervision. If your son/daughter is aged 16 or over please contact the Additional Learning Support Team, alternatively if your son/daughter is still at school then contact their school.

Clothing and specialist equipment

Young people in some subject areas will be required to wear protective clothing. This will be discussed at interview stage. All clothing remains the responsibility of each individual and if it is lost, then it will have to be replaced.

All personal items and equipment remain the responsibility of the young person and if lost will need to be replaced. Young people will not be allowed to participate in any workshop activity if they do not have and use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment/clothing.

The college will not accept responsibility for personal items/equipment left on the premises.

Should your son/daughter repeatedly attend college without the appropriate equipment they will not be allowed to continue on their course.

Attendance

It is expected that all students give their full commitment to the chosen course of study and attend every session where possible. Many of the courses offered are continually assessed, therefore it is particularly important to attend in order to achieve the qualification.

Parents/guardians are expected to encourage attendance. It is expected that your son/daughter will attend during the college term dates, and not take holidays during term time. Should your son/daughter miss three consecutive weeks without notification being made to the college they risk being removed from the course. If your son/daughter is absent from college you must let us know.

Should your son/daughter (pre-16) leave the college premises without the prior permission of their tutor, the school will be notified as soon as it is reasonably possible. The school will follow their own procedures in relation to young people absenting themselves from sessions without school permission.

College punctuality and attendance procedures apply to all students.

Educational visits

External educational visits may be undertaken throughout the duration of the course. Notification will be sent of any such visits including details of transport to and from the visit location.

In order for your son/daughter to participate in any educational visit a consent/indemnity form will be required to be completed. These will be sent home with your son/daughter before the visit takes place.

E-Learning

The college is equipped with up to date IT resources to help your son/daughter with e-learning. These resources can be used to access learning materials and information sources, produce assignments or projects and organise work.

Within the Learning Resource Centre students have access to fully networked and internet enabled IT workstations. Other resources, such as scanners, graph plotters, video and digital cameras etc, are located in various learning areas throughout the college.

In addition, the college has a online system which students and staff can access from any internet enabled computer.

This allows your son/daughter to access personal files as well as course materials uploaded by tutors.

Useful student information for parents

All full and part time courses for 16-18 year olds and some 14-16 year olds are free. There may be financial support available for your son/daughter during their time at college.

The college has a range of student support services which are available during your son/daughters time at college.

To really enjoy and take advantage of their time at college, your son/daughter can get involved with a range of activities and become a spokesperson for the student body on a number of different committees – which looks great on their CV.

Information about the Student Charter, Support Services and course, its aims and objectives, and how it will be assessed are given to students in induction.

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If you have any questions or thoughts don't hesitate to let us know!

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