Admissions FAQ

Applying for a place at Solihull Sixth Form College in September 2020? We are getting a lot of questions about applications and enrolment. During this current period of school/college closures and the associated issues this raises, we have produced a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to address the most frequently received questions.

Can I still make an application?
Yes. The application deadline is usually 31 March each year, but in the current circumstances we have decided to keep accepting applications until further notice.

How do I apply?
Visit the Step-by-Step page to see and simple step-by-step guide to applying. Please note, you will be asked to create an account on Tyber, which is the website we use for the application process. This is so that you can login to check the status of your application and it will be used in August/September when you come to apply. You will be asked to provide an email address when you register for a Tyber account and login details will be sent to this email address, so make sure you type carefully. After you have successfully created your account you can login to complete your application.

How long will it take to process my application?
Our aim is to send email confirmation that we have received your application within two weeks of your submission. We are currently experiencing very high levels of enquiries, so if there is a delay please understand we are working through these questions and any new application as quickly as we can. The initial email will not include an invitation to interview.

My interview has been cancelled. What should I do?
We had interview evenings scheduled to take place on Wednesday 25 March, Thursday 22 April, Wednesday 29 April, Wednesday 13 May and Wednesday 10 June, which are now not taking place because of the government’s decision to close schools and colleges and the need to socially distance. These sessions are being replaced with telephone interviews. If you were scheduled for an interview on any of these dates you will have been sent an email about this. We ask for your patience while we work our way through the 700+ interviews we have had to rearrange.

I missed my telephone interview. Can I reschedule?
We realise it can be difficult to find a convenient time for a telephone interview to take place, but we will attempt to call during normal College hours (between 9.00am – 4.00pm). The call is likely to come from a withheld number for data protection reasons, so please do not ignore these calls. Your interviewer may have emailed in advance to warn you of when the call will be coming, so check your email. We will attempt to call you three times for this interview to take place. If we are unsuccessful in reaching you three times we will mark your application as withdrawn and you will need to contact the Admissions Office to arrange another time for us to call you.

Why do I have to have an interview?
We realise students are usually quite nervous about having an interview, but there is no need to be. You will find our staff are very friendly and that this interview process is very informal. We do it for two reasons. Firstly we want to make sure you have been given the best advice possible in terms of choosing your courses, so you are planning to study subjects that support your ambitions. Secondly, we want to make sure you know exactly what grades you need in order to get your place. We have general entry requirements, but we also ask for slightly different grades for particular courses and it is important you know what they are.

My friend has already been interviewed but I have not. Am I being disadvantaged?
Not at all. It does not matter when your interview takes place. Students interviewed in January and others who are interviewed in April/May are in exactly the same position. If you get an offer from us – regardless of when the offer was made – you will get your place provided you get the grades needed to meet the entry requirements for your chosen programme of study.

How long will the interview take and how will I know if my interview is successful?
Interviews take about 15 minutes. We hope to be able to make you an offer there and then on the phone when we call you for your interview. We will follow this up with an official offer letter, which will be sent to by email to the email address we have on file for you. Please allow up to 48 hours for the offer letter to arrive.

What do I need to do to get my reference to you?
Nothing at all. We are in contact with schools to get references on your behalf, so you don’t need to chase this. We might ask you to provide your mock exam grades to help us when we advise you on what the best programme of study is. Please keep checking your email to see if you get any emails from the Admissions Office about this or anything else related to your application.

If I get an offer am I guaranteed a place with you?
All our offer letters state that the offer of a place is conditional on you getting the grades necessary to study with us and a suitable reference from your current school. With GCSE exams not taking place, we realise this may be a cause for concern for students. You can see how GCSE grades are being calculated this year by visiting the Ofqual website. You can also speak to your school about any concerns you may have. We will be abiding by the grades that the exam boards award to students this summer and remember that all our applicants this year are in the same boat, so you should not be disadvantaged compared to other applicants.

I’ve already got an offer but I want to change my courses. How do I do this?
If you want to request a change to your offer you should email the Admissions Office and make sure you include your name, date of the birth, student number (starting S20xxxx) and details of what your current offer is for and what you want to change to. Please note, our primary focus at the moment is processing all those applicants who have yet to have their interview. As such, requests to change subjects will be held until at least May and will be answered then.

If there are no GCSE exams are places being offered unconditionally?
GCSE results will be released on 20th August. We are currently maintaining the same entry requirements as published. We are in support of the process which Ofqual have introduced and have confidence in the teachers within our feeder schools to provide an accurate assessment of student attainment. Students will need to attain the required grades in their GCSEs in order to access courses and all offers are conditional on students meeting entry criteria. We have no plans to require applicants to complete additional assessments at this stage.

What will happen with enrolment and when will this take place?
Enrolment is planned to take place during the last week of August and the first week of September, after GCSE exam results have been published. We will confirm details nearer the time.

What do I do if I am unhappy with my results and want to take the exams?
Regarding autumn exams, our understanding at this time is that they would be provided by the GCSE centre (in most cases the secondary school), ensuring the correct specification is provided for students. We anticipate that we will be holding the A-level equivalents at our centre for our current Year 13 students. More information is likely become available from exam boards and exam centres in relation to this at a later stage. If you do decide to sit exams in the autumn term, you will be able to apply to us again for a place to start your studies in September 2021.

Updated 27 April 2020