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?
It is still possible to make an application, but as we approach the summer break, we are unfortunately no longer able to complete interviews with applicants ahead of enrolment. Please note, all applications received from 1 July 2020 onwards will be classed as “Late Applications” and will be held on a waiting list until enrolment, which takes place towards the end of August (after GCSE Results are known). We will endeavour to invite late applicants in for an interview during our late enrolment period at the end of August, though you should be aware that, whilst we will aim to meet your preferences, some courses or course combinations may no longer be available at that stage.

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. Any application received after 1 July will be held on a waiting list until enrolment at the end of August.

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. 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 are thinking of changing a subject, we advise that you fully research the alternative course. Once you have completed your research, you need to complete a Subject Change Request Form. We will make a note on your application of your request so you can discuss the request at enrolment. Whilst we cannot guarantee changes, we will endeavour to accommodate your request.

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.

I need a Grade 6 in Maths to do my subjects, what if I don’t get it? (or any other subject specific criteria)
If you do not meet the subject specific entry criteria, but do meet our general core entry criteria then you will still have a place with us, but we will have to consider new subject(s) dependent on your grades and spaces on alternative courses.

I have lost my Summer Homework (issued at Welcome to College Week).
This is available to download for all subjects here. You will need to bring this to your first lesson.

What will happen with enrolment and when will this take place?
Students are joining us from a wide variety of schools, and, as you can imagine, there is a great deal to do in enrolling them all and making them feel comfortable in our College. We therefore provide all students with another individual interview as part of enrolment, with guidance to ensure that everyone is embarking upon the most appropriate course. At the enrolment interview, you will also be required to make a firm commitment to any enrichment courses you choose. As soon as you receive your GCSE results, you will need to upload your results onto Tyber to book an enrolment interview on either 25 or 26 August. You will receive details of how to do this in an Enrolment Guide which we will send out in the summer.

I can’t make my enrolment appointment, what do I do?
Please call us on 0121 704 2581 or email the Admissions Office beforehand. Should you have any symptoms of Covid-19, no matter how mild, you should not come into College for your enrolment appointment and contact Admissions instead. If social distancing is still in place at enrolment, please attend the appointment alone in order for us to manage numbers on site. If you are travelling by car, your parent/guardian is welcome to wait in the car park.

How do I get a free bus pass? How do I apply for the bursary/free meals?
Information on Bursary, Free Meals and 16-18 photocards is available in the Enrolment Guide for new students which will be sent to all students holding an offer in the summer.

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