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Helpful links after the Higher Education evening

Whilst it is not currently possible for us to hold our annual Post-18 Pathways Evening, as the information is so important, we thought it best to write and share some key links and documents with you.

Across the year, Year 12 have had provision regarding their next steps, with numerous Alumni talks and the option of support from Trust Careers. There has also been consistent support for more competitive courses and institutions such as Oxbridge. This support has been enhanced in recent weeks with bespoke remote sessions and resources designed to help them research and make informed decisions on post-Highworth choices. Key information has also been remotely delivered regarding UCAS and Personal Statements. Most students are now registered for UCAS and have begun to draft the Personal Statement required for this application. If a student is thinking of applying to university and is not yet registered for UCAS, then they should do so promptly using this link: UCAS.

Additionally, Year 12 students should have attended their Higher Education Focus Day on July 1, where they were offered the following sessions: Plan my Gap Year; Ask Apprenticeships; Interview Skills; London Fashion Academy; Personal Statement Drop-In; Personal Statement Advice (Webinar); How to make a successful UCAS application (Webinar); Discovering Study Abroad; History, Politics and Law at Top Universities, including Oxbridge; Student Life; and Student Finance. As well as this, many students also received one to one support for their Medicine, Veterinary, Dentistry and Oxbridge applications.

All of this support and information is designed to allow students to make informed decisions on what they do beyond Highworth. For most of our students, this will involve going on to university, a choice that continues to have significant benefits, both financial and otherwise. This is, of course, a significant financial investment and it is imperative that they think carefully about their choice of institution and subject. Some, of course, make other choices and support for these is outlined below. Continued support will also be put in place across Year 13.

We offer the suggestions below in lieu of the Post-18 Pathways Evening, and as a complement to what has been sent to students over the past few months:


Apprenticeships offer a chance to work towards qualifications through an employer while earning. For example, you might work in an entry-level job for four days of the week, and study at an FE college or designated training centre on the fifth day. They usually take one to four years to complete – occasionally five. Typically, you are not guaranteed a job with your apprenticeship provider at the end of your apprenticeship but will have gained both experience and a nationally recognised qualification, so should be in a good position to find employment elsewhere. There are four levels of apprenticeships: intermediate, advanced, higher, and degree. These can range from the equivalent of five GCSEs to the equivalent of a Master’s Degree.

Apprenticeships please download as a PowerPoint to access the audio.

Apprenticeships, A Student Guide: everything you need to know

Ask Apprenticeship: What is an Apprenticeship?

Unifrog Apprenticeships Tool when logged in, this is available on the ‘searching for opportunities’ section of the student home page

UCAS Applications

UCAS is an independent charity providing information, advice, and admissions services to inspire and facilitate educational progression. Its main role is to operate the application process for British universities.

UCAS Undergraduate: Advice for Parents and Guardians

UCAS: Parent, Guardian and Carer Guide 2020

Student Finance

Student Finance, Top Tips and Interactive Guide (Nottingham University): please download to access the audio.

Martin Lewis: Student Loans Decoded

Student Finance Guidance for Parents and Partners

Student Finance: Government Overview

NHS Bursary Services Authority

Save the Student

Next Steps Research


How to choose

What to study

Subject Guides

Virtual Open Days


Shortlist Tools when logged in, these are available on the ‘searching for opportunities’ section of the student home page

Careers Library when logged in, this is available on the ‘exploring pathways’  section of the student home page

Subjects Library when logged in, this is available on the ‘exploring pathways’  section of the student home page

Other Resources

Why go to University?

Guardian’s Six Steps to Choosing the Right University

Times Higher Education Seven Tips

The Complete University Guide – How to Choose the Right University

Choosing a University

Oxbridge Applications

A Families’ Guide: Supporting an Oxford Applicant

Studying at Cambridge: A Guide for Parents and Supporters

Oxbridge Shortlist when logged in, this is available on the ‘searching for opportunities’ section of the student home page

Personal Statement

Personal Statement: Parents’ and Carers’ Guide

HE Parents’ Guide: Personal Statements


How Parents/Carers Can Support Students

  1. Most critically, talk to them about their Next Steps. Have a discussion about post-Highworth options and really listen to what they are saying.
  2. Use the above information to help them make informed choices about options, institutions and courses.
  3. In particular, use the UCAS Guide created to help you, help them: UCAS: Parent, Guardian and Carer Guide 2020.
  4. Remind students of deadlines (see below).
  5. Check Personal Statements. These should be the student’s own work but it can be very helpful if you can be a sounding board and aid the proofreading process.
  6. When appropriate, drive them to Open Days. Most universities are happy for a parent or carer to attend these. In lieu of this, remind them of the dates for Virtual Open Days: Virtual Open Days.
  7. If you do attend Open Days with them, try asking probing questions about graduate prospects and earnings, student satisfaction and retention, and about the level of teaching they will receive at the institution. All of this will help them make an informed choice about what is ultimately a very significant financial investment.
  8. Complete some research with them. Use the Unifrog Shortlist Tools to help them decide where and what to study. Use the Unifrog Apprenticeship Tool to discover more about this option. As parents and carers, you can sign up to Unifrog. If you are on the home page, please click the ‘Been Given a Form Code? Sign in for the first time’ icon. Once on the ‘Student form code sign up’ page, enter the following code in the box marked ‘form code’: parentshighworth. You will then need to fill in your details to create your own account, within which you will be able to navigate the platform from a student’s perspective.

Please note that, despite the current issues, the key dates for UCAS (both internal and external) remain unchanged:

Key Dates for UCAS 2021 Entry

  • September 2020: Students should be finalising their choices and have completed their Personal Statements.
  • 14 September 2020: All Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science applications should be completed and submitted online via UCAS. Applications are then processed in school to meet the UCAS deadline of 15 October. Mock interviews will be arranged for November.
  • 16 November 2020: All other applications should be completed and submitted online via UCAS. Applications are then processed in school to meet the UCAS deadline of 15 January 2021.

Should you wish to gain further information regarding Apprenticeships and Careers, please do get in contact with Mrs Savage, our Careers Manager: Likewise, if your child has a particular interest in studying abroad, bespoke support can be offered by Mrs Ferris: