Parent & Carer Information
At Plymouth College of Art we believe in high-quality education for life in contemporary arts practice, as the creative catalyst for personal, professional and cultural transformation. We place the aspirations and support needs of every student at the very heart of our creative enterprise.
Our pre-degree campuses at Palace Court and Palace Studios are home to five hundred 16-19-year-old students studying the Level 2 Diploma, Extended Diploma, Foundation Diplomas or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP)* in arts, performing arts, crafts, design and media, and it is here that we provide a safe and creative environment, where your child/young person can grow, learn new skills, and become more independent.
We are committed to supporting your child/young person on every step of their creative journey. Below you will find information about our Parents' & Guardians' Evenings, our Code of Conduct and Attendance, Safeguarding and Key Dates for your diary.
*Please note, IBCP is only open to applications from ages 16 - 18
Regular attendance is key to any student’s success and we require them to be at every lesson, unless they are ill or have another genuine reason.
If absence is necessary, either the student, or the parent or guardian will need to let us know in advance with as much notice as possible using the links below.
- If your child is a registered Plymouth College of Art student and can self-report, please ask them to visit My Timetable and select the Report absence (student) button at the top of the page.
- If you are a parent or guardian reporting an absence on behalf of a registered Plymouth College of Art student, please complete the college's absence reporting form.
If there are concerns about the attendance or academic progress of your child/young person and they are under the age of 18, you will be kept informed through our intervention process.
Of course, you are free to make appointments to see college staff at any time to discuss your child/young person's progress, particularly if you have any concerns.
If students are aged over 18 at enrolment, we will need their permission to talk to you about any college issues.
Twice a term, based on assessment, project work, tutorials and feedback we measure our students’ progress according to the expectations that we set for each individual.
A report will be sent out to the parents/guardians of students under the age of 18 at the end of each term which is a snapshot of progress and includes attendance, target grades, academic, character, English and Maths, and IB subjects (if applicable). These can then be discussed fully at parents' evenings which are arranged in a timely manner.
A traffic light system is used to articulate the progress each individual is making according to the expectations set. The traffic lights are:
- Blue - Exceeds Expectations: The individual is exceeding the expectations we have for them and is making excellent progress.
- Green - Meet Expectations: The individual’s progress is on track and will achieve the expectations set for them.
- Amber - Just Meets Expectations: Some minor work is needed to achieve the expectations set for this individual.
- Red - Below Expectations: Some significant and serious work is needed to achieve expected progress.
The college expects its students to follow the Code of Conduct whilst at the college, and failure to do so will mean they will progress through our Intervention Framework.
We aim to resolve issues through interventions and after an informal warning, recorded on the students electronic record, there are three stages of intervention.
If a student is told they are at Stage 1 of this process, then you will receive a letter/email inviting you into college to discuss the issue, agree targets and if appropriate, sign a behavior contract. These targets/contracts will then be monitored, where we expect this will then be resolved.
However we will invite you in to the college again should your child/young person not meet the agreed targets, and failure to continually adhere to the Code of Conduct could lead to Stage 2 and furthermore onto a Stage 3 withdrawal meeting.
What is an Extended Diploma?
An Extended Diploma is a vocational qualification run over two years and the equivalent of three A-Levels which has a Pass, Merit or Distinction outcome and a maximum of 168 UCAS points - this is the equivalent of 3 A-Levels at A*.
What is a Foundation Diploma?
This is a post A-Level one year course that prepares the student for degree-level study with a maximum value of 285 UCAS points and has Pass, Merit and Distinction outcomes.
What is the IBCP?
The International Baccalaureate Careers Programme (IBCP) is an internationally-recognised framework of career-related education for post-16 students that seeks to develop confident, critical thinkers who are prepared for modern life and equipped with the cross-cultural skills needed to succeed in their future careers, within the UK and across the world.
Fees, Finance & Funding
For more information, please visit our Fees, Finance and Funding page.
Why does my child/young person have to take English/Maths?
Students that attend our Level 3 courses will do so as part of the Study Programme which includes English and Maths and will help students to develop the essential skills required within employment and everyday life. Our lessons are directly linked to the arts and give students the potential to achieve greater success in their chosen area of study and in the workplace. These lessons will develop the following skills:
- English, to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening
- Practical Maths, for everyday life
- Problem-solving skills
- Employability skills, including letter writing, CV writing and interview techniques
- Students joining the College with a GCSE English or Maths at Grade 3 will be required to resit their GCSE
How do you make sure my child/young person is safe?
The college believes that it is always unacceptable for any student to experience abuse of any kind and recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all students by commitment to practice that protects them effectively. The college is committed to:
- providing a safe learning environment for all students with equal protection from all types of harm and abuse
- identifying children, young people and vulnerable adults who are suffering or are likely to suffer significant harm, and taking appropriate action to see that such children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe, both at home and at the college
- working in partnership with students, staff and other institutions to promote a safe learning environment
The college complies with recent Government legislation regarding ‘Prevent’ responsibilities, aiming to raise awareness of the risks of extremism including radicalisation.
If at any point students feel they need to talk to someone about any issues around being safe either inside or outside the college, then they can talk to their tutor, Subject Leader or our designated safeguarding person: Carol Edwards, who can be contacted by telephone on internal phone number 227 (for students) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The college also insists that all staff, students and visitors wear a college ID lanyard and card for easy identification and visual checks to ensure that the correct people are in our buildings. These ID lanyards are to be worn at all times and access can only be obtained to the Palace Court and Palace Studios buildings using the swipe security within them.
How do I report an absence on behalf of my child/young person?
If you are a parent or guardian reporting an absence on behalf of a registered Plymouth College of Art student, please click here.
Please make sure you report absence on the day as retrospective absences cannot be corrected.
Can I contact a tutor to discuss the progress of my child/young person?
We are happy to hear from any parent or guardian wanting to discuss their child/young person's progress, and you can call or email our reception desk using the details below to arrange this. However we can only do this if your child/young person is under 18. If they are over 18 they will need to have given us consent to discuss their progress with you.
Palace Court Reception (Pre-Degree centre – also covers Palace Studios)
Phone: 01752 203448
Can I find out more about Learning and Disability Support at Plymouth College of Art?
For the past two years, GCSE summer exams haven’t been able to take place and, instead, students have been awarded grades by their teachers.
In summer 2020, the government decided that exams could not take place safely. As the pandemic continued it disrupted education to such an extent, and so unevenly, that the government decided it would have been unfair to ask students to sit exams as they normally would in summer 2021, given the differences in the amount of the curriculum that different schools and colleges had been able to teach.
As a result of a consultation by DfE and Ofqual the government has announced that it is firmly committed for exams to go ahead in the 2021 to 2022 academic year and to ensure that they are fairer for all students, assessment adjustments for some GCSE subjects have been made.
The qualifications that are awarded via UALab could also have some adjustments to students assessments.
The College is awaiting to hear exactly what these adjustments will be from each of the awarding bodies and will post information about them here as we receive it.
To see more about this latest announcement please click here.
Exam Dates 2021-22
The below dates are correct at the time of publishing (November 2021). If you are the parent or guardian of a pre-degree student and you have any questions about exams, please contact Dawn Kingston, Quality and Examinations Manager (Pre-Degree) on email@example.com.
In 2022, for GCSE subjects there will be advance information on what exams will cover to help students focus their exam preparation. These will include formula sheets for Maths.
- Thursday 28 April 2022, 1.30pm - 3.00pm, IB Business Management Paper 1
- Friday 29 April 2022, 9.30am - 11.30am, IB Business Management Paper 2
- Thursday 5 May 2022, 1.30pm - 3.00pm, IB Environmental Systems & Societies Paper 1
- Friday 6 May 2022, 9.30am - 11.30am, IB Environmental Systems & Societies Paper 2
- Thursday 12 May 2022, 1.30pm - 4.00pm, IB English Literature (SL) Paper 1
- Monday 16 May 2022 (set date), 9.30am - 12.30pm, Functional Maths level 1 and level 2 Calculator am
- Monday 16 May 2022 (set date), 1.30pm - 4.30pm, Functional Maths level 1 and level 2 Non Calculator pm
- Tuesday 17 May 2022, 1.30pm - 4.00pm, IB Psychology (SL and HL) Paper 1
- W/C 6th June 2022 (TBC), 9.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm, Functional English
- Wednesday 18 May 2022, 9.30am - 11.30am, GCSE English Paper 1 (1hr 45mins)
- Friday 20 May 2022, 9.30am - 11.30am GCSE Mathematics Paper 1 (non-calculator 1hr 30mins)
- Tuesday 7 June 2022, 9.30am - 11.30am, GCSE Mathematics Paper 2 (calculator 1hr 30 mins)
- Friday 10 June 2022, 9.30am - 11.30am, GCSE English Paper 2 (Writers' viewpoints and perspectives 1hr 45mins)
- Monday 13 June 2022, 9.30am - 11.30am, GCSE Mathematics Paper 3 (calculator 1hr 30 mins)
Information for Parents
Over the last three years we have been continually developing and improving on our Pre-Degree progression and careers provision. Our intention is to continually keep working towards the college’s ethos of continual creative learning and social justice via the Pre-Degree Skills Project, whilst also driving toward 100% achievement of the Gatsby Career Benchmarks. The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define the best career provision in schools and colleges.
Parent and Guardians’ Evenings
Parents’ Evening events will be held with a combination of on-site and online meetings. If you are a parent of a Pre-Degree student who is aged under 18 and you wish to attend, please book an appointment via firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday 15 November 2021, 4:00pm - 6:30pm - Extended Diploma & Level 2. HE marketplace offering early advice and guidance around HE progression. Online and in-person appointments available.
- Tuesday 16 November 2021, 4:00pm - 6:00pm - English and Maths & International Baccalaureate (IBCP). HE marketplace offering early advice and guidance around HE progression. In-person appointments only.
- Monday 31 January 2022, 4:00pm - 6:30pm - Extended Diploma & Level 2. HE marketplace offering early advice and guidance around HE progression. Online and in-person appointments available.
- Tuesday 1 February 2022, 4:00pm - 6:00pm - English and Maths & International Baccalaureate (IBCP). HE marketplace offering early advice and guidance around HE progression. In-person appointments only.
- Monday 21 March 2022, 4:00pm - 6:30pm - Extended Diploma & Level 2. HE marketplace offering early advice and guidance around HE progression. Online and in-person appointments available.
- Tuesday 22 March 2022, 4:00pm - 6:00pm - English and Maths & International Baccalaureate (IBCP). HE marketplace offering early advice and guidance around HE progression. In-person appointments only.
Careers & Progression Information, Advice and Guidance
Our college provides a number of qualifications including the International Baccalaureate Career Programme, we offer a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course, a suite of 6 UAL Art and Design Extended Diploma courses including Graphics, Illustration and Game Arts, Film, Animation and Media Production, Production and Performance Arts, Photography, Fashion and Textiles and Art and Design and a Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design in Art and Design course.
Our students are able to engage with a number of work experiences from across a multitude of industrial sectors including: Construction, Engineering, Design and Technology, Visual Communication, Architectural design, Fashion, Media and Marketing, Radio as well as in the Public and Health sectors, which helps them to build upon new and existing skills to align these with professional practice and industry expectation.
Find out more on our Progression & Careers plan page.
Careerpilot is a free website helping 11—19 year olds in the South of England plan their future study and work and has a lot of useful information for young people and parents.
The Careerpilot Parent Zonecan help you as a parent/carer get answers to the career questions you want to ask, about:
- Choices at 14, 16 and 18;
- Further Education College;
- Apprenticeships and Traineeships;
- Higher Education (including HE provided at local colleges);
- Job sectors and growth;
- How to fund study and further support for you.
Following a short Ofsted inspection on 23 and 24 May 2017, Plymouth College of Art's dedicated pre-degree campus was judged to be “good,” maintaining the outcome of the college’s previous inspection in May 2013.
In the face of developments in the structure and location of FE teaching at the college itself, and the changing educational and political landscape in the UK, this result is a significant recognition of the college’s ongoing commitment to pre-degree education as part of a continuum of creative learning and practice in the region.