A Parents Perspective

A Parents Perspective

We talked to Kerry Coey, parent of Music Student Melissa Brown about her experience studying at SERC.

The support and encouragement you give your son or daughter at home can make a big difference to their success at College.

Parents Role

Make sure they attend regularly. Missing coursework deadlines or exams can really affect your son or daughter's chance of success. If they are ill, please call or email their personal tutor. Remind them to look after their belongings and leave expensive equipment at home. It may cost you a lot of money to replace items.

Talk to us. You can make an appointment to speak to us. Whether you want to talk to a lecturer, a Training Support Officer or speak to one of our staff members about careers advice or learning support, we are here to help you.

Our Role

Personal guidance and support for your son or daughter. Each Trainee has a dedicated Training Support Officer who is responsible for their progress and achievement. They’re always on hand to help your son or daughter reach their full potential – and help with any difficulties.

Call us on 0345 600 7555

The truth about SERC

When speaking to parents, who understandably want the best for their son or daughter, we have found that there are many common misconceptions and myths around college life and vocational qualifications. Here is some factual information that we hope will help you make a more informed decision about your son or daughter applying to college.

compass component of the SERC logo

Vocational Route

A vocational route can lead to Higher Education. After successfully completing a Level 3 Extended Diploma your son or daughter has the equivalent to 3 A Level qualifications. This entitles your son or daughter to study a Higher Education course such as a HND, Higher Level Apprenticeship or Foundation Degree with SERC at a fraction of the cost of University!

Alternatively, they can progress to University, which 469 of our students did last year.


Our students are high achievers vocational qualifications are a fantastic route into work and equip students with the essential skills employers are looking for. To complete a Level 3 qualification at SERC we ask for 5 GCSEs grade C/GCSE Grade 4 or above including English and Maths. Dependant on your son or daughter's chosen career route, it can be essential to hold a vocational qualification.

Read some of the student success stories to see how far vocational qualifications could take your son or daughter.

A family looking at a tablet device.
A son and mother smiling.


In addition to teaching qualifications SERC staff must also have professional qualifications in a range of disciplines from Software Engineering, Electronics, Applied Science, Animal Management , Hairdressing, Early Years, Motor Vehicle, Hospitality to name but a few.

SERC staff are experts in the use of our industry standard equipment and software, often providing specialist training to industry.

Code of Conduct

Our students sign a Code of Conduct agreement. On joining SERC all of our students sign a Code of Conduct and Attendance Contract which ensures that they comply with College Policies and treat College property with care and respect. If a student breaks this agreement, staff work quickly to help get them back on track.

However, if the behaviour continues there is a disciplinary system that will be actioned to ensure that the student's behaviour does not affect other students in their class.

Careers Advice

We offer impartial advice and guidance from award winning Careers Advisors to support with additional learning needs, SERC offers all the support your son or daughter needs to succeed. We also host several talks from industry to broaden students’ horizons, raise their aspirations and inform them of all the career options available in their chosen field. While master classes and site visits from industry professionals help to prepare students for the real world of work.

Essential Skills

English, Maths and ICT are mandatory as part of our study programme. At the start of the course students aged 16-18 will be expected to study Maths, English and ICT as mandatory requirements.

If your son or daughter has not obtained a Grade C or above at GCSE level we will enrol them on an Essential Skills course. This will be embedded into their timetable.

A father and daughter smiling using mobile phone.

In Safe Hands

Be assured that your child is in safe hands during their time at SERC. Our team of experts in areas like financial support, learning support and counselling and are here to ensure that students can address any difficulties they face. We want to ensure that they have no barriers to successfully completing their course. Please see below for more information on these support services.

A student and staff member looking at documents.

Learning Support

We believe that every student should be given an equal opportunity to learn no matter what their capability. We understand that students may suffer from disabilities, learning difficulties and/or medical conditions that could act as a barrier to learning, that’s why we offer students Learning Support.

Learning Support is a college service which can help your son/daughter with their studies and college experience to ensure they get the best from their time at SERC.

A laptop and notebook on a desk.


We understand that at one time or another we all experience difficulties that can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes just talking to friends and family can help but other times it may be better to talk to someone trained to listen who can offer support, guidance and a fresh outlook. SERC have teamed up with Carecall to offer students a free and confidential counselling service.

Financial Support

As well as benefiting from pastoral support, SERC students can also avail of financial support such as:

  • Travel pass
  • Free Meals
  • Education Maintenance Allowance

Careers Guidance

Choosing which career path to take can be a daunting decision for your son/daughter to make. Through the provision of our award winning Careers Service we will help them make informed decisions about their future.

Whether they want to be a civil engineer, a choreographer, a social worker or a forensic scientist, our award winning Career Advisors can help your child achieve their goal, by providing a service which is focused on their needs.

You as a parent are also very welcome to attend a meeting with your child and our Careers Service team.

Our Careers Service is available to prospective and current students, so even if your son/daughter hasn’t decided to join us yet, they can contact us and make an appointment to discuss their options.

A mother and daughter meeting with a tutor.

Keeping you informed

What does my child do if they are struggling with their course, is there any additional support available for them?

Yes support is available to all our students who feel they need extra help on their course. The first thing your child should do is speak to their class tutor, to see if they can provide any assistance to them.

If the reason they are struggling cannot be worked out with the tutor your child should contact SERC Extra. A SERC Extra member of staff is located at each of our main campuses, they will talk to them and will be able to signpost them to other services, including learning support, which can provide additional support for them as they study.

Contact with parents, guardians and friends

The College is committed to ensuring the best support is available to enhance the success of our students and greatly value the contribution of parents, guardians and friends. Due to our obligations towards data protection legislation, we are unable to discuss matters concerning the students unless they have given us permission to do so.
When a student enrols, they are afforded the opportunity to provide the name/contact details of a person they permit us to discuss their progress with. We can only discuss matters with the named person. Students can log into their student account at anytime to provide such contact details if they haven’t previously done so.
We can discuss policies and procedures with you to help you understand how we reach decisions e.g. if a student has not received their EMA payment, the procedure states that payments will not be paid for a week where a student has unauthorised absences. We have made our policies and procedures available to the public via our website – Public Information
Please note, where there is risk to the life, health or welfare of a student, we will not rely on permission. We will contact the ‘next of kin’ and/or other necessary third parties to support the student.

Ready For Work With Skills Employers Needs

With increasing unemployment levels amongst 16 to 25 year olds SERC is dedicated to providing a service, beyond the qualification, which is designed to help your son/daughter to be job ready; to 'Get the Edge'.

We help students to develop their ‘edge’ by giving them as many opportunities as we can to gain better skills and real life experiences.

In addition to their Vocational qualification we also provide them with:

  • Personal Development and Enterprise qualifications
  • Skills employers need
  • Work Placements
  • The opportunity to set up their own commercial SERC Student Company
  • The opportunity to Volunteer
  • The opportunity to work on ‘real life’ industry projects from businesses like Coca Cola and Royal Mail
  • This can make all the difference when applying for jobs or higher education courses in the future.
Students smiling looking at computer screen.

Study Space

To succeed in their course, students will need to study outside of class time and it is recommended that your son/daughter is provided with adequate space to do so.

All students have access to the Learning Resource Centre where they can book PC’s and study rooms.

A mother and daughter meeting with a tutor.

Parents Evening

It is recommended that parents attend the Parents Evening which will take place at the start of the academic year. Parents Evening will provide parents with a more in-depth insight into life at SERC and a chance to meet some key staff members.

There will also be a Parents Evening in February/March to provide parents with an overview of the next steps and progression routes available.

Students working in a cafe environment.

Work & Holidays

Many students undertake part time jobs while studying; however it is recommended that students should not work for more than eight hours per week as this could interfere with their studies. It is advised that students do not take holidays during term time as this can have an adverse effect on their studies.