Y12 Parent Engagement Group

Post 18 Progression

Outcomes for This Evening

  • Overview of the UCAS process over the coming months
  • Support available in school and online
  • Options for those not going to uni




  • Sign up to the monthly UCAS parents’ letter.
  • Download the 2020 UCAS Parent Guide from the website.
  • Which? University website.
  • Take them to open days - you may be able to offer a different perspective.
  • Financial assistance e.g.

railway tickets.

  • Try to remain impartial!

How Can I Support?

  • Entry requirements: set by the university; grades or tariff points; be ambitious, but realistic.
  • Choose a university: reputation; size; campus; graduate prospects; location.
  • Choose a course: Single/joint honours; assessment methods; placement year; career aspiration; current subjects.
  • Gap year: some courses problematic (e.g. Maths), some huge benefits if planned.
  • “Is HE for me?”: there are lots of other pathways.

Making Decisions

Narrowing Choices

Universities will make their decisions based on the following:

  • GCSE grades

Especially important for Oxbridge applicants.

  • Admission Testing

This is becoming a more significant feature amidst the decrease of applicants with AS qualifications.

  • AS grades (if taken)

Significantly less weight amidst exam reform.

  • Personal Statement

You should be seeing lots of drafts!

  • Reference

Written by teachers, collated by tutors, checked by us.

  • Predicted Grades

Based on mock grades and moderated by progress throughout Year 12.


Potential Pitfalls

  • Unrealistic choices or too wide a range of courses.
  • Not choosing a sensible insurance place.
  • Starting research too late.
  • Plagiarising the personal statement.
  • Apply for a course they will not enjoy.
  • Student room (caution required).


  • Online application form - lots of sections to complete!
  • Apply via school
  • Students work with tutors to complete application and finalise personal statement
  • 1 personal statement for all courses / universities.
  • ‘Invisible’ - universities cannot see where else they have applied.
  • Payment is by card only - £25 (2 – 5 choices); £20 (1 choice)

Completing the Application

They should include:

  • Academic achievements, past and present
  • Why they are interested in the subject area
  • Their knowledge of the subject area and enthusiasm to go beyond the syllabus
  • What they enjoy about studying
  • Details of independent study skills and evidence of how this has been developed e.g. EPQ, wider reading.

The questions universities will ask:

  • Have they chosen the right subject for the right reasons?
  • Do they have a range of interests?
  • Does the personal statement confirm their interest in the subject?
  • Have they studied independently?
  • Are they motivated and committed?
  • Do they possess good numeracy and literacy skills?

Personal Statement

  • Tutor compiles the reference, using subject staff comments and predicted grades.
  • They will start the reference with an explanation of North Bristol Post 16 Centre and previous school.
  • The end of the reference will include some comments about time at the centre and activities students have been involved in.
  • Student should inform tutor if there is something important that they wish to be included in your reference.
  • Attendance and punctuality!


  • Student will get confirmation that UCAS has received their form and will be sending it off to your university choices. Keep ID number safe.
  • Get a folder/file together to keep all paperwork from UCAS and Universities.
  • We will process applications in the order we receive them (can take up to two weeks during busy periods).

Clicking Send

  • Completed applications to UCAS by Oct 15th for Oxford / Cambridge / Medicine / Vet / Dentistry (We need it earlier!)
  • Post 16 centre would like all other UCAS applications to be completed and sent to tutors for references and checking by October half term.
  • Submission by 2 December guarantees we will hit 15th Jan deadline
  • UCAS deadline is Jan 15th (too late for competitive courses)

Key Dates

Early Autumn term

Apply for 5 realistic choices of university/course

Students will have their UCAS predicted grades as well as any AS grades

Late Autumn/Spring term

Conditional offers

Interview (some)


(keep an eye on this via Track)

Early Summer term

Decision to keep 2 offers – a contractual obligation

Firm / Insurance Acceptance


  • UCAS convention
  • Open days
  • Futures 18
  • Careers adviser
  • Unifrog
  • Personal statement sessions
  • Tutor and subject teacher support
  • Post 16 leadership support
  • University visits in school
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Literature (guidance booklets)

Our Support

  • Many of our students are choosing alternatives to university.
  • Apprenticeship opportunities are rising, and many higher apprenticeships are a better option than HE.
  • Support will be available all year (different deadlines) starting with the Futures Conference.

Not Going to Uni

  • Students should keep an eye on careers bulletins and book themselves in to see careers advisers. Tutors will support.

Useful Websites


Detailed advice & guidance about every step of the applicant journey


Latest advice posted on twitter & facebook by UCAs


Guides & video advice from students already at uni


Advice about HE & independent league table


Compare & review universities/subjects


National Union of Students


UK’s official graduate careers web site


Student only networking site


Post 18 options (future study, employment…)


One stop site for all apprenticeship information

Keep in Touch



Cotham: 0117 919 8100

RGS: 0117 353 3433


Parent surgery

Daily 3.30 – 4.30

appointment only please

Year 12 PEG (July): Post 18 Progression - Google Slides