Parent Area

This section of Sky Academy website is aimed at helping parents and cares source information to help support young people in their future decisions. Below you will find three helpful sections; information about education options, types of jobs and local opportunities.   

Post-16 Options for your Child when they finish school 

There are currently three main options for your child to consider after finishing school.    

College – The majority of our students go onto college to continue studying.  The options at college are huge and students can choose from studying A levels, BTEC or a variety of vocational courses.  Links to all our local post-16 colleges can be found below.    

Apprenticeships - If you have a job sector or career in mind then an apprenticeship can be a great choice, as you will learn about a job area, get paid and you have a good chance of getting a job at the end of your training.  There are different levels of apprenticeship, depending on the level of your GCSE qualifications.  To search for apprenticeships in your local area you can use this link 

Traineeship - Traineeships are education and training programmes with work experience, which focus on giving young people the skills and experience they need to help them compete for an apprenticeship or other jobs. Traineeships last a maximum of six months and include core components of work preparation training, English and maths (unless you have already achieved GCSE A* to C standard) and a high quality work experience placement.  To search for traineeships in your local area/or to find out more information you can use these links 

Links to Post 16 Colleges 

Throughout Year 10 and Year 11 our students will make a number of visits during school time to the colleges in our area. 

The two most popular colleges in Taunton for school leavers are: 

Finance 

Below we have outlined the financial implications of the different post-16 options which will affect you and your child. 

If your child does not attend any college course or traineeship, then your family will no longer be entitled to the financial support you currently receive for that child.  This will impact your child benefit, working tax credits and housing benefit.   

If your child is leaving school, staying in non-advanced education or training, is under 20 years old and enrolled on their course before their 19th birthday they are still classed as your dependent child. Therefore, your benefits shouldn’t be affected – but there are still things that you’ll need to do. 

What is non-advanced education or training? 

This means studying for a qualification up to NVQ or SVQ level 3, GCSEs, A-levels or similar, BTEC National Diplomas, National Certificates or a 1st Diploma. It also includes Traineeships in England or Wales   and Foundation Apprenticeships  in Wales. 

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)  have more information. 

Do I need to do anything about my child benefit and tax credits? 

Yes, you do. Child benefit and child tax credit can continue until your child’s 20th birthday if they remain in full-time non-advanced education or approved training, as long as you inform the child benefit and tax credit offices know. 

The child benefit office should write to you in your child’s last year of school to ask what they plan to do afterwards. You can let them know that your child is staying on in education by completing this online form  – you’ll need your Government Gateway sign-in information to hand or you will need to set up a Government Gateway account if you don’t already have one. Alternatively you can contact them by phone. 

You’ll also need to inform the tax credit office. If you don’t let them know your child is staying on in education, your tax credits for them will most likely stop after they have left school. Your working tax credit isn’t affected as long as you’re still getting child tax credit. 

How will this affect my housing benefit and council tax reduction? 

If you receive housing benefit and council tax reduction these aren’t affected as long as you’re still getting child benefit for your child. 

My child has a part-time job – does this affect my benefits? 

No, they are still classed as a dependent so any income they have won’t affect your benefits. 

Should I still be receiving child maintenance? 

Yes, nothing changes as far as child maintenance is concerned. Your child’s other parent has a legal obligation to be paying child maintenance whilst your child is in non-advanced education, as long as they are not aged 20 or over. If you’re not receiving child maintenance, remember that you can still claim it. 

You can still claim, even if you haven’t received anything in the past. You won’t be able to get any child maintenance for a past period but can start to receive it from now on.  For more information see our advice on arranging child maintenance. 

College/Traineeship – If your child studies a full-time course at college or is part of a Traineeship programme you will continue to receive child benefit and child tax credits, as long as you inform the child benefit and tax credit office.  The child benefit office should write to you in your child’s last year of school to ask what they plan to do afterwards.   It is essential you fill in this form to continue receiving benefits. 

Students attending college may be entitled to the 16-19 Bursary Fund, Free Meals, or help towards their travel costs.  The link for Finance information at Bridgwater and Taunton College is: 

Apprenticeships –  If your child starts an apprenticeship they will be paid a weekly amount.   If your child leaves full-time education to start an apprenticeship, they are no longer considered your dependent. As such, families of apprentices are currently not entitled to financial support.   

This includes any child maintenance you may be receiving through the statutory system, and may also impact your working tax credits, housing benefit and/or council tax reduction.

For additional labour market information, events, training, and opportunities relevant to parents and carers of students, please click on the following link:

HotSW Careers Hub Student Padlet