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Information For Parents

It is as important to choose the right course as well as the right place to study, that’s why we constantly evaluate our performance with help from our Learners and their parents.

We hope you find this section useful. It provides important information for you to help you to support your daughter or son’s progress. It is intended as a guide only and not intended as a substitute for personal contact.

Ofsted Report - Good

The College was last inspected by Ofsted in February 2014. The week-long visit saw nine inspectors observe a wide range of activities to assess the quality of teaching, learning and assessment at the College.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal and Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised our ambitious vision which aims to raise the aspirations of students, our sharp focus on students’ attainment of high grades and that the College supports students’ progression on to further study or employment.

The report highlights a large number of highly positive aspects of the quality of teaching and learning at the College. It states that the percentage of students ‘completing their qualification aims successfully has been consistently above the national average for the last three years’. 

And the report added students ‘develop their confidence, self-esteem and social skills well. They enjoy their learning experience and develop good employability skills and enhance their future opportunities’.

These comments are supported by the fact that in 2013 83% of students at East Durham College successfully completing full-time courses moved on to employment or further forms of education and training, building upon the positive and life-changing experience of studying at college.

The good behaviour of students at the College also came in for praise with the report stating ‘Behaviour in the college is good and managed well; students show a high level of mutual respect.’

To see the full report, go to: http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/p...

FAQs for Parents/Guardians

How can we help our son/daughter to choose the right course?

The team has been awarded the Matrix Quality Standard for its information, advice and guidance services. So you can rest assured you will get best advice. The staff are all friendly, experienced and there to help you.

And the right college?

When choosing a college, you may find it helpful to think about issues such as location, courses on offer, track record and college facilities. Visiting the College, having a look round and speaking to the staff is usually very helpful. At East Durham College, we hold a number of Open Days to help you do just that. Check out the events section of the website for the next event.

How much will it cost to study at East Durham College?

If your son or daughter is aged 16-18 (16–24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan) and a UK resident you shouldn't have to pay anything for tuition fees.

Students aged 19 or above may have to pay course fees which can be paid before the course starts or by instalments over the duration of an academic year. Some students over 19 may qualify for ‘tuition fee remission’ from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). 

Please see the financial support section of the website for more details.

Will there be any financial support?

There are various schemes to help you with the costs of travelling to and from college, (please remember the college operates its own free bus service for students) for purchasing any books or equipment and to assist with the cost of study visits/residentials.

Please see the financial support section of the website for full details.

Is there a typical East Durham College student?

No, not at all. We take pride in being a very diverse College, where students come from all sorts of different backgrounds and have all sorts of different interests. This makes for a vibrant, active atmosphere, with both students and staff always ready to support each other in trying out new things. Most importantly, our students are encouraged to be themselves and to develop their full potential.

In Partnership with Parents

We know that a close relationship between College, student and parents has a very positive effect on the student's performance. The College holds regular consultation evenings, contacts parents if we cannot resolve problems satisfactorily with students directly, and encourages parents to contact us with concerns.

Consultation Evenings

There are consultation evenings held during the year when you and your son or daughter have the opportunity to meet the lecturers and his/her Progression Coach. These take place in December to review the first term's progress, and March/April for mid-year reviews.

Student Services will write to you letting you know your appointment date/time.

Keeping You Informed

The College welcomes parents by appointment at any time. If something is worrying you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For general enquiries please contact Student Services 0n 0191 518 8222 or email enquiries@eastdurham.ac.uk

For particular concerns regarding your own son/daughter please contact their Personal Learning Coach. It is also possible to make appointments with a lecturer. A Vice Principal and the Principal are always happy to see parents if a problem cannot be solved by talking to the staff mentioned above.


Attendance is monitored electronically and students will be seen by their Progression Coach if problems with attendance occur. Should there be no improvement you will be contacted. Our courses are demanding and missing lessons will inevitably lead to serious problems in understanding the work. All the available research shows us that excellent attendance is a big factor in excellent results.

In the case of illness, it is essential that you or the student telephone the College to let us know the situation as soon as possible. Please call 0191 518 2000 and select option one to report a student absence.


Students are expected to be punctual. If students are not present at the beginning of the class they may be allowed into the class at the tutor's discretion. They will be expected to catch up on work missed and persistent lateness may result in disciplinary proceedings.


Please can we stress, in particular, holidays should not be booked during term time. If students need to miss college for any reason, for example, to attend funerals or move house, please discuss this with your daughter's/son's Progression Coach so that we can make arrangements for any work missed. 

Careers Advice Service

Our Careers Advice Service is continually seeking new ways to involve parents of East Durham College students and prospective students in their educational and career decisions and we need your help! You can find more detail on our Careers Advice page.

Ways that you can engage with the Careers Service:

Careers appointments - Come along to a careers appointment with your son or daughter. Careers appointments are available at all three campuses throughout the year.

Focus groups - Help to improve and shape our careers service for the future. Would you like to come along to a careers focus group for parents, they only last for hour and are held once a term? We are flexible with times – there are opportunities to join a daytime group or an evening group. We are looking to meet with a small group of parents to find out what types of careers information you would like as a parent to be able to assist your son or daughter more in decisions about their choice of course and future career.

East Durham College Careers Advice Service Facebook – Why not follow the EDC Careers Service on Facebook. It’s regularly updated with links to articles, job vacancies, interview tips, information on Apprenticeships, Higher Education and student finance.

Parents’ Evenings - Attend parents’ evenings at the College to speak with your son or daughter’s Lecturers, Progression Coach and the Careers Co-ordinator about their progress and development on their study programme.

Former students - Did you study at East Durham College in the past? If so, we would love to hear how our former students are doing! Let us know how your career has progressed since you left us and join us on LinkedIn.

Careers talks – We are always looking for people to come into college to give talks to our students about their careers, their journey along the way and tell us more about the organisations they work for or the business they now run.

Employer visits – If your employer would be willing to host a group of our students for a tour or information session that would be fantastic.

If you have any other ideas we would love to hear them too

If you’re interested in any of the above, please contact the College's Careers Co-ordinator, on 0191 518 8282 or e-mail: katherinehasselby@eastdurham.ac.uk

Parents’ Pack - Apprenticeship Information

Please find below a helpful information pack produced by the Nathional Apprenticeship Service.

Parents’ Pack - Apprenticeship Information

Parents of New Students Brochure

You can find more useful information in our parents' brochure. Please click below:

Parents' Brochure - New Student Starters

Parents Charter

The College's Parents Charter formally sets out our commitment to parents and carers of our students (Aged 16-18). The Charter details a number of key commitments the College promises to deliver and what the College asks of parents/carers in return. Please click below:

Parents Charter Document 2015-16