FOLLOWING school closures and exam cancellations as a result of COVID-19, a North Yorkshire college has launched a new programme to provide applicants with a head start on their next chapter.

The Head Start initiative set up by Selby College aims to provide prospective students with course focussed materials and challenges to help them explore the range of courses and subjects on offer at the college.

As part of this, Selby College staff will guide and support applicants through the programme by giving them feedback on their completed work and discussing potential course choices in-depth.

Phil Sayles, is the principal and CEO of Selby College.

He said: “For those leaving school this summer, they are currently facing difficult and unprecedented times. They are missing the assessment and exams they expected and may be facing uncertainty about the path of study or Apprenticeship they were considering, as well as missing their friends and the social structures of school and life.

"We hope that by setting up Head Start, we can help encourage them and support them through this difficult time, as they look to embark on the next chapters of their lives – whether that be preparing students for university or their future careers.”

The college has a range of courses available, including full-time vocational courses, A-levels and Apprenticeships.

Other routes may also become accessible to young adults (18-21 year olds) who may find themselves unemployed or would like to return to study due to current circumstances.

“Even if students are unsure of whether they will enrol at Selby College or aren’t sure what subjects they want to do, applying and accessing the programme will help them explore their options and what is on offer by engaging with our staff,” added Mr Sayles.

Head Start will be carried out online and those who have already applied to Selby College will be invited to join the programme when it launches and goes live this week (commencing May 18).

As part of the scheme, advice sessions on transportation to the college, bursary support and welfare support will also be provided.

Guidance on how learning will be delivered in the autumn - both physically and continuing online elements - will also be covered, as well as advice on how students can stay safe during these difficult times.

This also includes the steps which the college is taking to ensure students have a safe learning environment to return to.

The college also has 250 Higher Education students – many of whom are working up to degree level – who will still complete learning via online education.