Guide for parents

Welcome to our parents' information page. We hope you will find this information useful when supporting your son/daughter/looked-after child with their next steps.

As a parent you know that this is a crucial time for your son or daughter when making decisions for their future career paths and deciding where and what to study.

There are many elements to consider before making a senior phase decision, but we're here to help!

  • which subjects are they best at?
  • which subjects do they enjoy most?
  • which options will lead to a promising career and lead them to successful employment?


Courses available to students coming to us as part of their Senior Phase range from vocational, practical courses such as Skills for Work or SQA Highers such as  Psychology and Early Education & Childcare. We also offer online degree modules in subjects ranging from Archaeology and Local Studies to the Nature of Health.  We also allow pupils access to modules from our Computing and Business HNC courses.

This year sees the first Foundation Apprenticeships being offered in Orkney. Foundation Apprenticeships are a blended learning approach combining a work-based qualification with academic learning and industry involvement.

Working alongside school studies the Foundation Apprenticeship enables pupils going into S5 to step outside of school into the college/university environment for one day a week with work placements integrated throughout.

Developed by Skills Development Scotland the qualifications take 2 years to complete (or in some cases 1 year) and are fully endorsed by industry so are up to date and relevant The Foundation Apprenticeship offers a progression route to Modern Apprenticeships, Graduate Apprenticeships, Higher Education or employment.

More information can be found on the Foundation Apprenticeships website. Please note the Foundation Apprenticeships available at Orkney College UHI.

Spending time at College during the Senior Phase can help bridge the gap between school and college/university and even employment. We work closely with all Orkney schools and can help young people reach their full potential in their chosen area while still at school - there are opportunities for everyone!

A school Guidance teacher will be able to help answer some of these questions for you, and depending on which subjects you choose to follow, you may be able to study in college or online.

Applications are also welcome from home-educated pupils - contact us for an application form.

For more information download our Orkney College Senior Phase Programme 2018-19. If you have any questions please do get in touch with: