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Welsh Government

Supporting your child if they want to leave college

As parents you are key influencers. Take a look at our top 3 tips to support your child if they are thinking of leaving college.

1. Listen and be supportive

Find out the reasons why your child wants to leave college. They could want to leave for a variety of reasons including:

  • Having a new career idea which no longer suits their course
  • Not enjoying their course
  • Disliking full time study
  • Not settling into college life
  • Finding the course either too easy or too difficult
  • They are being bullied

Some of the reasons above can be resolved so that they can stay in college. They could swap a course (if it’s not too late) or could ask to drop down a level or get extra help if the course is too difficult.

If studying full time doesn’t appeal then they could move from a full time course to an apprenticeship, if suitable, with the same college.

Whatever their reasons you can seek support by speaking to the college tutor, learner / student services or contact Careers Wales to speak to a Careers Adviser who can advice and guide you.

2. Talk about your own experiences

You will have your own positive (and negative) experiences of education and working. Speak to them about the reality of studying or working to help them understand that although they might feel unsettled, apprehensive or worried now, that there are positives to most situations. Things like:

  • Working or being in a classroom with people you don’t get on with – think of the skills and qualities they get from this such as experience of working with others, tolerance, listening to different opinions
  • A change in career idea  – their current course might not be what they want to do right now but they are gaining important skills which are transferable to many jobs. Finishing the 1st year might give them a qualification or credits, security and time to fully explore their next steps if they still decide they want to leave
  • Being bullied - although very uncomfortable and stressful for your child, this could be resolved with support from the college. Your child should not have to sacrifice their education for the sake of another person

You and your child can speak to Careers Wales for advice and guidance on the next best steps and options. Contact us.

3. Be prepared. Have a plan

If your child is still certain that they want to leave then it’s important to have a plan in place for their next steps although we would advise that they stay in college until their next step is in place. Some options open to your child include:

  • Applying for an Apprenticeship
  • Applying for Jobs Growth Wales+
  • Getting a part time or full time job
  • Volunteering or work experience

Whichever option appeals, Careers Wales can discuss and explore the options and opportunities further with you and your child.

Contact Us

Get in touch for careers advice and support.

Explore the options


Apprenticeships are a great way to gain qualifications while you work and earn a wage. Find out more about apprenticeships, search vacancies and more.

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