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Parent FAQs

How can I get information before my child applies?

The United World College of the Atlantic runs Open Days every year. Details of these will be made available on Atlantic College's website when they are finalised. Open Days are a great chance to meet members of the National Committee and to see and experience a UWC in action. Besides this, there are some great sources of information at UWC.org (the central office for all UWC schools and Colleges). 

We also recommend that you have a close look at the individual college websites.

What is my role in my child’s application?

During the Application Form stage, we request that parents look through their child's application form and declare that they are in support of the application. If you have any additional information (such as special circumstances) you feel the shortlisting panel / interview team should be aware of, you will be able to enter this into the application form, or alternatively you can email us at any point on applications@uwcgb.org.

While parents should be free to read to over their child’s application form we ask that they play no role in writing it unless necessary for medical reasons. We also encourage parents to attend the day of their child’s Assessment Day, when there will be a chance to have a tour around the college and another opportunity to ask questions. Further details about this will be provided to you if your child is shortlisted for an Assessment Day.

How does funding a place at a UWC operate for British students?

The National Committee nominates students for places on the basis of merit and their assessed potential to thrive at a UWC. Nominations are based on a selections process which is ‘needs blind’ - even if you submit a financial assessment form, the selections team will have never see this information.

For applicants who are successful in the selections process, the National Committee has an annual ‘scholarship pot’ which is administered through Atlantic College and is able to offer some financial support based on a means testing process. However, there are few full scholarship places and the majority of successful applicants will be asked to make a contribution towards the costs of their place - in some cases this will be a significant proportion. The amount of funding support available will always be specified at the same time as a place is offered. Every year, a few places are offered without scholarships.

The full fees for each college can normally be found on the individual college websites.

Whilst we appreciate that the cost can often be a major consideration, we would not like anyone to be deterred from applying for financial reasons. We would urge parents/guardians to explore and discuss all funding options if their child is offered a place. We can also supply you with further fundraising information – please email fundraising@uwcgb.org.

Some more information and statistics can be found here. 

How will I know if my son/daughter is eating properly or is suffering from stress related problems?

Past students can reassure parents that, in this area especially, the student support network is so strong and they all live so closely that any problem in this area is soon recognised. In most UWCs, students will also have a 'Houseparent', which is a member of staff who is responsible for the pastoral care. All UWCs have a provision for medical support as appropriate.

What supervision is given at UWCs?

Students have to check in each evening and are not allowed to leave the campus after that time. They can go out during the day if they have free periods or at the weekend. Most UWCs will have a sign in and out system in place for when students leave campus. 

How strict are the school rules?

While there are some variations between UWCs, based on local cultural norms, all UWCs adhere to a common code of practice, which forbids drugs, tobacco (on campus smoking is always forbidden), alcohol on school property, sexual activity in any public area including student rooms, ‘hazing’, bullying, harassment, assault and stealing. Furthermore, all colleges are required to have clear expectations with regard to attendance, academic integrity, respect for curfew and alcohol off campus. UWCs should have more details about rules on their websites. 

What happens about doctors or if my child is ill?

Normally, students are registered with a local medical practice so they will need to have their present GP’s details so they can transfer. If they need to see a doctor when they come home they can register as a temporary patient. There are sick bays on campus and a nurse is always available. Any health or sexual health issues can be easily discussed. Many countries, such as Hong Kong and USA, have excellent health care provision. Other colleges where such off-campus provision is more limited tend to have stronger on-campus support for student health and welfare. Students and parents can always contact the National Committee Welfare Officer (Welfare@uwcgb.org) if issues require support or intervention by the National Committee.

Does my child have to be academically gifted to apply?

No. We do not make conditional offers. However, the IB diploma is a challenging qualification even for high performers, and thus we do request an academic reference and predicted or achieved GCSE grades to ensure that your child would be able to have a fulfilling United World College experience given the challenge of the IB. Motivation and ability to work independently are more important for success in the IB than a string of A* grades. If we are concerned about your child's ability to succeed in the IB based on their reference or predicted grades, we will contact you to discuss your situation in more detail.

What sort of support is given with their studies?

Each student has a personal tutor who they see on a regular basis (or at any time they need help). This is to discuss any concerns they may have with their work and to monitor progress. UWCs have a family-like structure in place where second and first year students meet regularly with a tutor for both social and pastoral opportunities. All UWCs encourage a great sense of community and student’s friends are always a great source of support to them.

What feedback do I get about my child’s progress?


Reports are sent out regularly; a typical pattern might be for parents to receive three full reports during the two year period (the first at the end of the 1st semester, the second at the end of May and the third after the trial exams in March, prior to the IB Diploma.) The college staff, either the tutor in the first instance or the Director of Studies, are very approachable if there are any concerns outside of these reports.

What is our Child Protection Policy?

Please see our Welfare page for details.