Paul Cowling is a qualified Careers Adviser with over twenty years of experience providing advice, guidance and information to young people aged 11 – 19 . Formerly employed by Somerset Careers and Connexions Somerset, he has been employed by the school for the last 9 years supporting our students with their work experience placements, careers matters in general,as well as advice , guidance and information to students via one to one careers interviews.

In an increasingly complicated world, students face an array of choices and options regarding their immediate post 16 destination and beyond. Students are not left alone to work through this maze, but can be supported by Mr Cowling in terms of helping them to be better prepared for the careers, educational and training decisions they will be making in the short and longer term.

If your son or daughter would like to speak to Mr Cowling they can do so by booking an appointment to see him. Parents are welcome to attend but need to contact Mr Cowling to arrange a convenient time for all.

Work Experience Presentation

Court Fields school held their work experience launch evening on Wednesday  23rd November. Parents and year 10 students attended to find out more about securing  and  completing a one week work experience placement next July.

The evening  also included a presentation to 10  year 11 students ,  who undertook their  work  experience  in July of this year and who were identified by either the employer  and /or a member of staff who visited them  , as being particularly outstanding. The school also awarded a plaque to Boldscan of Wellington as “ work experience employer of the year” in recognition  of the support and quality of the placements  it offered to students this year and in previous years.

Any employer  who would be interested in supporting a student for a one week  work experience placement  next year, should contact Mr Cowling at school.


Pictured receiving their awards are from top left:-

George Barber, Harry Herbison ,George Seeley, Bronwyn Cheshire, Becky Mercer, Chloe-Ann Mair.

Bottom left Emily Horswell, Mel Hurley, Leanne Payne, Caitlin Hemburrow

Where have our students gone ??

Detailed below is a breakdown of the post 16 destinations of our year 11 students for the last 4 years.

Year Further education Apprenticeship other work NEET Not known total
2013 135 ( 88%) 9 (6%) 4 ( 3%) 4 (3%) 0% 152(100%)
2014 115 (89%) 5 (4%) 3 (3%) 1 (1%) 3 (3%) 127(100%)
2015 149 (90%) 4 (3%) 3 (2%) 5 ( 3%) 3 (2%) 164(100%)
2016 129 (88%) 9 (6%) 1 (1%) 4 ( 3%) 2 (2%) 145(100%)

Dates of College Open Evenings 2016/17

All local colleges have now published the dates of their open evenings. These provide an excellent opportunity for students , particularly year 11’s, to visit the college and find out more about the courses on offer as well as a chance to physically view all the facilities. The colleges also offer taster days, which give students the chance to actually try out the course they are considering. Go to the college websites for details when these will be available.

College Open Evenings:-

Richard Huish –  5/11/16 – 10.00am – 12.00pm  ( morning session)

7/11/16 –  6.30pm – 8.30pm

8/11/16 –  6.30pm – 8.30pm


Bridgwater College – 13/10/16 – 5.30pm – 8.30pm

23/11/16 – 6.00pm – 8.00pm

17/1/17 – 6.00pm – 8.00pm

13/6/17 – 6.00pm – 8.00pm

9/3/17 – 6.00pm -8.00pm  ( apprenticeship evening)

Cannington Centre     12/11/16 – 10.00am  – 1.00pm

28/1/17 – 10.00am –   1.00pm

21/6/17 – 5.30pm  –   7.30pm

PETROC –                  9/11/16 – 3.30pm –  7.00pm

18/1/17 – 3.30pm – 6.30pm

10/5/17 – 3.30pm – 6.00pm ( advice and guidance event)

Somerset College     19/10/16 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm

18/1/17 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm

8/3/17 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm

14/6/17 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm




A guide to HE information and advice covering everything from deciding whether uni is right for you to getting a graduate job

Thinking about HE

UCAS – read what UCAS says about ‘Is uni for you?’

Not going to uni – compare apprenticeships, gap years, distance learning and jobs as alternatives to university

London University Taster Course Programme – provides insights into degree subjects and student life

University and college open days – directory as well as advice about subjects, universities, a gap year, etc.

Whatuni? – has a list of upcoming open days

Push – read ‘Why bother with uni?’ as well as info about UK universities, student life, gap years, open days and student finance

Studential – has information on FE, gap year, HE, apprenticeship, enterprise and British Army options

The Sutton Trust – organises one-week summer schools and residentials for bright students from non-privileged homes to give them a taste of university life

Taking a Gap Year – offers an online and printed directory of gap year organisations and opportunities

The Year Out Group – includes over 30 gap year organisations that provide opportunities at home and abroad

Travel companies that offer a booking service covering travel, volunteering and work experience abroad include (owned by Flight Centre UK Ltd), Real Gap (owned by TUI Travel plc) and STA Travel

Studying abroad

The Complete University guide – has info on studying abroad

A Star Future – has info on studying in Europe and further afield

Studyportals – is a Dutch company providing a range of information on undergraduate degrees taught in Europe

Fulbright Commission – has info on studying in USA

Government of Canada – info on studying in Canada

Future Unlimited – is the official Australian website for international students

Applying to HE

UCAS – is the organisation through which you apply for most HE institutions in the UK. It tells you how to apply and provides information on courses as well as finance and support

Apply to uni – for information on applying for uni including tuition fees, open days, A-Z of universities

British Council – provides information for international students interested in studying in the UK

The National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) is used by universities to select students for their law courses

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) – is used in the selection process by a consortium of UK university Medical and Dental Schools

Studential – has free examples of personal statements but remember your personal statement must be plagiarism free. (Studential also offers a commercial editing service)

Unipod – Oxford Brookes University’s guide to choosing a university, choosing the right course, organising finance, writing your personal statement, etc. Also look at Jobpod for graduate job ideas

The Student Room – has advice on applying for universities and courses including a personal statement builder and ‘University Connect’ (recent examples of offers made)

Where and what to study

Whatuni? – helps students find universities and courses in the UK. It has an A-Z of universities. ‘What can I do?’ provides ideas for degree subjects to study based on the A levels you are taking.

Which? University – help with finding the best UK university and degree course for you

Best course 4 me – for ideas about where and what to study

The Complete University guide – has information about university rankings, where and what to study, how to apply, student finance, student life, graduate careers, distance learning and studying abroad

Push – read ‘Why bother with uni?’ as well as info about UK universities, student life, gap years, open days and student finance

People and Planet – annual rankings of UK universities by environmental and ethical performance

The Open University – offer degrees through distance learning

UKCourseFinder – from the Morrisby Organisation helps you to find a degree course based on your interests

HE map – Useful map showing locations of UK universities and HE institutions

Unistats – is the official website for comparing UK universities, e.g. course data, student satisfaction scores, jobs and salaries after graduation

The QAA – read their reports on the quality and standard of HE providers

University coursefinder – from The Daily Telegraph will help you refine your degree course choices

The University Guide – from The Guardian has information on courses and university rankings

The Student Room – has an A-Z of universities and provides help with choosing a subject

The Good Universities Guide – print and online directory of universities and colleges

Student finance

The Student Room – has links to Student Finance England resources and the government finance websites of the other home nations.

Student Finance England – to sign up to Student Finance online

Best course 4 me – What’s the return on your investment in HE?

The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) – promotes and safeguards fair access to higher education. See their website for student FAQs and info about bursaries and university access agreements

The Student Calculator – from Brightside helps you to work out how much money you will have at university and how much you will need

Gov.UK – for information about student finance and loans

Student life and housing

Student Beans provides students with offers, discounts, entertainment features, advice and money saving opportunities

The Student Room – has advice on student life and studying

Push – read for info about student life and housing

uni home swap – offers an alternative to living at home and studying locally. It helps students find accommodation in a different city in return for offering their own bedroom as a swap

Graduate and postgraduate

Whatuni? – has an ‘I want to be…’ section which shows you what graduates do by subject studied

The Association of Graduate Recruiters – brings together over 800 organisations that employ graduates. Find out the latest trends in graduate recruitment

Prospects – The UK’s official graduate careers site

Don’t forget also…

Many providers of HE information also post on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest

Visiting HE institutions and talking to current students can help you decide

Check if your school has access to subscription sites such as unifrog, HEAP degree course offers,

Read newspapers such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent for articles on trends and developments in HE

Access to HE courses – (QAA) are designed for people who have been out of education for some time, especially those who left school with too few qualifications to be able to go straight to university. A student who successfully completes all course requirements is awarded the Access to HE Diploma

The inclusion of these sites does not imply endorsement by Cegnet

June 2015


A Guide for Parents

It’s difficult to know at any age what career or job you want, but helping advise and inform a young person about pathways into work can be a real challenge. For parents, the prospect of helping their child decide what they want to do can be particularly daunting. You may feel you’re not up to date on the latest education and training options available, or you might not be sure what skills and experiences employers are looking for now. If your child is aged 11 to 24 years old, Great expectations – a careers guide for parents is designed to help.

Taking you step-by-step, we’ll help you understand the important decisions and milestones facing young people as they progress through school, college and further education or training until they successfully transition into the world of work. This guide will explain what jobs will be in demand in the future, the difference between university and an apprenticeship, the importance of work experience and how your child can get it, and everything you need to know about applying for jobs today.

This guide has been written as part of the CIPD’s Learning to Work programme, which promotes greater levels of employer engagement with young people.

  • Find out more about our Learning to Work programme

Contents of the report

  • Introduction
  • The future of work
  • Key decisions in your child’s pathway to work
  • 11 – 14 years old (Years 7, 8 and 9)
  • 14 -16 years old (Years 10 and 11)
  • 16 – 18 years old (sixth form and college)
  • Beyond education and training
  • Transitioning into the world of work
  • Further advice and information

Go to  – go to resources – go to  A –Z  resources – go to “G” –then scroll down and you will find  “Great Expectations – a career guide for parents”

Apprenticeship Opportunities

The number of apprenticeship opportunities in Taunton and Wellington continues to grow. Vacancies are appearing in a range of different occupational areas. Offering excellent training leading to recognised qualifications , with some employers paying as much as £192 a week , apprenticeships are an excellent choice leading to a well trained , well paid , career, and should be considered as a serious alternative to a full time college course.

Go to the apprenticeship website – to search for vacancies in Somerset or speak to Mr Cowling if you require any further help or advice.


Useful Careers Websites

Below are a number of careers websites. Between them they contain:-


  • Information on a vast selection of careers, providing job profiles as well as skills and qualities needed, qualifications and training required.
  • Help support and advice on options, post 16 choices, personality quizzes, and how to start the process of finding out more about you and your career interests
  • Videos on a range of careers, apprenticeships, study, finance and going on to university.
  • Information on how to speak to a careers adviser  for general advice and guidance on the phone or online.

Have a look at them. They will help you in the decisions you will have to make, both now, and in the future.

See Mr. Cowling if you want any help with the information, or if there is something you cannot find, or if you would like to make an appointment to see him to discuss your future career.


  • – provides general information about choices at 16, apprenticeships as well as information on a variety of careers. You can also contact and speak to a Careers Adviser on the telephone or online. The service is free.
  • – A careers website for students, graduates  and school leavers, offering jobs, internships, advice and course information.
  • – a completely independent one stop shop for parents who want to understand the competing choices that are available to school and college leavers.
  • – A really good website. Get information on careers, build your own profile. Plan your route and explore the sorts of post 16 options that are available
  • – This is a brand new site provided by UCAS. Lots of  info  here for students and parents providing info and advice on a range of careers matters. Worth looking at.  NOTE -No point in searching and applying  for local courses at the moment – not enough local info on their system.
  • – another  really good website  offering a one stop shop for careers inspiration, preparation and guidance offering advice and information on a variety of  careers matters for 11 – 24 yr olds.
  • – provides information on selected careers and gives details of potential routes that you can follow to achieve that career path.
  • – everything you wanted to know about apprenticeships as well as details of current vacancies in a variety of occupational areas, both in Somerset and nationwide.
  •  — contains a huge selection of job profiles ( over 5,000) as well as other useful material including things like completing a CV.
  • – lots of different careers videos, information and help regarding exam revision and student finance. Take the “Buzz Test “ and find out what makes you tick !! A good site and definitely worth trying the buzz test.
  • – lots of videos covering different careers, apprenticeships and university.
  •  — various information on careers, education and student life.
  • a good source of student and school leaver careers and course information, including apprenticeships and other post 16 options.
  • produced by Barclays Bank, some useful information and interactive materials concerning careers in general and preparation for adult working life
  •  and  provide lots of information on  a huge variety of  jobs and careers that are available within the National Health Service.
  • A website providing information on the various careers  in social care.
  • a free interactive online tool exploring whether students are potentially suited to careers in care. Worth looking at and completing.
  • – a really good site for those that have a particular interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.
  •  For those interested in careers in the construction industry ranging from craft level jobs e.g. carpenter through to technician and professional careers eg surveyor, this is the site to visit. Contains a huge amount of really useful information. Definitely the site to visit if you want to learn and find out more about this massive industry and the careers that are on offer.
  • – Interested in a career using chemistry. Then this is the site for you.
  •  — speaks for itself. Contains information on careers where maths is the principal subject needed.
  •  a really good site providing lots of careers information covering the many different a diverse careers in engineering.
  •  Engineering is behind everything we do and use. This is another really useful website which will allow you to discover and explore the diverse range of engineering careers.
  • – general info about higher education, applying, costs involved etc. A good introductory guide
  •  the essential site if you are thinking about going onto university. Contains everything you need to know about applying, together with details of every degree available and where you can study it.
  •  — information on university, study, A levels as well as links to careers.
  •  mainly for students / young people aged 18 + who may have finished a college course and have decided not to go to University. Gives details and information about other training and work opportunities. May be some information here that is of interest to yr 10 and yr 11 students.
  •  a really good site for those that are interested in a career in sport and want to find out  more .
  •  — interested in careers in horticulture. This site covers areas such as plant science, business, production and food , heritage and conservation and more.
  •  – interested in a career in the catering and hospitality industry, then look at the info on this website.
  • – a website covering and providing information on financial  careers.
  •  –  go to beginners guide – provides lots of information for budding barristers , solicitors and para legal jobs eg legal executive.
  • – click on South West – provides latest news on careers related matters in the S.W. including vacancies


Speak to Mr Cowling if there is anything else you need to know or are unsure about.


P.A. Cowling                                                                                                  September 2014


Plymouth University visit

On 24/3/15 46 Court Fields students and 4 members of staff spent the day at the University of Plymouth looking at the opportunities available to them in Higher Education.

The day started with an introduction which provided an overview of higher education in general and covered topics including finance, study, social life, the difference between school and university, and the range of degree courses on offer. This was followed by a tour of the University campus. Students then had an opportunity to sign up to a specific subject faculty area where they could find out more about that course.

Paul Cowling, the schools Careers Coordinator, said “ It provided a fantastic opportunity for students to find out more about higher education and the what a degree level course involves”.



Pictured are students on the campus tour and participating in a science quiz in one of the universities laboratories.

Gender gap in university admissions rises to record level

Gender gap in university admissions rises to record level

Latest data from Ucas also reveals record acceptance levels for black and Asian candidates, and for those declaring a disability
Female student surrounded by books
Women outnumber men in university admissions by 58,000 in the lastest Ucas data.

Women accepted to study at university outnumbered men by record levels last year, with female applicants dominating entrance to medicine, law and biology undergraduate degrees.

The 2014 admissions data from Ucas, the UK’s universities clearing house, also revealed record numbers of acceptances for disabled people and Asian and black ethnic groups, with a falling proportion for students from independent schools.

While women have outnumbered men in admissions for years, the 2014 figures show the gap has widened to nearly 58,000, with women making up more than half of students in two-thirds of subject areas. Men remain over-represented in most stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, most notably in engineering where there are 20,000 more men than women, and computing science, where there are 17,000 more.

Women are particularly strongly represented in subjects allied to medicine, with 32,000 more women accepted in 2014. In medicine and dentistry – among the most competitive undergraduate courses – there were 5,000 women and 3,800 men accepted last year.

The success of female applicants mirrors the trend in GCSE and A-level results, with girls outperforming boys across the grade scale. In 2013, girls received A* or A grades at GCSE in 25% of papers taken, compared with nearly 18% of boys’ papers.

Ucas said a record 36,000 UK applicants who declared a disability were accepted by universities – an increase of 3,700 on the previous year. The 45,000 UK students from Asian ethnic groups and 30,000 from black ethnic groups were the highest numbers ever placed through Ucas.

The growth in students from state schools has lowered the proportion of UK entrants from the independent sector. In 2007, privately educated students made up 11% of the 256,000 acceptances but last year the proportion was 9% of 307,000.

The Ucas data also showed that many students are applying to university with qualifications other than A-levels. Last year the number accepted onto degree courses holding Btec qualifications – the equivalent to A-levels, usually in vocational subjects such as business studies – rose to 85,000, almost double the number that held Btecs in 2008.

The detailed breakdown of subjects being studied showed another fall in the number of students taking European languages and literature degrees, with the number accepting places falling below 4,000.

Non-European languages are not immune, with just 140 studying Chinese languages – the lowest number for five years.

John Worne, the British Council’s director of strategy, said: “It’s another day of disappointment for language lovers, as we continue to see a steady decline in UK students choosing to study foreign languages at university level. One good piece of news is some students are opting to study a language alongside another degree subject – more should, it’s a particularly attractive combination for employers.”