This section of our website is designed to provide helpful information to parents/carers within the Liverpool City Region, in regards to the Further and Higher Education opportunities and choices available to their young people. Here you’ll find information, resources and signposting to other useful sources of information and support, as well as the chance to get in touch with the Shaping Futures team directly to received tailored guidance for your specific query. We’ll update this section regularly, but if you’re unable to find something you’re looking for, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Current Year Income Assessment


When your young person applies for their Maintenance Loan, the amount they are entitled to is means tested, based on your household income for the previous tax year. Student Finance uses the last full tax year to determine this entitlement, so for students starting in September 2021 the tax year 2019-2020 is used.

However Student Finance do recognise that household incomes may changed, for example because of the COVID-19 pandemic, retirement or parents/carers moving to an alternative job. If your household income has changed by more than 15% since the last full tax year, you can ask for the Maintenance Loan entitlement to based on your estimated income for the current tax year.

You can find out more about the Current Year Income Assessment process here.

student finance

GCSE Options

Choosing GCSE options is an important stage
in your student’s educational journey. It’s likely
the first time they’ve had to make this kind of
choice and it can be daunting. Our Parents
Guide to Helping Your Child Choose Their
Options aims to help with this. Covering the
main things which need to be considered, with
some activities to complete with your student,
this guide can be used whether your student
makes their options in Year 8 or Year 9 and
whatever the option selection available at
their school.

Contact Us

Would you like to talk to a qualified adviser to help you support your child? Please Contact Us!

We’re happy to provide advice and guidance on all stages of your student’s education journey, from KS5 options to UCAS, Student Finance, and starting university. No matter what your query is, we’re here to help!

All the Shaping Futures Higher Education Progression Advisers have undertaken a qualification in Careers Information, Advice, and Guidance, so you can be assured you’ll receive high-quality support from our team.



Parental Booklet




The Shaping Futures parental booklet aims to support parents, carers, and supporters who have a young person starting to make important decisions about their future. They might be choosing their GCSE options, deciding on their Post-16 qualifications, or considering Higher Education (HE).

The booklet covers the educational timeline, what HE is, reasons to consider HE, paths to HE, finance, applications, additional support available and more.

UCAS – Advice for Parents and Carers


UCAS has a dedicated section for parents, carers, and supporters, to help you understand how best to support your student. There are fact sheets and in-depth guides to each element of the application process, from research to results day, and the opportunity to sign up for a parents newsletter, to keep you updated with key deadlines and any changes to the process.

Uni Taster Days




Uni Taster Days is a comprehensive database of university outreach and recruitment events for schools and colleges, helping teachers and careers advisers interested in booking events (such as taster days, workshops, masterclasses and open days) for school groups see what is available and how to book. Students and parents are also able to book places on some events directly. Uni Taster Days indexes thousands of university events each year, including a comprehensive virtual offer, and includes filter tools to help you find what you’re looking for with ease.

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Other Resources