Free Courses and Support

We can help you with course fees/concessions and learning support.

Help with course fees/concessions

The provider will advise you of the course fee, however, we do offer concessions on some courses, and you might be eligible to take the course for free. Concessions are normally only available to learners aged 19 or over on the 31 August at the start of each academic year, and who are UK Nationals or have right of abode in the UK, and who have been ordinarily resident in the UK/EEA for the past three years.

For qualifications in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), up to and including Level 2, the courses are free for individuals who meet the unemployed criteria below, or who meet the low wage criteria.

  • You are aged 19 – 23 progressing towards your first full level 2 and undertaking learning of non-regulated learning at entry/level 1 or of qualifications at level 2 in the legal entitlement, AND you meet one or more of the following conditions….
    • You qualify as unemployed, because you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
      • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
      • Employment and Support Allowance (all categories)
      • Universal Credit, and your take-home pay as recorded on the Universal Credit statement (disregarding Universal Credit payments and other benefits) is less than £345 a month (you are the only adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (you have a joint benefit claim with your partner)
    • You are in receipt of other state benefits and you want to be employed, or progress into more sustainable employment, and the learning is directly relevant to your employment prospects, and your take-home pay is less than £345 a month (you are the sole adult in the benefit claim) or £552 a month (a joint benefit claim with your partner),
    • You are a low wage earner (including self-employed) with a gross annual salary of less than £17,374.50.

For most other qualification courses, up to and including Level 2, a concession could offer you the course for free.

You may also be eligible for help with the following:

  • Childcare costs (Ofsted registered provider)
  • Travel costs
  • Course equipment
  • Examination fees

Concessions may also be available on some non-qualification courses for learners whose household income is less than £17,374.50 per year or living in a supported living environment and who meet specific criteria.

Learning Support

We understand that sometimes you may need extra support to aid your learning. Learning support is designed to give you the help you need to access your chosen course. Any learner can request support which may include:

  • equipment such as specialised computer keyboards, large screen computers, dictaphones or screen readers
  • a learning support assistant to work with you in the classroom
  • assistance in exams, such as extra time
  • a hearing loop, coloured overlays and other aids and adaptations to support your learning

To apply, please advise your provider at your course registration. Don’t worry if you discover you need support during your course, talk to your tutor who will be able to help you.

Safeguarding and PREVENT Duty

Have you noticed a change in someone’s behaviour? Are they acting differently? Maybe it’s something someone has said that’s worrying you? Notice the signs of radicalisation, neglect, abuse and bullying?

  • Don’t ignore your concerns – check with others who may also have noticed something. Speak to someone you trust such as your tutor.
  • Raise a safeguarding concern with your tutor or staff.
  • Phone Customer First (Social Services) if you also have any imminent safeguarding / PREVENT concerns on 0808 800 4005
  • Get in touch with the Adult Learning Service’s Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO):
    Andy Mawby (Adult Learning Service Manager)
    mobile: 07704 017 575
    email: andrew.mawby@suffolk.gov.uk
  • Call 999 – if the person is in imminent danger of harm to themselves or others.

Remember – safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

Personal support

We understand that life can get in the way sometimes and that you may need support outside our learning centres too.

For information on internet safety visit www.getsafeonline.org.

For advice on mental health and support contact Mind – the UK’s mental health charity free on 0300 123 3393 or visit www.mind.org.uk.

If you need support in emotional distress, are struggling to cope, or are at risk of suicide contact Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.

For free, confidential information and advice with money, legal, consumer and other problems call Citizens Advice 0344 411 1444 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

For companionship, advice and support through ageing call Age UK’s free help line on 0800 678 1602 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk.

You can also always reach out to your tutors and staff, they are here to help and will do everything to support you or point you in the right direction.