Our dedicated team offer extra services to support you as you learn during your course.
Ok, so you have started or are thinking about starting one of our courses or programmes and realised that you could do with a little extra help. Don’t be afraid to come and talk to us, we could help to make things easier for you.
If you have a disability, learning difficulty or other particular need we will make any reasonable adjustment to help you access and get the most out of your studies.
Here’s a snippet of the different kinds of help available.
Extra support in the classroom
We offer extra support through our team of teaching assistants who work in our service. If you think you need extra help for your studies, let us know when you enrol and we will then be able to prepare for you starting your course. If you need support and you have already started classes, the best thing to do is tell your lecturer or the administrator at the centre where you are studying. They will get in touch with the Learner Support team who will work with you and the lecturer to find the best way to help you.
We can help learners with a wide range of support needs like Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Asperger’s Syndrome, visual or hearing impairments, physical disability and mental health difficulties. You might also have a medical condition or need help temporarily, for example after an illness or accident.
Our support is broad and tailored to your needs. We may be able to provide you with adapted materials, specialist software and if required we can make special arrangements for exams. This could include laptops, note-taking equipment, digital recorders, screen-reading software and large-print materials. Alternatively we can help through 1-1 support with a teaching assistant or provide access to assistive technology loans. We can also assist with exams and extra time in some circumstances. We will arrange for you to have an assessment with our Educational Psychology team for this.
Counselling and mentoring
Sometimes life has a habit of taking us by surprise, and sometimes that can mean we face a tough time. We want to help our learners make the best of life and learning, so we offer support through our qualified BACP counsellors who can offer professional counselling sessions to learners.
This service is designed to support you either short term, or if you have been referred for mental health support through your GP and you are on a waiting list. We can provide you with support until those services start.
To access the service, the best thing to do is tell your lecturer or the administrator at the centre where you are studying.
Counsellors help individuals to deal with problems which are having a negative effect on their learning, traineeship or apprenticeship. We can help you by:
identifying the issues and giving you a chance to talk about and explore the issues in a safe environment
help you plan to deal with the issues where you can
develop self-awareness and a range of life skills
make informed choices about how you can still stay in learning and improve your chances of success
make contact with other services that can help you
help you access other self-help resources
Apprenticeship Mentor Team
The apprenticeship mentor team works across Northumberland ensuring that you are supported in your workplace. There are also specialist mentors in the team who work with learners who have special educational needs or are looked after children. Their role is to ensure you are safe and happy in the workplace, you are meeting the employer’s standards and code of conduct, you are progressing well and that your welfare needs are being met. The team provide individual pastoral support, coaching and mentoring to help you succeed as well as organising extra-curricular activities for apprentices through the various phases of the programme.
Apprenticeship Support & Counselling Service by Remploy
This new free service supports apprentices who are feeling low, upset and struggling to keep up with their apprenticeship. It is completely confidential and run by fully trained professionals with expertise in mental health.
By working in partnership with Access to Work; a Job Centre Plus scheme, Remploy are delivering this service in England to apprentices who are affected by a mental health condition in the workplace.
An expert from Remploy will provide apprentices with personal, emotional wellbeing support and advice for six months, and help individuals cope better so they can concentrate on their apprenticeship. They will help develop a step-by- step support plan to keep apprentices on track and advise on some workplace adjustments.
Full-time learners aged 16 to 18 may be eligible to receive up to £1,200 through our bursary scheme. How much you may be entitled to will depend on your household income and circumstances. There are two tiers of bursary payment:
- A higher rate of a maximum of £1200 per year for vulnerable learners (young people in care, care leavers, young people in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit and disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments).
- A lower rate of a maximum of £600 per year for other 16-18 year old full time learners
If you are eligible, you are able to spend your grant to help with travel, books, equipment and materials, or anything else that you need along the way. Contact Gemma on 01670 622104 to apply.
If you are a parent under the age of 20 you can get help with your childcare costs through “Care to Learn”. This scheme can help with the cost of childcare and can pay up to £160 a week for each child. The scheme is run nationally by the “Learner Support Service”. You can get an application pack on the scheme from them by calling 0800 121 8989. If you are 20+ looking for help with the costs of childcare, then you can apply to our Adult Discretionary Learner Support Fund below.
Adult Discretionary Learner Support Fund
If you are 19+ and studying one of our qualification programmes you may be eligible for help with a grant to help you to pay for some of the costs of your learning. This might include travel costs, childcare costs, equipment, books, materials or a uniform. It can also occasionally help some students with tuition fees and exam/registration fees. To apply speak to Gemma on 01670 622104 or speak to any member of staff at any of our centres.
Advanced Learning Loans
If you are aged 24 or above and want to study for level three or four courses, you will need to pay for the learning or apply for an advanced learning loan from the Student Loans Company.
- Student loans are available for; level three or four certificates or diplomas, A Levels, access to higher education courses, advanced and higher apprenticeships.
- Household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check.
- Loans are for a minimum of £300, and you will need to borrow enough to cover the cost of the course.
- You won’t have to pay anything back until you’ve completed your course and your income is more than £21,000 a year.
- If your advanced learning loan is for an access to higher education programme and you go on to graduate from university, you won’t have to pay it back.
We know learning can be expensive, so this is a great way to make learning affordable and spread the cost of your payments after you qualify.
The sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll know if you’ve been successful and we can confirm your place on the course. Need help? Call us on 01670 622105
We are registered with the National Union of Students (NUS) which enables all our students to purchase an NUS card to benefit from a massive range of discounts. You must be 16 or over and studying with us to be eligible. The card is available to students, studying full time or part time. Your course must have started, before you are eligible to purchase an NUS extra card.
If you need a work placement to complete your qualification, we’ll do all we can to help you find a relevant placement that will give you the experience you need.
Going into a work placement on a regular basis or on block release will help you:
- to become confident in new environments and with new people
- to develop your skills outside the classroom
- provide the evidence you need for your qualification
- enhance your CV and job applications
You can also find your own work placement and we’ll check the employer can provide a safe workplace and the opportunities you need.
English and maths
Free and friendly maths and English courses are offered in ten sites across Northumberland, from Entry Level to Level 2. These are arranged on a roll-on/roll-off basis so you can join throughout the year and sit your assessments as soon as you are ready. We also offer a free initial assessment. It is essential to be able to attend regularly in order to achieve.
GCSE Maths and English classes are also offered at sites around the county with an annual September start you can sit the exams in the following June. We also offer a free initial assessment. You are expected to attend every week and complete the independent learning set by your lecturers.
Many people sign up for our free courses in English and maths because they need to improve their skills and gain a qualification however once they begin a class they discover that learning with us is fun and a great boost to confidence.
You will be able to:
- Learn the basics
- Improve your everyday English: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, speaking and listening skills.
- Improve your everyday Maths: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, percentages, shape, ratio, budgeting skills
- Refresh your skills and improve confidence
- Gain recognised qualifications that employers are looking for
Our full programme of English and maths courses is available in our current part time course guide.
Advice and guidance
Our great team of staff can give you advice on courses, entry requirements, progression routes into further learning and work. You may be unsure the course you are thinking of enrolling on next, is the right one for you.You might also be seeking a careers guidance session to help you choose a direction in life. We’re very pleased to provide you with advice over the phone, or you may wish to have a private appointment at one of our centres.
If you are young person seeking advice and guidance about learning and work, you may wish to contact our Careers Guidance specialists.
Wheels to work
If lack of transport is hampering your job search or staying in work, why not try Wheels to Work. This scheme offers low cost hire of scooters and electric bikes for residents of Northumberland.
Fees include training, equipment, maintenance and insurance. They are available to anyone aged 16 or over, with a provisional or full driving license and
- secure employment or
- a secure job offer or
- an apprenticeship.
For more information contact David or Kay on 01670 620136 or 07974 388 651. Alternatively you can email email@example.com.
Domestic Violence Champions
There are around 30,910 reports of domestic abuse in Northumbria each year, this equates to an average of 2,576 incidents per month and 2,216 victims every month. Levels of rape and other serious sexual assaults, often committed by partners or people known to their victims, are also high and unacceptable.
With this is mind the service are actively promoting the importance of employers to have Domestic Violence Champions within the workplace to raise awareness around the issues of DVSA and guiding people towards specialist services.
Champions have already accessed the training and resources via the champions’ network to help and support colleagues. The training which was held at the Police Commissioner office welcomed our commitment from staff to become the service’s Domestic Violence Champions. The role of the champions are to:
- Act as a conduit for information between their organisation and the Champions Network, as necessary.
- Be a point of contact for their organisation for information relating to Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse (DVSA)
- Raise awareness and enhance the overall level of knowledge of DVSA within their organisation.
- Ensure up to date and accessible information is available in relation to support services for victims.
All centres have a poster with our champions names on and can be found on our noticeboards in the safeguarding and well-being section. The service now has 10 champions in all parts of our service. Our service champions are:
Other Useful contacts
The 24-hour free phone national domestic violence helpline runs in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge and is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence. Family, friends, colleagues and others may call on their behalf. Telephone: 0808 200 0257
The National Stalking Network has been established by Network for Surviving Stalking, Protection against Stalking and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. It is the first national helpline to specialise in providing information and advice to victims of harassment and stalking as well as their friends and family. Telephone: 0300 6360 300
Women’s Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children.
Telephone: 0808 2000 247
Women’s Aid have created this space to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action.
Mankind is the UK’s leading charity for supporting male victims of abuse.Telephone: 01823 334 244
Broken Rainbow provides the national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic violence.Telephone: helpline - Monday, 2pm to 8pm, Wednesday, 10am to 1pm, Thursday, 2pm to 8pm on 08452 60 55 60
This free phone helpline is for both female and male survivors, partners, friends and family. It is open from noon to 2pm and 7pm to 9.30pm every day of the year. Telephone: 0808 802 9999
If you are a man who is worried about your behaviour towards your partner, or if you have been abusive or violent, you can get information from the respect phone line. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.
Telephone: 00845 122 8609
Text: 07624 818 236
NDAS can also be contacted on 01434 60 80 30 or 01434 41 60 46
In an emergency dial 999. Northumbria Police Officers are trained to deal with domestic violence and abuse.