Learning & skills - skills courses for young people and adults

Learning & skills - skills courses for young people and adults

Here you will find information about our skills programme, levels of study, our centres, enrolment and course fees, and support for learners.

Current skills prospectus

This section provides information about our full and part-time courses.

PART TIME COURSE GUIDE

Our programme for 2017/18 is out now. It will be delivered to every Northumberland household from 21st August. It can take up to 2 weeks to reach every household. 

You live, you learn - Adult learning courses guide 2017-18 front cover

Our course guide covers:

  • Access to Higher Education
  • Beauty
  • Business and technology
  • Construction and engineering
  • Creative arts and media
  • Education
  • Employability
  • English and maths
  • Health
  • Hospitality and catering
  • Languages
  • Science and humanities
  • All the essential terms and conditions
To view the new programme for 2017/18 click here


 

FULL TIME COURSE GUIDE

 Be anything you want to be Brochure cover
We run a range of job-related study programmes that can help you to be what you want to be.  Our study programmes are for young people who might need something different to what school or college can offer.

Our programmes are also for young people with special educational
needs who need some extra help.

Class sizes are smaller than college or school, so you have plenty of helpand support and time with your tutor. 

Download our new Young Persons Learning Brochure here



COACHING PROGRAMME

Our coaching programme for young people is designed to help them plan for a future that they feel they can cope with and fit into. We can help to:

  • build confidence
  • achieve goals
  • manage difficult issues
  • help troubled young people get back on track
  • encourage a better learning or work ethic
  • discover potential and set goals
  • introduce informal learning, visits and taster days
  • travel planning and training

It is for 16-18 year olds who are not in education, or up to 25 years if you have a special educational need. We hold coaching sessions across Northumberland. Call Michael on 01670 622 112 or 07867 441 942 or email Michael.Holliday@northumberland.gov.uk

 

New for 2017/18

This year, at our 12 learning centres across Northumberland, we have brand new courses available including:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Alchohol Awareness
  • Animation
  • Award in Education and Training  
  • Certificate in Education and Training
  • Childcare Advance Practitioner
  • Comic Drawing
  • Cyber Security
  • ECDL Advanced
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • English Literature
  • Film Making
  • Film Production
  • Forklift Truck
  • Gluten Free Cookery
  • Google discovery
  • Graphic Design
  • Health and Heritage Escorted Bike Rides
  • Indian Head Massage
  • Japanese
  • Leadership and Management
  • Manga Drawing
  • Medical Word Processing
  • Mediterranean Cookery
  • Mentoring Others
  • Nepalese Cookery
  • Northumbrian Cookery
  • Philosophy
  • Portrait photography
  • Portuguese
  • Pottery
  • Product photography
  • Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Retail Skills
  • Safeguarding in a Learning Environment
  • Studio photography
  • Substance Misuse Awareness
  • Teaching Assistants Higher Level
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Team Leading
  • Text Processing for Business
  • Theatre Scenery
  • Theatre Skills
  • Tyre Fitting
  • Video editing for social media
  • Warehousing and Logistics
  • Window Fitting
  • Winter Preserving
If you would like to know more about these courses or our old favourites, click here to download our course descriptions guide. 

 



 

Levels of study
All UK qualifications are assigned to a specific level, based on the standards of knowledge and skills you learn
when you complete them. They start at ‘entry-level’. Because there are a number of different course types and qualifications, levels simply help to group them together so that you can make comparisons more easily and see where to go next on your journey. You might find employers ask you to have a certain level of qualification in order to apply for jobs.
 
This will let you compare the different qualifications and levels to understand the right choice for you.

ENTRY LEVEL ‘BEGINNERS’  

  • entry level award, certificate and diplomas
  • entry level English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • ​entry level functional skills

LEVEL 1 ‘BEGINNERS’ OR ‘IMPROVERS’  

  • level 1 award, certificate and diplomas
  • GCSE grade D-G or 1-4
  • level 1  English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • level 1 functional skills
  • level 1 national vocational qualification (NVQ)
  • CSE – up to Grade 1

LEVEL 2 ‘INTERMEDIATE’  

  • level 2 award, certificate and diplomas
  • GCSE grade A*-C or 5-9
  • level 2  English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • level 2 functional skills
  • level 2 national vocational qualification (NVQ)
  • CSE - Grade 1
  • intermediate apprenticeship
  • O level - grade A-C

LEVEL 3 ‘ADVANCED’  

  • level 3 award, certificate and diplomas
  • AS, A2 and A Levels
  • level 3 national vocational qualification (NVQ)
  • advanced apprenticeship
  • access to higher education diploma

LEVEL 4 ‘HIGHER’  

  • level 4 certificates and diplomas
  • level 4 national vocational qualification (NVQ)
  • higher apprenticeship
  • higher national certificates (HNC) and diplomas (HND)
Course descriptions
The course descriptions for our 2017/18 programme can be downloaded here

The course descriptions should answer your questions about:
  • Who is the course for?
  • What is involved?
  • How will I be assessed?
  • How can I progress?
  • What are the entry requirements?
  • Contact details for more information.

If you have further questions, you can call the nominated contact in the guide or call us on 0345 600 6400 and we will direct you to the best contact.
 
Enrolment and fees

ENROLMENT HOTLINE: 0345 600 6400

Course fees don’t need to be a barrier to learning. The different costs can seem complicated but there are lots of funding opportunities available to help support your journey.

There are financial bursary schemes for 16-18 year olds and discretionary learner support funds for 19+. Schemes can help with the costs of learning including fees, materials and resources, travel, childcare and other costs.

How much will I pay for a course?

We try to make our courses as affordable as possible and we receive government funding for many of our courses, making the cost lower for you. Typically, you pay around half the amount of the cost of your course, and the government pays the other half.

Does my course have exam fees?

Exam fees are included in the course fee, unless otherwise stated, for your first attempt at the exam / assessment. Unfortunately we are unable to refund exam fees, including any re-sit exam fees paid. Resits and non-attendance fees for examinations may be charged at the discretion of the service.

What if I can’t afford the course fees?

Our team can offer flexible plans to pay your fees in smaller, regular amounts. We normally offer instalment plans for course fees of £150 or more, but we may consider lower amounts in exceptional circumstances. Please ask to pay by instalments when you enrol. Please note that you are liable to pay a full instalment plan to cover your fees, even if you decide to leave the course early.

How to enrol

Step 1: Choose a course

Look through the course guide and decide which course you would like to enrol on.

Step 2: Which fee to pay?

Check whether you have to pay the standard fee or you are entitled to a free place.

Remember to check you understand the refund policies before enrolling.

Step 3: Enrol with us

Most of our courses are open enrolment. For some of our courses at higher levels you will need to apply for the course and we may need to talk to you about your suitability for the course.  If this is the case we will let you know when you contact us to enrol.

Phone

You can enrol over the phone for most courses. Please have your course code and Visa / Mastercard card details to hand. At busy times there may be a delay before your call can be taken but we will take your call as quickly as we can.

Our enrolment line is open: Monday to Thursday 08:30 - 17:00 and Friday 08:30 - 16:30.

Please call 0345 600 6400 between these hours to speak to one of our Advisors.

Post

You can enrol by post. Please complete the enrolment form in the brochure or download here for printing at home. Please attach your cheque payment or evidence you are entitled to free fees and send to;

Enrolments: Learning and Skills Service
Northumberland County Council
Northumbria House, Manor Walks
Cramlington, Northumberland, NE23 6UR

In person

You can enrol in person at any of the local centres during opening hours. You can pay credit / debit card, cash or cheque.

 







 




What happens after I enrol?

Once you have enrolled that’s it. Just turn up to the first class as detailed in the brochure. We will only contact you if there have been insufficient enrolments for the class to go ahead.

However if you have any questions about your enrolment, please call us and we will be pleased to help.

 
Are you entitled to a free place or a loan?

Some students can have a free place.

THE FOLLOWING LEARNERS ARE ENTITLED TO FREE STUDY:

16-18 YEARS

  • At the start of the course

19-24 YEARS

  • Undertaking a Traineeship

19+ YEARS

  • Studying English or Maths learning aims
  • Studying GCSE English or Maths, where you do not currently have these qualifications at grades A* to C

19-23 YEARS

  • Studying entry or level 1 and have not yet achieved above level 1, and progressing to first full level 2
  • Studying level 2 and have not yet achieved above level 1, and progressing to first full level 2
  • Studying first full level 2 qualification
  • Studying first full level 3 qualification
  • Studying first level 4 or above without having achieved a first full level 3 qualification
  • Studying up to level 4 who need help to move into work, progress in work or remove a barrier to getting into work, and who are receiving JSA, ESA and are in the work-related activity group or receiving Universal Credit and mandated to training
  • Unemployed, receiving any state benefit, want to enter employment and where the course is directly relevant to your employment prospects

24+ YEARS

  • Studying up to level 2 who need help to move into work, progress in work or remove a barrier to getting into work, and who are: receiving JSA, ESA and are in the work-related activity group or receiving Universal Credit and mandated to training unemployed, receiving any state benefit, want to enter employment and where the course is directly relevant to your employment prospects
  • Studying my first full level 2 or first full level 3 qualification and left the British armed forces within the last 10 years after completing four or more years of service or have been medically discharged, after completing basic training

If you are enrolling by telephone, we’ll need to see evidence of your benefit before the course starts. If you are enrolling in person, we’ll need to see your evidence when you enrol.

If you have any questions about funding finance or fees please contact Gemma Lee, Finance and Learning Loans Officer on 01670 622105

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

Access to Higher Education (HE) courses

An Access to HE Diploma is one of the main routes into University for adult learners.

There are many fulfilling careers that are impossible to get in to without going to university but getting back into full time study can be challenging. 

An Access to  Higher Education course is a really good way to start thinking academically again and universities love it too!
 
Being a graduate can open doors for you, it can give you a chance to explore a new career, help you to develop your interests and increase your earning power.

Find out more about our Access courses and how to join  

Supported Internships

Supported Internships are for learners who have special educational needs (SEN) and have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) and are aged 16-24.

If you are aged 16-24 and have an Education Health and Care Plan, we can help you get some work experience and training through a 12 month supported internship.   You’ll have the opportunity to show an employer what you can do.  Internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. We will cover all of your learning and work experience expenses and you are likely to be entitled to a bursary of up to £40 per month, depending on your circumstances. 

What is included in a supported internship?

Supported internships are full time programmes. You’ll be studying and undertaking your work placement for at least 3 days a week. There will be 5 elements to your programme.

1. A job related qualification

You’ll be working towards qualifications that will help you get ahead in a career. The programmes are designed to help you get to the next level of study, apprenticeships or employment. We will help you to find the right level to start at.

2. English and maths

You’ll be getting help with English and mathematics if you haven’t already achieved your GCSE’s in English and Maths at grade C or grade 4 or higher. You may undertake functional skills or other approved English and maths qualifications. 

3. Work experience

We will work with our local employers to find the right work experience for you. We will help you by travel planning how you will get to your placement, provide you with any clothing or equipment you need, and ensure you are settling in and doing well by visiting you regularly. 

4. Enrichment

Then there are lots of add-ons you can do to make your time with us more exciting and make your CV better and better. You might take up first aid training, learn about safety in your chosen industry, or learn how to maintain a bike or scooter to help you get about.

5. Pastoral care and support

You’ll get a personal coach to help you through the programme. They can arrange extra help and support to help you get the most out of your studies with us. We work with you to design your internship, depending on where you live, which days you want to study and the career or trades you are interested in. 

 

When do supported internships start?

You can start throughout the year. So if you are looking for a place now, or you lose your way in the middle of the year we’re interested in hearing from you.

 

What if I’m not sure what I want to study?

Not everyone knows what they want to do, or what they think they will enjoy and be good at. We’re here to help you find that out.

We’ll give you a personal coach who’ll sit down with you over a cuppa, and listen to your interests and wishes. We’ll try our best to guide you in the right direction. You may want some of your family members or carer to help you when we meet you. 

How do I find out more about supported internships?
Call our young people’s team on 01670 622112 whenever you are ready to find out more. You don't have to be 16 or older to start working with us. If you want to start planning a supported internship ready for when you are 16, we would love to hear from you.

Traineeships

Traineeships are for learners who are aged 16-24.

A traineeship is a placement with a business, organisation or company to get you ready for work or further development.

You have to be between 16 and 24 years old. 

You can apply if you’re:

  • eligible to work in England
  • unemployed and have little or no work experience
  • aged 16 to 24 and qualified below Level 3

This might be a good option for you if you have applied for apprenticeships or work and haven’t been offered a place. It could be that people have felt that you’re not quite ready for work. It could even be that you’re not really sure yet what you want to do.

A traineeship gives you the opportunity to get ready for work.

On a traineeship you will:
• Attend off the job classes in English, Maths, ICT and employability
• Receive a personal coach and mentor
• Attend work experience with a great local employer
• Be able to try more than one occupation at a time
• Have the chance to show an employer what you are made of
• Be able to fast track to an apprenticeship, you’ll be apprenticeship ready by the end of the programme

Traineeships last from between one and sixth months – and they don’t affect your benefits. You would not normally be paid but you may be eligible for financial help, and help with your child care and travel.

The key thing about traineeships is that they prepare you for work or apprenticeships. They help you to build confidence and to understand the skills and behaviours that employers are looking for.

All vacancies are advertised online. All applicants will get a one to one guidance interview to help find the perfect traineeship and prepare you for an employer interview.  You can search and apply at https://www.gov.uk/find-traineeship

Contact our traineeship and apprenticeship team on 01670 622114 for help.

Our centres and key contacts

We have a range of learning centres across the county, so there's somewhere to learn close to where you live. We also have a range of specialist teams to help you find, enrol on and enjoy your studies.

Our contacts are listed below

Our centres
Contact details for our centres are listed below.

ALNWICK,  Lindisfarne Road,  Alnwick, NE66 1AX, Tel: 01670 623691

AMBLE, Bridge Street, Amble, NE65 0DR, Tel: 01670 623691

ASHINGTON CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING, Freeman Way, Ashington, NE63 0YB, Tel: 01670 623665

ASHINGTON, Wansbeck Workspace, Rotary Parkway, Ashington, NE63 8QZ, Tel: 01670 623894

BEDLINGTON, Jubilee Terrace, Bedlington, NE22 5HB, Tel: 01670 623687

BERWICK, Walkergate, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1DB, Tel: 01670 626107

BLYTH, Brunel Building, Blyth, NE24 1LT  Tel: 01670 622099

CRAMLINGTON, Northumbria House, Manor Walks, Cramlington, NE23 6UR, Tel: 01670 622104

HALTWHISTLE, Haltwhistle Library, Westgate, Haltwhistle, NE49 0AX, Tel: 01670 623701

HEXHAM, The Gatehouse, Wanless Lane, Hexham, NE46 1BU, Tel: 01670 623701

MORPETH, Cottingwood Lane, Morpeth, NE61 1DN, Tel: 01670 622257

PRUDHOE, Fuse Media Centre, Moor Road, Prudhoe, NE42 5LJ. Tel: 01670 623 689

Our team contacts
Education Lead for Technology, Business Commerce and Enterprise
Julie Hindhaugh,  01670 622113, julie.hindhaugh@northumberland.gov.uk

Education Lead for Engineering and Construction
Mike Smith, 01670 623665, mike.smith01@northumberland.gov.uk

Education Lead for Health, Care and Education
Carol Young, 01670 623688, carol.young@northumberland.gov.uk

Education Lead for Science and Humanities
Jane Dunne, 01670 623688, jane.dunne@northumberland.gov.uk

​Education Lead for Maths, English and Languages
Diane Reardon-Smith, 01670 622252, diane.reardon-smith@northumberland.gov.uk

Education Lead for Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Richard Henderson, 01670 622121, Richard.Henderson@northumberland.gov.uk

Education Lead for Young People and Special Educational Needs
Michael Holliday, 01670 622112, Michael.Holliday@northumberland.gov.uk

Education Lead for Employability
Lesley Bruce, 01670 623910, Lesley.Bruce@northumberland.gov.uk
or
Karen Wilkinson, 07747757601, Karen.Wilkinson@northumberland.gov.uk

Careers Education Manager
Lindsey Taggart, 01670 620006, Lindsey.Taggart@northumberland.gov.uk
Learner support, safeguarding and health and safety

Learner Support, Safeguarding and Health and Safety

Education Lead for Learner Support

Brian Harrison    Brian.Harrison@northumberland.gov.uk,  01670 622100      
Emergency out of hours contact: 07800 885 174

or 

Gillian Fox    Gillian.Fox@northumberland.gov.uk, 01670 622107    
Emergency out of hours contact: 07951 938 385

Support for learners

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

Counselling Services

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.

 
Financial support

Bursary Fund

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.

Childcare

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

Student Union

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.

 
Work placements
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 w2w@northumberland.gov.uk. 
 
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:
Brian Harrison
Gill Fox
Jane Sandford
Carron Whittaker
Lindsey Taggart
Caroline Tulett
Chris Metcalfe
Rachel Druce
Karen Thomas
Edwina Fleming

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
Website: http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

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
Website: http://www.stalkinghelpline.org

Women’s Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children.
Telephone: 0808 2000 247
Website: http://www.womensaid.org.uk

Women’s Aid have created this space to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action.
Website: http://www.thehideout.org.uk

Mankind is the UK’s leading charity for supporting male victims of abuse.Telephone: 01823 334 244
Website: http://www.mankind.org.uk

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
Website: http://www.broken-rainbow.org.uk

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
Email: phoneline@respect.uk.net
Website: http://www.respect.uk.net

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.

Hot Topics

Here you will find information about our hot topics: safety, health, equality, diversity, safeguarding and prevent, British values, health and well being.

Hot topics are bite-sized pieces of information on health and safety, safeguarding and prevent, equality and diversity, British values and citizenship, and well-being. They are for staff, learners and employers. You can share them.

Why do we use Hot Topics?

We want to:
•    keep you up-to-date
•    tell you about changes in legislation
•    protect you from harm
•    promote your health and wellbeing
•    voice your rights and responsibilities
•    enable you to face change and challenge
•    develop your interests
•    ensure fairness
•    encourage you to look out for one another
•    guarantee you know what to do if there is a problem
•    widen your knowledge about subjects beyond your experience
•    help you to take responsibility for your own safety
•    give you confidence to explore sensitive issues
•    change hearts and minds and remove prejudice

How do I get Hot Topics?

Hot Topics appear in our newsletters, are on the Hot Topics walls in our centres and held by staff for use in classes, assessments and reviews. They change every month so look out for the new hot topics.

Why are Hot Topics so important?

The hot topics we produce for staff and learners are linked to protecting people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It is the responsibility of Learning and Skills Service to proactively promote these Hot Topics each month for the understanding for all of our learners, staff and employers.

For help on any of our hot topics you can contact our Education Leads for Learner Support:

Brian Harrison    Brian.Harrison@northumberland.gov.uk         
01670 622100      Emergency out of hours contact: 07800885174

or

Gillian Fox    Gillian.Fox@northumberland.gov.uk         
01670 622107    Emergency out of hours contact: 07951938385

Health and safety
We will provide a safe environment in which you can study. This will include instructions on what equipment and/or materials you can or cannot use for your safety. You are required at all times to work in a safe and responsible manner, paying due regard for your own safety and that of others.  We ask you to pay particular attention to any health and safety notices issued to you. We have a designated lead for Health and Safety who will work with any of our students in need, to ensure appropriate action is taken to address your concerns and ensure you are safe.  If you have a concern related to health and safety you should discuss it in the first instance with your lecturer or a member of staff at the centre where you are studying.  
Equality, diversity and British values

The Learning and Skills Service is committed to ensuring the promotion of equality of opportunity for all members of the learning community. It is a service in which all forms of discriminatory behaviour are challenged; differences between individuals celebrated and generate a culture where all staff and learners are encouraged to achieve their full potential. 

The Service is keen to ensure that equality of opportunity underpins all policies, and treating all involved in the service equally. Promoting, celebrating and valuing diversity is at the heart of our core values.

Respect – The service will undertake to ensure all individuals and groups are treated fairly, courteously and with respect. Beliefs, values and religious views will be respected and tolerance encouraged where individuals or groups may have differences.

Excellence and High Aspirations – The service will ensure that all members of the community are encouraged, supported and have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential. Pride will be taken in all achievements, and celebrated annually.

Support – Learners will be given equal access to support in their work or studies. The service will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure individuals are given assistance and help where appropriate.

Inclusion – Diversity is not only valued by the service, but also celebrated and promoted. The service will seek to ensure that individuals understand differences in others and that activities and opportunities are adjusted where appropriate to ensure equality of access for all groups.

Global Citizenship – The service celebrates and promotes understanding of international differences, encouraging all members of the community to develop a better appreciation, tolerance and respect for global issues.

Enthusiasm – We are passionate about the place we work and learn, and will seek to nurture a positive attitude amongst all of the community towards diversity, celebrating and exploring differences and valuing all individuals.

Integrity – All inappropriate behaviour and actions against the spirit of the Equality Policy will be challenged and not tolerated. Learners are expected to act with integrity at all times in recognising and respecting individuals’ differences.

British Values – The Learning and Skills Service believe in the fundamental British Values and their place within our own core values. Fundamental British values are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

Democracy - A country where equality and freedom is at the centre of who we are.  Learners are encouraged to be part of our service democracy by sharing their views and helping to shape the service through learner voice events, focus groups and surveys.

 
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Learners

Learners will not be denied access to courses or progression to other courses because of any aspect of their LGBT+ identity. Any LGTB+ learners will receive fair and equal treatment whilst studying at the Learning and Skills service.

The curriculum will be checked to ensure that it does not rely on or reinforce stereotypical assumptions about members of the LGBT+ community and that it does not contain LGBT+ - phobic material.

Learning and Skills will respect the confidentiality of all LGBT+ learners and will not reveal information without prior agreement.

LGBT+ abuse, harassment or bullying (name-calling/derogatory jokes, unacceptable or unwanted behaviour, intrusive questions) is a serious disciplinary offence and will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in line with our anti-bullying procedure.

Learning and Skills Service will provide a supportive environment for learners who wish their LGTB+ identity to be known. However, it is the right of the individual to choose whether they wish to be open about their gender identity or sexuality. To ‘out’ someone without their permission is a form of harassment.

All anti-LGBT+ propaganda, in the form of written materials, graffiti, music or speeches will not be tolerated. The Learning and Skills Service undertakes to remove any such propaganda whenever it appears on the premises.

We also work alongside Stonewalls priorities which are:

To empower individuals - We will support individuals to work out how they can make a difference for LGBT people at work, home and in their communities. We will support them, and the people they reach, to be themselves and achieve their full potential.

To transform institutions - Institutions have power and influence. We will reach more people and have a greater impact by transforming institutions and by embedding an inclusive and accepting culture and the benefits they bring all employees, service users and members of the community.

To change hearts and minds - We will go deeper into our communities than ever before to reach people who we may not have had a relationship with in the past, including people from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as rural communities. We will work with these communities, and partners and allies close to these communities, to demonstrate the strengths that our differences can bring, and to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone.

To change laws - We will continue to campaign and lobby government to change laws that do not ensure equality for LGBT people, or laws that do not go far enough. Despite good progress for lesbian, gay and bisexual people under the law, trans people still do not have the right legal framework to enable them to be themselves.

If you are LGBT and want to be put in touch with other LGBT residents, let us know and we can refer you to local social and support groups.

 
Safeguarding and Prevent

The Learning and Skills Service is totally committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of our learners and staff and we expect all learners and staff to share this commitment. We are fully committed to ensuring that consistent effective safeguarding procedures are in place to support all who use our service.
All concerns are passed through the members of staff who are trained as "Designated Safeguarding and Prevent Officers" in our service.

There are a number of ways you can report concerns about yourself or someone else.

1) You can report to your class lecturer or any member of staff at our centres

2) You can also contact our Education Leads for Learner Support, who are our Designated Safeguarding Officers:

Brian Harrison    Brian.Harrison@northumberland.gov.uk         

01670 622100      Emergency out of hours contact: 07800885174

Gillian Fox    Gillian.Fox@northumberland.gov.uk         

01670 622107    Emergency out of hours contact: 07951938385

3) You can report via our online Safeguarding portal “Tootoot”

Sometimes people simply aren't confident enough to speak to someone face-to-face about their concerns, for fear of being identified or worrying about perhaps making matters worse. To reduce the stigma attached to having a voice, learners can now use our online safeguarding platform and mobile device app to report confidentially to us.

Learners can access TootToot at any time of day and can report their concerns, or on behalf of their peers using any web-enabled device. Learners with iPhones and iPads can even download the TootToot app to use on the move. 

We have also placed the TootToot icon on all of our network computers. Just click on the TootToot icon and you are on the website. Posters are in every centre on display. All learners on induction will be introduced to the system.

E-Safety

All computers within our Service have forensic software installed which is a sophisticated system that monitors, records and prevents computer misuse in our centres. This allows a comprehensive and automatic protection for everyone who uses our computer equipment.  We take our duty of care seriously and take active steps to protect our learning community.

You must not use or download material which may be offensive to others, download or forward any abusive material. You must not access, create or transmit material that is contrary to the law.  Screen captures are taken all day, every day, of anything that could potentially be breaching our rules. We investigate all causes for concern.  An acceptable use policy is available from your centre. Any breaches in the policy are taken very seriously, and may result in your access to the network or course being removed.

As part of our monthly ‘Hot Topics’ we will draw your attention to themes in E-Safety that we believe are important in protecting you as a technology user. You can ask us for advice on E Safety at any time.

Prevent and radicalisation

The Learning and Skills Service responds quickly to safeguarding concerns for children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable to the messages of extremism and the risks of radicalisation. .

As part of our Prevent strategy for all learners we are:  

Promoting Equality and Diversity and ensuring sites are safe for all learners
Referring any Safeguarding and Prevent concerns to the appropriate authorities
Encouraging positive relationships between learners and staff
Vetting and removal of any materials of an extremist nature including banning access to extremist materials 
Educating learners via induction, tutorials and hot topics
News monitoring of any concerns whether nationally, regionally, locally or for individuals and following these up
Training of our staff to raise awareness of the signs and risks

The Learning and Skills Service is a safe place to learn and we intend to keep it this way. Reporting concerns is everybody’s business. If you have any PREVENT concerns, you can raise these concerns in exactly the same way as any Safeguarding concern.

 

Case studies

Our learners are always the thing we are most proud of in the service. Their achievements are what keeps our team motivated every day. Here are some of the best stories...

Kieran gets his foot in the door
28 July 17

Kieran Little, a 20 year old visually impaired student, has just commenced an Apprenticeship with the Council. He is learning with the Learning and Skills Service and is working in the Information Services department. 

Kieran has been blind from birth but never let that stand in his way. While gaining good GCSE’s at Gosforth Junior High School, Kieran’s flair for all things IT had already become evident. He then went on to the Royal National College for the Blind where he continued to build a hugely impressive list of IT related qualifications.

What Kieran really wanted next was a job in IT where he could put these skills to good use and begin forging a career.Kieran’s mum, Lesley, contacted the Council’s Learning and Skills Service about how to get involved in Apprenticeships.

The Council’s Apprenticeship Lead, Richard Henderson, was delighted to meet Kieran and work out a plan with the IS Training Team Leader, Michelle Williams. She quickly set up a three week work placement for Kieran, where he spent time with colleagues from various departments within Information Services and had the chance to try out a number of different roles. 

Staff who attended the case meeting at the end of the three weeks placement had left everyone ‘wowed’ with Kieran’s skills and an Apprenticeship offer was made.

Both the Learning and Skills and Information Services Teams are looking forward to working with Kieran and wish him great success in his apprenticeship.
100% success on Access to Higher Education Diploma

15th July 2017

This summer all the Learning and Skills Access to HE students finished the year in style. 100% of the students achieved their qualifications, with no learner scoring less than 54 out of 60 credits. What an achievement.
Most learners are studying to get into University to study health related degrees like nursing, midwifery and occupational therapy. 

Linda joined the course in September 2016 and said, "at the beginning of the course I had not applied for University, I just came on to the course to see if I could do it". She has achieved distinctions in 99% of her course work. She has produced work of such a high standard that the Ascentis moderators have asked to use this as exemplars for other students. Linda applied to university through the clearing process and has three offers, two at Northumbria University to do Occupational Therapy and Nursing and one at Sunderland University to follow the Biomedical science route, which she has found a real passion for through completing the Biology studies with lecturer John Hartshorne. 

Kathleen knew from the beginning that she wanted to go into Nursing. Kathleen holds down a job and has two children, and still managed the same grades with 99% of all her units at distinction level. Kathleen has accepted her place on a Nursing degree. Her lecturer Gill Fox said, "Kathleen has the most determined attitude and approach to learning, she will make a wonderful nurse".

Hannah has also completed and achieved her diploma in order  to study nursing. She has a conditional offer at Northumbria University and is very determined to reach her goal. She admits the workload was challenging and this is a touch qualification to achieve, but Hannah has never looked back and is on the next step to getting a good nursing job on a hospital ward.

Emma and Louise joined the access course with their sights on midwifery and health studies. They completed and achieved their diplomas are currently working. They are both applying for university in January 2018.

Bethan has completed and achieved her Health Diploma and has a conditional offer for nursing at Northumbria University. Bethan is waiting on those all important C grades for her Maths which she has completed alongside the Access programme. 

You too can be a successful HE student, using the access diploma as your stepping stone. Check out our Access to HE information. 

Ex apprentice win national award
15th May 2017

One of our former Apprentices, now a full time Northumberland County Council officer, has scooped a national award as an “unsung hero”.

Amber Sweet, a Local Land Charges Officer in the Council’s Public Protection Service has been Highly Commended as an Unsung Hero at the recent Local Land Charges awards.
The award recognises her commitment to providing the best possible service to businesses she deals with. The award also came with two days free training which Amber will pass on to the rest of the Land Charges team
Well done Amber from the NALS staff who helped her on her way!
Employability Conference for Chantry Middle School
3rd May 2017

On the 3rd May, Carole Richards, our Work Related Learning Officer, organised a terrific Employability Skills Conference at Kirkley Hall, Ponteland, for 132 Year 8 students from Chantry Middle School, Morpeth.

Over the past four years, Northumberland Education Business Partnership, led by Carole, and Chantry Middle
School have worked in partnership, supported by Business Ambassadors and Apprentice Ambassadors, to allow Year 8 students to practice their employability skills and to meet and work with ‘real’ employers.

To reinforce their learning, the children performed the role of day delegates at a mock conference, where they initially listened to a welcome speech, followed by a Keynote Speech by Alison Donkin of Turn Coach. The children attended four employer-led workshops across the day. After attending two morning workshops lead by regional employers, lunch was served outside on the terrace, an added treat.

After lunch, the children participated in two additional workshops, with employers from HMRC, DWP, Robertson
Construction, Northumbria Police, Northumbria University and the North East Raising Aspiration Partnership to
help them gain a better understanding of the employability skills that employers expect.

After a fun but informative day, the children returned to school with a raised awareness of the world of work.
Working with real employers the children were afforded the opportunity to gain a current insight into modern day
progression pathways to employment. This conference was the culmination of 4 years of partnership working
bringing together the world of education and the world of business. It served as both an educational opportunity
and a well deserved reward for all Year 8 pupils involved prior to moving on to high school and selecting their GCSE subjects.

Yvie Gallon - HMRC (Interview Skills Workshop) said, “It was nice to step away from my day job to use the
knowledge I’ve gained over the years and translate this into something meaningful to help the children learn about applying for jobs.”

Gail Weatherson - HMRC (Preferred Learning Styles Workshop) said, ““This workshop was developed to highlight that not everybody learns using the same method. I hope that the pupils of Chantry Middle
became more aware of how they learn and feel comfortable knowing that people learn in different ways”

Chloe Tesseyman - Kirkley Hall said, “It was a pleasure to have you all with us and fantastic to see children that were so engaged”

Student feedback was equally positive.
“I will remember this because it has positively influenced me to expand and increase my knowledge. ”
“ It was immersive and there was a variety of different things to participate in ”
“ I think I will refer back to this event when I make my career choice ”

If you’re interested in learning more about the work of Northumberland Education Business Partnership
and the Business Ambassador and Apprentice Ambassador Programme please contact Carole Richards on
01670 622790 or email carole.richards@northumberland.gov.uk.
Sensory Support and Learning and Skills Service have helped severely deaf student begin apprenticeship
20th May 2017 

Northumberland County Council Sensory Support and Learning and Skills Services have helped a severely deaf student choose a new career path and develop learning and skills through an apprenticeship programme.

A Northumberland A Level student, Sophie, was working closely with the Sensory Support Services who provide a range of support for hearing and visually impaired learners across Northumberland. The Sensory Support Services would visit Sophie at school to work with both her and her teachers to secure a supportive learning environment and ensure her hearing problems were not causing significant problems accessing the curriculum while also implementing any necessary changes to guarantee continued support to both Sophie and staff at the school.

During a recent meeting, Sophie made the support team aware that she felt she wanted to change learning paths to focus on a more practical learning experience. This resulted in various Northumberland teams working together, including; Sensory Support Service, the Learning and Skills Service and Careers Guidance Teams to set up an apprenticeship at The Dales School, Blyth. During her apprenticeship, Sophie will undergo training to become a teaching assistant through working in various classrooms supporting children with special needs and also gaining qualifications in supporting teaching and learning.

As part of setting up the programme, Sophie’s Teacher of the Deaf met with Hugh Steele, Headteacher of The Dales School, to arrange training for the school staff to allow them to support Sophie appropriately while she is an apprentice within the school. The training will help to provide deaf awareness within the workplace, such as, consideration of the acoustic environment.

Hugh Steele, headteacher at The Dales School, said; “We are delighted to be able to work with the various teams to set up and provide the apprenticeship for Sophie, allowing her to develop training to become a teaching assistant.

“Supporting students of all abilities is vital and this is a great opportunity for the apprentice, students and staff to develop their awareness and skills allowing for further learning opportunities.”
Richard Henderson, the Education Lead for Apprenticeships said; “Working together across the various teams to provide the best learning outcome for Sophie is a great example of how the various departments work together putting the interest of pupils first.
Cream of the Crop celebrated at County Hall
28th April 2017

A great evening of celebration took place for learners and employers at County Hall on Thursday 27th April at the Annual Adult Learning Awards. Those who have excelled during in 2016/17 were celebrated and congratulated.

The ceremony was opened by Kelly Angus, Director of HR, and employer sponsors Terry Hanlon from Robertson Group and Rob Storey from Advanced Industrial Solutions joined us to present prizes. Radio Northumberland and Paul Stephenson Media were both on hand for the 8th year running to provide music and photography.

The winners of the awards were:

HEALTH, CARE AND EDUCATION
Cristina Knox
Laura Mclaughlin
SCIENCES, CONSTRUCTION AND ENGINEERING
Kane Tait
TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, COMMERCE AND MANAGEMENT
Alan Day
Melanie Sore
LANGUAGES, LITERATURE, ARTS AND CULTURE
Joan Wallace
Stacey Howe
ENGLISH, MATHS AND EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS
Shaun Brotherton
Sara Old
FAMILY LEARNER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Kelly Denne
Lisa Greenwell
YOUNG LEARNER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Kieran Shephard
APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Katherine Nelson
Anna Jobson
RETURN TO LEARNING- LEARNER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Ian Walton
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Ashington Building Company
OVERALL OUTSTANDING LEARNER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Katherine Nelson
Work related learning in ideal wedding planning
20th April 2017

Creating an ideal wedding venue for people looking to get mar-ried was the challenge given to 527 students at Newminster Middle School and Technology College in Morpeth on its Enter-prise Day.

The activities were delivered by an expert team of 26 business ambassadors from the HMRC, DWP, Barclays and Northumber-land County Council among other organisations, as well as Carole Richards from Northumberland Education Business Part-nership, Learning and Skills Service, who organised the day.

The aim of the day was for students from different year groups to experience what it would be like to work in the leisure sector and their task for the day was to set up a hotel which would offer a wedding package to the business ambassadors who posed as couples looking for a venue in which to get married.

The students had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the business ambassadors in the afternoon session after being given a master class in presentation and communication skills.

Cameron (Year 7): “I think Enterprise day was epic and the experience will help me get a job in the future.” Laura (Year 8): “I have enjoyed working with younger pupils”. Hussain (Year 7): “My favourite thing about the day was designing of hotel material.” Assistant Headteacher Sumeena Razzaqi said: “With events like this we hope to inspire and motivate youngsters for the world of work and also develop a raised awareness of employability and financial skills.”

Learning and skills courses FAQs

We've tried to answer the questions you may have before you enrol. Can’t find the answer to your question? Call us on 01670 622123.

Where & when do course prospectuses get delivered?
We send out our course guides to all Northumberland households via the Royal Mail.

The autumn prospectuses are delivered in mid August depending on where you live.
 
The spring prospectuses are delivered in early January depending on where you live.

The spring prospectuses are delivered in early April depending on where you live.

You will be sent the prospectus for the area closest to where you live. You can download prospectuses for other areas from this page. 
Where can I get the prospectus in other formats?
If you need our prospectus or other information in any other format including large print, braille, audio, or another language, please contact us:
  • Telephone: 01670 622104                   
  • Type talk: 01800 10845 600 6400                            
  • Email: adultlearning@northumberland.gov.uk 
How can I pay for my course?
You can pay in the following ways:
  • over the phone, using a credit/debit card
  • at one of our learning centres using cash, cheque or credit card
  • or by instalments

Paying in instalments
You can apply to pay in instalments if your tuition fees are more than £150 and your course is qualification based.

  • Arrangements must be agreed with the service and you will need to sign a bank mandate before starting the course.
  • Course costs will be divided into three equal (or as near equal) consecutive monthly instalments, with the first instalment due immediately.
Please note: if you withdraw from the course, you’re still liable to pay the full tuition fees and agree to all the planned instalments being collected. Only where the learner meets the conditions of our refunds policy can we refund any remaining fees.
What happens at the first class?
You should turn up to the centre where your course is held on the advertised start date. You will be asked to complete a learner agreement and learner record, which is required for funding the course and helps us to provide the support you’ll need while studying with us.

To ensure you get the best learning possible, we’ll ask you about your previous learning experiences and look at what support you may need. We will explore what you want to get out of your learning programme to help us assist you in your development.
What happens if I skip class?
Please try to attend all classes punctually and regularly. If you're unable to attend a class you should let your centre know by telephone or email as soon as possible.

If you’ll be absent for a number of weeks, but intend to return, please let your course tutor know.