Adult community learning

Who is eligible for free courses

Our courses meet the needs of many different learners who are aged 19+ including:

  • those living with mental health or emotional difficulties or have a long term health condition
  • those who are unemployed and actively job seeking who wish to develop their skills 
  • those who hold below Level 2 qualifications (less than 5 GCSEs at grade C or above including maths and English) who wish to return to education or employment
  • those wanting to develop their own skills to help their children or grandchildren to learn

You must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You must have resided in the EU or UK for the last three years
  • Or, you must be a refugee or asylum seeker and lived in the UK for at least 6 months

In addition:

  • You must be aged over 19 on 31 August 2023
  • You must be in receipt of a means tested benefit or low income or low household income:
    • if you are working, earn less than £20,319 gross per annum
    • if you are unwaged and not in receipt of a means tested benefit; your  household income should be less than £30,000

Courses are free of charge for:

  • adults, regardless of age who are unemployed, economically inactive or in low paid employment or in receipt of a means tested benefit
  • those without English and maths qualifications at Level 2 or above (GCSE / ‘O’ Level A-C or grades 9-4 or CSE grade 1)
  • those with low digital skills
  • those living with or have experienced mental and emotional health and wellbeing difficulties, including low mood and lack of confidence
  • those with support needs including learning difficulty and/or disability, long term illness, drug and alcohol addiction, ex-offender, victim of crime
  • those who have experienced domestic abuse
  • those at risk of social isolation or exclusion
  • those caring for another person with a long term condition
  • care leavers (19 – 25) or those who have/had an Education and Health care plan (EHCP) who are not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • anyone referred by an agency such as a support charity/organisation, or a professional as a social worker, health worker or job coach

We discuss your eligibility with you before you enrol, this is to ensure we meet the funding requirements of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

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