Adult and Community Learning

Daytime and Evening Courses

01825 761820

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do you need help in finding the right course for you?

If you would like more information regarding a course before enrolling:

- Staff at the ACRES' Office are there to help you - ring 01825 761820

- Visit our website for more detail on the courses we offer - www.acreslearning.org.uk

 

ACRES has been awarded the Matrix Standard for the quality of the information and advice we give to students at enrolment.

We offer free impartial information and advice to help you choose the right course for you.

We do:

- Give detailed information about the programmes offered by ACRES

- Provide impartial signposting to other providers who meet our quality standard

- Make arrangements for you to receive free and impartial advice about course choice

- Make appointments to provide facilities for a confidential meeting when requested

- Provide information on our fee policy, ACRES' discretionary bursary, financial support available and cooling off period

- Keep an up to date display of leaflets/brochures on local adult learning opportunities

- Identify ways of supporting you in your learning

- Invite customer feedback to help us to review our service

 

We are unable to:

- Provide information on areas other than adult education (eg personal finance or careers advice)

- Provide private tutoring

- Provide guidance for your choice of course

- Provide internet access for information on courses undertaken at other providers

 

If you would like more information about a course before enrolling:

- Staff at the ACRES Office have more information available and are there to help you (ring 01825 761820)

- Our website(www.acreslearning.org.uk) has more detailed information on the courses we offer in the course information sheets which you can print off top

 

How do I enrol on a course?

All enrolments are taken on a 'first come, first served' basis and can only be processed with payment and when all the relevant documentation and evidence has been provided. We can only accept students aged 19 and above as at 31st August 2016.

 

Most students are expected to contribute to their course fees. Courses marked and * or ^ receive funding from the Skills Funding Agency. Courses that do not receive funding from the Skills Funding Agency are marked with+. Please note other providers may offer these courses with alternative funding at a reduced rate.top

 

How can I pay?

If you are enrolling on line you will need to pay with a credit or debit card (this facility will be available during the 2016/17 academic year).

 

If you are enrolling in person, by post or by phone then you can pay by:

- Cheque - make cheques payable to East Sussex County Council. Please put the course code on the reverse of the card

- Credit/Debit card

- Cash (in person)

- By instalmentstop

 

When do I need to pay the course fees?

Course fees are payable at enrolment. Where the fee for a single course is more than £86 it can be paid in instalments.

 

The first instalment is payable at enrolment with the further instalments payable on the 1st of the month following the start of the course by standing order. All fees must have been paid by the end of the course:

- Single course fees between £86 and £171 may be paid in three instalments.

- Single course fees between £172 and £257 may be paid in three instalments.

- Single course fees over £258 may be paid in four instalments.

 

Please note: If you opt to pay by instalments, the total course fee is payable in full should you withdraw from the course other than for medical reasonstop

 

Am I entitled to a reduced fee?

Reduced fees are only available on courses which receive funding from the Skills Funding Agency and students who apply for reduced fees will be checked for eligibility at the start of their course.top

 

Financial Support for Students on Courses leading to an examination

(courses indicated with * in the title)

 

Students are eligible to a free course if they are in receipt of the following benefits:

- Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)

- Employment Support Allowance in the work related Activity Group

- Universal Credit because you are unemployed and required to undertake skills training

 

Unemployed students in receipt of a benefit other than those listed above may still be eligible for funding. Please contact the ACRES' Office on 01825 761820 for details.

 

English and Maths courses (GCSEs and Functional Skills) are free to most students subject to meeting eligibility requirements.

 

Further financial support may be given from our Discretionary Learner Support Fund to students experiencing financial hardship. Financial support may be granted for:

- The cost of essential books, equipment and materials

- Childcare costs (care has to be provided by a childcare provider who is registered with Ofsted to be eligible for support)

- Transport costs

- Examination fees

 

All applications must be supported with relevant benefit evidence.

 

Students will be checked for eligibility at the start of the course. Once confirmed as eligible, the eligibility status will not change for the length of that course. Individuals not eligible for funding at the start of the course will continue not to be eligible for the length of the course.top

 

Non-examination funded courses

(courses indicated with ^ in the title)

There are three ways we may financially support students:

 

1. Arranging payment of fees by instalments. We may be able to arrange payment of fees by instalments over a longer period for those in financial hardship.

 

2. Where a reduced fee is shown and students are in receipt of one of these benefits:

- Income Support Working Tax Credit (with a household income of less than £18,023)

- Housing Benefit

- Council Tax Reduction Scheme

- Pension Guarantee

- Credit Income based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)

- Employment Support Allowance in the work related Activity Group

- Universal Credit because you are unemployed and required to undertake skills training

 

3. ACRES' Discretionary Bursary Fund - students may apply to this fund for financial support where they are not on benefits but their household income is less than £25,000 per year.

 

Please note that:

- Funds are aimed at those most in need of financial support.

- Funds are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

- You will not receive funding if you have outstanding debts with ACRES.

 

All applications must be supported with relevant benefit evidence. Please note that we are unable to book a place for you until all evidence, documentation and payment have been received.

 

For further information or to apply to pay the reduced fee, please contact the ACRES' Office on 01825 761820.top

 

What if I change my mind?

If you enrol on a course, you are entitled to cancel your enrolment within 14 days of the enrolment and you will be refunded. If you wish to cancel your enrolment within this period, you must notify us of your cancellation in writing by emailing adultlearn@uctc.org.uk or writing to The Administration Team, Adult College for Rural East Sussex, Uckfield Community Technology College, Downsview Crescent, Uckfield TN22 3DJ. If however, you wish to enrol on a course which starts within the 14 day cooling off period, you will waive your right to receive a refund in the event of you cancelling your enrolment. Please note the cooling off period does not apply if enrolling in person at the ACRES' Office.top

 

Refunds

Students are refunded in full if ACRES cancels the course they have enrolled upon. If a student wishes to cancel after the cooling off period or withdraw from a course once it has started, we will only consider refunding fees if the withdrawal is on medical grounds which can be supported by medical evidence (eg hospital/doctor's appointment card, letter or medical certificate). In these instances, a £10 administrative charge will apply.top

 

What support is there for students with a disability?

When you enrol we will ask if you have a disability, learning difficulty or any health issues and we will do our best to help and, if needed, our Student Support Officer will contact you to discuss your needs.

 

All of the venues we use are annually reviewed and information on accessibility of the venue is provided at enrolment and is also available to download from our website.

 

If you have a query regarding the support we provide, or the venue being used for a course, please contact the ACRES' Office and speak to our Student Support Officer to check how we can best help you.top

 

How do I know what level I am?

Some courses are aimed at teaching students at a particular skill level in that subject. To determine your skill level, please contact the ACRES' Office and we will be happy to discuss this with you.top

 

Disclaimer - Will there be changes?

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. However, ACRES reserves the right to cancel or change a course, to change the venue, or to substitute a tutor whenever it is considered necessary.top

 

Do I need to buy text books and materials?

The course information sheets give details of materials and text books you may need. A copy will be sent to you at enrolment or you can download one from the 'course search' area of our web site. Please remember if you are enrolling for a course requiring a textbook or materials do not purchase these items until you are certain that the course will begin. Decisions on whether a course will run or not are made a week or two before the course is due to start.top

 

What is your smoking policy?

There is a no smoking policy operating on all educational premises and in all public places. This policy extends to the grounds of a college as well as the buildings.top

 

Can I use my mobile phone?

Mobile phones should be turned off or set to silent during classes.top

 

How do I find out if a class is cancelled due severe weather?

To find out whether your session is cancelled due to severe weather please:

- Check our website for any closure information - www.acreslearning.org.uk the website will be updated daily during any closure periods.

- Call our office on 01825 761820. If the office is not open due to the severe weather, we will try to leave a recorded message.

 

We are not able to contact you individually and we suggest you check on the website if possible. If a session has to be cancelled due to severe weather a replacement session will be arranged.top

 

Is there parking at the venue?

Parking is limited at some of our venues, particularly those we use during the day. Venue information sheets for all venues we use are available on our website or via the ACRES' Office. All parking is at your own risk.top

 

Will my course run?

After you have enrolled, if you do not hear from us then your course will run. We usually make decisions a week or two weeks before the course is due to start.top

 

Will my course length be extended?

Some courses, such as Art or Fitness courses, are often extended into the next term if there is sufficient student demand. Students on these courses will be contacted and given the opportunity to enrol on a continuation course. This only applies within an academic year. Where courses are extended for an extra term or for additional sessions, we cannot guarantee that the fee will be the same as for the initial course if there are fewer enrolments for the extension. New students may be able to join continuation courses during the year, please ring the ACRES Office for more information or look on the ACRES website.top

 

Can I join a course after it has started?

It may be possible to join a course after it has started, depending on your level of experience and knowledge in the subject. If you would like to join a course after it has started please contact the ACRES Office who will be able to advise you. If the course is ten weeks or longer and you join after the fourth week, you can request a fee reduction.top

 

If I have previously lived abroad am I eligible to enrol on a course?

We offer a range of courses, some of which are funded by the Skills Funding Agency and some which are non-funded. To be able to access a course funded by the Skills Funding Agency you need to meet specific residency criteria.

 

Non Funded courses do not carry the same residential eligibility criteria and access is available to these courses. Please contact the ACRES' Office (01825 761820) to check which courses you are eligible to enrol on.top

 

What about Health and Safety?

Whilst every effort is made to eliminate potential hazards, they do appear from time to time. Should you discover a hazard, please report it immediately to a member of ACRES' staff.

 

Fire and evacuation procedures applicable to your course location or centre will be explained to you at your first session. You will be advised of specific hazards that may be present within your subject at the first session. If you are attending a Health and Fitness course, you will be asked to complete a pre course health questionnaire prior to joining the course.top

 

Liability

Anyone bringing property onto the premises where courses are held does so at their own risk. The College will not be held responsible for loss, damage or injury of any kind.

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