Policies and Procedures

Course Enrolment

 

Who can enrol

Students must be 19 years or older on or before, 31st August 2021

 

Enrolment policy

When courses are opened for enrolment, all enrolments are taken on a 'first come, first served' basis and can only be processed with payment and when all of the relevant documentation and evidence has been provided.

 

 

Fees

 

Most students are expected to contribute to their course fees. Some courses receive funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and these can be offered at a reduced rate to eligible learners. Please note other providers may offer these courses with alternative funding at a reduced rate.

 

Methods of payment

 

 

Telephone enrolments can only be processed with payment by Credit/Debit card.

 

Learners can choose to pay their course fees in instalments by standing order with payments structured as follows:

 

 

Learners electing to pay by standing order will be liable for the full cost of the course. Should they withdraw from the course for any reason other than medical, they will be liable to pay the course fee in full.

 

 

Reduced fees

 

Reduced fees are only available on courses which receive funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and students who apply for reduced fees will be checked for eligibility at the start of their course. Eligibility for reduced course fees will be subject to the student providing proof of being in receipt of one of the following means-tested benefits depending on the type of course as follows:

 

 

Courses leading to an examination

 

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

 

 

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.

 

ACRES may also use their discretion to support other students if both of the following apply. The student:

 

 

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

 

 

 

Non-examination funded courses

 

There are three ways we may financially support our 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:

 

 

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:

 

 

We are unable to reserve a place for you until all evidence, documentation and payment have been received.

For further information please contact the ACRES' Office on 01825 761820.

 

 

Refunds

 

Cooling Off Period

 

If you enrol on a course, you are entitled to cancel your enrolment within 14 days of enrolling 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 adultlearning@acres.org.uk or writing to The Administration Team, Adult College for Rural East Sussex, C/O ACRES' House, Uckfield 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.

 

Courses Cancelled by ACRES

 

Students are refunded fees in full if ACRES cancel the course they have enrolled upon. In addition to the refund and in recognition of the disappointment caused, students will be offered a voucher which can be redeemed against another ACRES' course. Vouchers must be used within a calendar year of issue. Redeemed vouchers cannot be reissued, i.e. if a voucher is used on a subsequent course which is also cancelled, only one voucher will be issued against this further cancelled course. The vouchers are not redeemable for cash and ACRES reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time.

 

Withdrawing from a Course

 

After a course has been confirmed as running, all course fees are payable and no refunds will be made. By enrolling on a course, students agree to pay the course fee, and accept that changes to their personal circumstances, which may prevent them from attending the now arranged course, will not be grounds for requesting a refund.

 

If students withdraw from a course we will only consider refunding fees for the remaining part of the course if the withdrawal is on certified medical grounds (not casual illness/sickness) or in exceptional, extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the ACRES' Adult Learning Manager and Business Support Manager.

 

Applications for refund of fees should be supported by medical evidence (e.g. hospital/doctor's appointment card, letter or medical certificate) or a rationale for consideration of exceptional circumstances and an administration charge of £10 will be deducted from any refund given.

 

Students who withdraw for any other reason than those stated above will be liable for the full cost of the course.

 

Once examination entries have been made to the relevant examination board, examination entry fees cannot be refunded.

 

Changes to Advertised Course

 

From time to time it may be necessary to change the advertised venue of a course or there may be a change of tutor to the one advertised. Neither of these circumstances would normally give grounds for refund of fees.

 

Please note that should a student be unable to attend a course or withdraw from a course before all sessions have taken place, the place and fees are not transferable to another student, or course.

 

Special Covid Considerations

In the event of restrictions being reintroduced and if the class is remaining in the venue, you will be informed of further safety measures. If the lessons cannot take place because the tutor has to isolate or in the event of government-imposed restrictions or lockdowns, every effort will be made to reschedule the missed classes. If it is not possible to continue the course in the venue it will be continued online. If this is not possible we will refund the outstanding lessons.

 

 

General Data Protection Regulation

 

The personal information you provide is passed to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (an executive agency of the Department for Education, the data controller) and may be shared with third parties for purposes relating to education, training, employment and well-being, including for research, where the law allows it, and in compliance with data protection legislation. Your information will be securely destroyed after it is no longer required for these purposes. Further details of how your information is processed and shared can be found below in our full Privacy Statement:

 

You can agree to be contacted for other purposes and will be asked:

 

Are you happy for ACRES to contact you with regards to:

and if so would you like to be contacted by:

 

Privacy Statement

 

How We Use Your Personal Information

 

This privacy notice is issued by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Education (DfE). It is to inform learners how their personal information will be used by the DfE, the ESFA (an executive agency of the DfE) and any other successor bodies to these organisations. For the purposes of the relevant data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller for personal data processed by the ESFA.

 

Your personal information is used by the DfE to exercise its functions and to meet its statutory responsibilities, including under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 and to create and maintain a unique learner number (ULN) and a personal learning record (PLR). Your information will be securely destroyed after it is no longer required for these purposes.

 

Your information may be shared with third parties for education, training, employment and well-being related purposes, including for research. This will only take place where the law allows it and the sharing is in compliance with data protection legislation.

 

The English European Social Fund (ESF) Managing Authority (or agents acting on its behalf) may contact you in order for them to carry out research and evaluation to inform the effectiveness of training.

 

You can agree to be contacted for other purposes by ticking any of the following boxes:

 

Further information about use of and access to your personal data, details of organisations with whom we regularly share data, information about how long we retain your data, and how to change your consent to being contacted, please visit: ESFA Privacy Notice

 

At no time will your personal information be passed to organisations for marketing or sales purposes. From time to time students are approached to take part in surveys by email and phone, which are aimed at enabling the ESFA and its partners to monitor performance, improve quality and plan future provision. You will be asked at enrolment if you are happy to be contacted for these purposes and your preferences will be recorded. You can update these preferences at any time by contacting the ACRES' office.

 

 

Unique Learner Number

 

The Learning Records Service will create and maintain your Unique Learner Number. All learners are issued with a Unique Learner Number which enables your education achievements to be tracked. This is not used for marketing purposes but can be shared with other Learning Organisations. At enrolment, you will be asked if you give your permission for this data to be shared.

 

Copyright

 

If you have any concerns about copyright material please contact the ACRES' office.

 

Complaints

 

We aim to provide good quality services as efficiently as possible but occasionally things do go wrong and you may not be happy with the service that you receive. If you are not satisfied please speak to our Office Manager or your tutor in the first instance. Following this, if you are still unhappy with the service you have received please contact the ACRES' Adult Learning Manager. Most things can be sorted out quickly at this stage.

 

If you are not satisfied with our response to your concern, please contact, in writing, the Chair of ACRES' Board c/o Uckfield College, Downsview Crescent, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3DJ. A full response should normally be given within 28 days of receipt of the complaint.

 

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has produced a booklet 'Procedures for dealing with complaints about providers of education and training' which informs you how to make a complaint about a provider once you have exhausted the provider's own complaints procedure.

 

ACRES Complaints Policy

 

 

Equality and Diversity

 

The Adult College for Rural East Sussex unequivocally believes in the equal treatment of all its students. It is expected that all staff and students will be treated with respect.

 

Equality will be promoted at every level and discriminatory behaviour by any member of staff, visitor or student will not be tolerated and neither will harassment or bullying remain unchallenged.

 

ACRES works within the ESCC schemes and policies and if you would like more information then please click on these links below.

 

ACRES Equality Policy

ESCC Policies

 

 

Health and Safety

 

Health and Safety is the responsibility of everyone, so please report any aspects that concern you to your tutor, our Office Manager or Centre Evening Administrator.

 

A designated First Aider is present at each Centre for evening provision and tutors delivering courses in community venues have access to a first aid kit and are supported to attend a Level 2 accredited qualification in Emergency First Aid at Work. If you have an accident/incident, however minor it may seem, please report it immediately to your tutor or a member of ACRES' staff.

 

All tutors are aware of the emergency evacuation procedures and will point out exits and assembly points to you during your first session.

 

If you are attending a Health, Fitness or Dance course you will have completed a Pre Course Health Questionnaire form prior to starting your course.

 

If you would like to read Health and Safety Statement please click here

 

 

Safeguarding and Prevent

 

The Adult College for Rural East Sussex has a duty of care to all learners, staff and volunteers to ensure they have a safe and healthy environment in which to learn and work and which promotes well-being and security and is free from radicalisation.

 

We have a particular responsibility to safeguard vulnerable adults to prevent abuse, when possible, and to respond quickly and appropriately to suspected or actual allegations of abuse.

 

This policy sets out our commitment to the health, safety and welfare of everyone involved in courses, activities and work which come under the responsibility of the College. It has been adapted from the Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures 2015 for the protection of Vulnerable Adults.

 

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to ensure that the rights of vulnerable individuals and groups are protected through staff awareness of the issues and the following of statutory and local guidelines in the reporting of concerns.

 

All staff working within Adult Learning are responsible for recording and reporting protection and radicalisation concerns.

 

The full policy and procedures can be found here

 

 

Notes and guidance for students on online / distance learning courses

 

A copy of the Student Online Learning Agreement you will be asked to complete before starting your online course

 

Welcome to your ACRES' online course. We hope you enjoy your time learning with us. To ensure your learning experience is as rewarding and safe as possible, please take time to read the following information as soon as you can as it contains important details and advice about your course and online learning experience. Once you have done this, please complete and sign the declarations in the following section

 

General overview

The course you have enrolled on is an online course that will be taught in real-time using a video platform (usually Google Meet), supported by other online resources. To ensure you get the most out of the course and can fully participate in the sessions you will interact with your tutor and other students through speaking, listening and the chat function, as well as being able to see each other via the video links, though you can turn off your camera and microphone at any time. You will therefore need to have access to either a laptop, computer or portable device (eg tablet or iPad) (this ideally needs to be less than 5 years old), with a camera/webcam and microphone, as well as a good broadband / Wi-Fi connection. Please note that using a mobile phone is not recommended / ideal, as due to the small screen it can be difficult to see text/images displayed during the session and you may not be able to view or access some resources.

 

Please access the meet waiting area earlier than the start time for the first session so you can read Google Meet's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy found at the bottom of the joining screen before submitting your request to join the classroom - by clicking 'Join' and entering the classroom you automatically agree to these.

 

Though not a prerequisite, we would advise that you create a separate email account for your online learning prior to the start of the course and let the ACRES' Office and your tutor know the address. This will be more secure and also allow you to share your email address with other students on the course to enhance your learning experience, without disclosing your personal information.

 

Etiquette / Safeguarding / Health and Safety

You will be sent an Initial Assessment document prior to the start of your course. Please complete this before your first session as it will give your tutor useful information about your prior knowledge and skill, to help them, help you, get the most from your learning. It will also allow you to chart your own progress and achievement during the course.

Please note that your tutor will have access to your email address so they can communicate with you and send you the invites to the classroom meetings.

 

Make sure you are in a 'safe' area during your session (not in a bedroom or bathroom), where you will be able to speak to your tutor and other students in an appropriate learning environment and will not be interrupted or disturbed whilst you are learning. Check your surroundings to ensure that it is appropriate and maintains your privacy. If others are around it may be useful to use headphones with a mic to maintain privacy.

 

To maintain safeguarding ensure that no one (especially children and young people) enters the area around you to ensure they are not seen or filmed and ensure your 'background' area around you does not disclose any personal information or images.

 

Always ensure that you dress, act and use language that is appropriate in a learning setting and which would not be deemed as offensive, insulting or in any way discriminatory - remember that you are on video (even if not being recorded) and can be seen at any time by your tutor and peers, so please act appropriately (just as you would in class). You may be on a computer at home, but you and your surroundings can still be seen!

 

Microphones (within the video session) should be on mute to block out any background noise. This also stops screens 'jumping' to different participants in the 'meeting' when they each make a noise (which can be particularly distracting and adversely affect the quality of the session).

 

Please do not record or take and/or share screenshots of any part of the session, as other students will be shown and they have not given permission for this.

 

Please do not engage in private or confidential conversations with your tutor or other students over the class Google Meet at any point during the session (even during breakout) as other students could overhear this, even if they have their mics and videos off.

 

Only the person enrolled as the ACRES' student can watch, participate or contribute to the session.

 

Turn off the Bluetooth on your device before you start learning and make sure any voice-activated or recording devices are also switched off. This is to ensure the learning is only transmitted to the device you are using and not shared on other devices in the home. It is therefore a safeguarding requirement.

 

Use safe practice when using your device around, or when you are working with, liquids, powders or other mediums to ensure you maintain safe practice when using these around technology.

 

Please remember, we are dealing with technology and this does not always do what it is supposed to do! In the event of any technical issues, please bear with the tutor who will do what they can to ensure your learning experience runs as smoothly as possible. Please note, however, that you are responsible for the use and connection of your own device both when logging into and whilst taking part in your online session and ACRES can accept no responsibility for any issues experienced with your device or connection whilst taking part in the course.

 

To ensure we safeguard you, our staff and other students when working remotely, invites to the Google Meet will be sent out shortly before the session is due to start so please do not arrive too early as you will not be able to access the classroom.

 

Please leave the classroom as soon as you can at the end of the session and end your session on your device (see below).

 

If you have any concerns in relation to safeguarding yourself and others online please refer to ACRES' Safeguarding Officer Helen D'Silva on h.dsilva@acres.org.uk in the usual manner, inserting 'Online Safeguarding Concern' in the subject header.

 

Name:

 

Course Title, Code and Term

 

Email address to use for online classes

 

Having read these guidelines, please now complete the following declarations. Once your tutor has received this they will be able to send you joining instructions for your course, along with any handouts

 

I agree and understand that I take responsibility for my own learning, environment and equipment as per all the points above (yes/no)

 

I give consent for my tutor to video any session I take part in (yes/no)

 

I give consent for my tutor to share my email address with other students in the class (yes/no)

 

Signed Electronically (please type name)

 

Date of signature

 

Thank you for completing this form.

*Please note that to maintain the privacy and safeguarding of all ACRES' staff and students, we are sorry but you will not be able to join the online classroom if you do not agree to and submit this document before the first session.

 

 

Specific Covid Related Policies:

 

Your safety is our number one priority and we want those returning to classes in our venues to enjoy their experience.

Class sizes have been reduced to allow for more spacing between tables, creating a safe learning space for all students and tutors. All rooms used are large and well ventilated. Equipment sharing is kept to a minimum and where it cannot be avoided, sanitising materials are provided. We have additional safety measures that can be put in place if restrictions are tightened.

 

The government has moved away from stringent restrictions on everyone's day to day lives towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk.

In response to this ACRES is continuing to encourage the following, wherever possible, the governmentís recommended control measures as detailed below.

 

 

Course Etiquette / Safeguarding / Health and Safety

 

 

Statement of Service

 

If you would like to read our Statement of Service, please click here

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