Learner Support - helping you fulfil your ambitions
Our award winning Advice and Guidance team will be available throughout your stay at the College to offer practical, impartial information on education, training and career opportunities. As soon as you arrive at College you will be able to get the help you need to succeed. Kidderminster College was awarded the Matrix Quality Standards award for our excellent service to learners. Here are some of the comments from previous clients:
"I just walked off the street and they saw me straight away. They went through all the options."
"As a customer it was fantastic and they gave me all the guidelines. The service I received was fantastic."
"They turned what was a negative into something that was very realistic and within my reach."
"I felt so reassured when I left."
We offer course advice and extra help in:
- finding out about training and education opportunities in Kidderminster and elsewhere
- making applications and preparing for interviews
- finding other services or providers
We specialise in one-to-one guidance interviews with qualified staff, who can offer detailed course information, advice on writing CV's and job applications.
We work with closely with Connexions to give you the help and support you need to make the right choices to succeed.
We offer a range of welfare services about issues you may face during your time at College. You are welcome to use our services to provide advice and support on:
- Loans and grants
- Personal problems
- State benefits
We are keen to support you throughout your time at the College. One way is to ensure that you attend regularly and keep on track with your studies. We have members of staff in Learner Services who track and follow your attendance, contact you if you are not in College and liaise with tutors if we think you are experiencing problems. If you are under 18 we may need to share information with your parents or carers. It is important that you let us know if you cannot attend College so that we can get messages to your tutors.
Our Counselling Service has been set up to help you if you experiencing problems and need to talk to someone. Sessions are confidential and private and you will be seen on a one-to-one basis. This may involve one or two sessions or ongoing counselling. We are here to provide a listening ear and help when you need it.
Kidderminster College is committed to ensuring that disabled people, including those with learning difficulties, are treated fairly. All reasonable adjustments to provision are made to ensure that disabled people are not disadvantaged.
People from many different backgrounds and with hugely varying experiences play a role in the life of this College. Equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination or harassment apply equally to learners and staff. Through equality of opportunity, the College aims to ensure good quality services for everyone.
At Kidderminster College we appreciate that our learners are individuals with different strengths and areas for development where you may require additional support to overcome challenges.
The Additional Learning Support Team is here to help you address your challenges and to ensure that we support you in achieving your learning goals.
Areas that you might need help with:
- Some practical help with your studies; many learners are not 100% confident with planning and doing assignments or aren't quite sure what is expected of them
- You may have a physical mobility, hearing or sight impairment
- You may have a condition such as Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Tourettes or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- You may have a specific learning difficulty such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia or Dyspraxia
- You may have medical or health issues such as Asthma, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or Mental Health Difficulties, Depression
- You may need some help with your exams (extra time, reader, scribe, separate room, prompt)
Whatever the challenge or obstacle, the Additional Learning Support Team is here to work alongside you and provide you with practical help and support. Our experienced and trained staff are committed to working inclusively, using a variety of methods to meet learners' personal needs across a range of difficulties and disabilities.
Learner Support Assistants (LSAs) work with learners in the classroom. They can be there for a number of reasons and support learners in different ways by, for example, taking notes, helping learners understand the main points of a lesson, or by organising their work. Learners negotiate how they would like to be supported through discussion with their tutor and the LSA.
Dyslexia and Coursework Support
People with Dyslexic traits can have difficulties with reading, organising and processing information. Often their difficulty can go undiagnosed in school and it’s not until they undertake an assessment that they discover the reasons why. If you don’t know for sure, but suspect you might be Dyslexic, your tutor can arrange for you to have an assessment. We have specialist Learning Support Tutors (LSTs) on hand to provide support and offer strategies to help you learn. Learners with Dyslexic difficulties may be allocated a LSA to take notes for them in class and they can often be given reading support and extra time in examinations. Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, and Tom Cruise are just a few of the many famous and successful Dyslexics who haven’t let Dyslexia stand in their way.
Learning Aids and Specialist Equipment
We can arrange for the loan of any specialist learning aids or equipment you might need to assist you to help you access the course content.
- Laptops and notebook computers
- Assistive technology
- Specialist mice
- MP3 players
- Digital voice recorders and dictaphones
- Specially equipped cookery room
- Specialist perching stools
- Coloured screen covers
- Coloured overlays
- Reading rulers
- Table risers
Adult learners are welcome to apply for all the courses listed here, together with a huge range of part time courses listed in our part time course prospectus. You may also like to take advantage of our free careers advice service if you are thinking of retraining and returning to study. Our advisors will be able to give you unbiased advice on the best route of study for you. Please contact Learner Services on 01562 512003.
Most full time courses run between 12-16 hours each week providing you with the flexibility to manage your home life with study.
Our courses are suitable for all ages. The skills you develop and the qualifications you achieve will not only give you an edge in the marketplace when applying for jobs, but may also enable you to progress to higher level courses.
Do you want to study university-level courses in your local area?
At Kidderminster College we’ve thought of that and offer higher education/university-level courses. You can study towards these whatever your commitments and without needing to move away. This could cut down on expenses but enable you to achieve your goal of gaining a higher qualification. Details of our courses are available in this prospectus.
At the College we are keen to promote progression to higher education. We provide regular awareness-raising events to broaden your understanding of higher education. Most higher education institutions now offer a vast range of courses and we aim to promote your understanding of the opportunities available to you. Past trips have included workshops in Voice Coaching at the Central School of Speech and Drama, specialist open day visits to the universities of Gloucestershire and Staffordshire and master classes at the University of Greenwich and London Metropolitan University. In addition, we provide presentation evenings for you (and your parents) to gain important information about choosing the right course and the financial costs associated with further study.
Whilst the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) scheme has been closed for new applicants, different funding options are, and will remain, open for learners who are enrolling with us in September 2011.
We will be launching a new a new Financial Support Scheme which will be open to learners who are joining us this September and who wish to apply for assistance.
In the past we have been able to assist learners with:
- Books and Equipment
- Residential Visits (Home and Abroad)
- Child Care Costs
- We are also currently looking at ways in which we can help with transport costs for lower income families.
You can make an appointment with Learner Services when you attend for induction to discuss your needs and the possibility of support.
For further, information, please visit http://www.ypla.gov.uk/learnersupport or consult Learner Services on 01562 512003 / 4 for more information.
Q: When does Full Time Enrolment take place?
Wednesday 31 August:
Hair, Beauty & Complementary Therapies (inc Health & Fitness) and Care
Thursday 1 Septembe:
Business, Leisure & Technology (inc Sport), Foundation and Community Learning
Friday 2 September:
If you are unsure which category your course fits into please call Learner Services on 01562 512003 / 4.
Q: What if we are away on holiday when induction takes place?
It is important that you try and attend, but if you have an unavoidable reason please contact Learner Services as soon as possible so that we can discuss alternative arrangements with your tutor.
Q: As a parent do I need to attend 'Enrolment'?
No, this is the opportunity for your son / daughter to be introduced to College life and meet fellow learners on their course.
Q: What if my son / daughter does not get the grades they had anticipated when they applied for their college course?
We have a range of courses available and we will look at creating an opportunity for you to study a course that best suits your needs. We also have a qualified Careers Advisors to help you make your choices. Our initial advice is to come along to your Enrolment Day as planned.
Q: My son / daughter has not received their certificates from school, what should we do?
Most school-leavers will not get their certificates until later in the year, but the school should issue exam slips - please ensure your son / daughter brings these along for enrolment.
Q: My son / daughter has not applied to Kidderminster College - is it too late?
No, we receive applications up to and including September. We will be running 'late enrolment' interviews on Wednesday 7th September at 2.00pm. Please contact Learner Services and we will talk you through the steps you need to take.
Q: My son / daughter was hoping to study A Levels at school but they have not achieved the grades to do this now, can you help?
Yes - we have a range of 'A' level equivalent courses on offer. They are vocationally focused courses and are recognised by many Universities for higher level study. Please call Learner Services to discuss.
Q: Would my son / daughter have the opportunity to take on a part time job alongside their study?
Many courses offer the flexibility to combine academic study with other activities outside College. We encourage our learners to take up opportunities to participate in part time work, voluntary schemes, and local community projects or work experience. On average many of our courses involve 16 hours teaching per week, presenting the opportunity for part time work alongside their study.
Worcestershire County Council Decision on post-16 transport
The decision has been made to continue to support post-16 travel for learners in the Worcestershire area. This is good news for learners as major changes had been proposed.
The criteria for transport assistance:
- You must live in Worcestershire
- You must be under 19 when the course commences
- You should attend the establishment that is nearest to your home address
- You must live more than 3 miles from the school or college
Application forms are available online here
A small supply of hard copy forms will be available shortly from Learner Services.
Financial Support for our Learners
If you are under 19 you don't pay any fees for your course
Don't be put off applying because you are worried about how you are going to cover living costs or pay for books and equipment - our Learner Services can give you advice on how to deal with money worries and help you access different types of financial help.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
If you are under 19, studying full-time and living at home, your parents can claim child benefit and other benefits. If you have to live away from home and no-one supports you, you may be able to claim the benefit for yourself. Visit www.dwp.gov.uk
College Bursary Fund
This fund is used to assist students in financial difficulty. Each case is considered individually. Awards are made towards costs of course books and materials, educational visits or course related expenses, childcare and travel, but not usually for general living costs. Application forms are available from Learner Services.
The majority of adult courses are free if students are in receipt of means tested benefits such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Housing/Council Tax Benefit or Working Tax Credit with a household income less than £15,276 per year. Even if students are not receiving benefits but are on a low income they may be able to apply to the College’s Learner Support Fund for help towards course fees. Please contact Learner Services for more information.
24+ Advanced Learning Loans
From September 2013, a national scheme is being introduced. This new scheme offers student loans (to cover tuition fees) for those who are aged 24+ and are studying qualifications at Level 3 or above, including Apprenticeships. The good news is that the loan is only repayable once you are earning over £21,000 per year and you are taking steps to invest in your future and career earnings and development. Visit the following websites to keep up-to-date with the latest developments:
More good news… Apprentices are only expected to pay 50% of tuition fees - the employer contributes the rest! Also, if your loan is for an Access to Higher Education course and you progress to higher education study - your loan may be wiped!
Those who are awarded the 24+ Advanced Learning loan may also be entitled to financial assistance via the 24+ Bursary Fund. This 24+ Bursary Fund offers financial help to learners who are in danger of ceasing their course due to financial restraints. This bursary can help with hardship, childcare, residential support and additional learning support (in certain circumstances) but is only available to those who have secured a 24+ student loan. Please note: The 24+ Bursary Fund is not available for apprentices.
Some documents you may find useful:
- 24+ Advanced Learning Loans Factsheet
- 24+ Advanced Learning Loans FAQs
- Quick guide on how to apply
- Quick guide on repayments
- Your key questions answered
If you have any queries, please contact:
Learner Services on 01562 512003 if you are applying for a loan for a full-time course.
Business & Training on 01562 826515 if you are applying for a loan for an Apprenticeship.
Adult Learning Grant (ALG)
(Check Availability after this academic year)
ALGs are grants of £10, £20 or £30 a week payable to students who are aged 19 or over if certain eligibility conditions are met.
For more information and an application contact Learner Services.
For advice on your ALG application, call 0800 121 8989
Funding for Higher Education
The Government offers a wide range of student financial support in the form of grants, loans and university/higher education institution bursaries. This means you get financial help when you need it but don't have to pay back your loans until you leave your course and are earning more than £15,000 per year (£21,000 from 2012). To ensure you have all the information you need to work out what financial support you may be eligible for, how you get it and when you need to repay, a new service - STUDENT FINANCE ENGLAND - has been created. A wide range of material is available to download from their website www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance, or you can call 0845 300 50 90.
At Kidderminster College you will receive comprehensive learner support in a caring and motivational atmosphere. You will be able to benefit from our network of personal tutors who will not only help you make the most of your learning time, but also develop your confidence and personal skills to best equip you for life and your chosen career path.
Mature learners returning to learning may find the support offered by personal tutors a particularly useful aid for helping to balance study and home life.
If we do something really well, we want to know, but if something goes wrong, it is of equal importance that we are told. We would welcome your feedback - simply print off the form above (pdf), fill in and return to Learner Services.