ACL Essex (Adult Community Learning) is reminding residents that there is government funding available for learners who are keen to boost their qualifications and achieve their educational goals but are in need of some financial assistance to support their studying.
For those studying accredited courses funding can contribute towards the cost of travel, educational visits, books and equipment, as well as childcare.
While qualifying criteria applies, the following funds are available:
- The Advanced Learner Loan for learners who are aged 19 to 90 (and beyond!) studying a qualification at level 3 or 4. The loan doesn’t even need repaying until you earn over £21,000 and if you go on to university then you don’t repay the loan at all
- The Discretionary Learning Support Fund and Community Learning Fund can assist learners who may be struggling with finances and can be used to help with childcare, study resources and transport
- The 16-18 Discretionary Fund for learners who are aged 16-18 as at 31 August 2016 (help with the cost of lunch may also be available)
- The Bursary Fund for non-accredited courses for learners who are 19+ as at 31 August 2016 (help with fees is only available if you have paid the full fee)
Essex County Councillor, Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning said: “Accredited courses are those courses that result in a recognised qualification and it is surprising how many we offer; courses ranging from Maths and English, Beauty Therapy and Floristry, First Aid, IT and Accountancy. We really believe in opportunities for all and this funding means we are able to support people back into the work place or to achieve their education goals.”
The Advanced Learner Loan is currently being promoted by further education establishments across Essex who are encouraging potential students to “invest in themselves” and be aware of Government funding available. More information is available at https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan/overview
ACL Essex also has a separate fund to cover the cost of support within the classroom for learners who have a learning support need, for example visual impairment, mental health difficulties and those with other medical and physical conditions. The ACL Learning Support team can support learners in accessing this funding and arranging support.
Application forms to apply for funding are available at all ACL centres. To find out more visit www.essex.gov.uk/adult-learning