Community learning and skills service

New FREE* Courses Starting September 2020

The community learning and skills service are pleased to bring you the new list of courses starting September 2020.  You can also find the list and regular updates on their Facebook page.  More detailed information about each course is available if you would like to contact one of the community learning development workers - phone numbers and emails can be found on page 5 of the prospectus.

We will be taking phone enrolments in August but if you would rather meet us in person, we will be offering face-to-face enrolment sessions at the beginning of September - just turn up during the advertised times (see page 4 of the Prospectus) and we will be pleased to help you with your choices.

For our flexible online courses (see page 20 of the Prospectus) you will need to have access to technology and the internet.  If you feel you need help with this, please discuss with your contact development worker.

*For adults aged 19+ with few or no qualifications.

South Gloucestershire Council provides accessible and high quality learning opportunities for eligible adults to improve their skills and qualifications.  This can benefit not only you, but your family, local businesses and the community.  Our courses offer the opportunity for you to:

  • set goals towards your personal aspirations and recognise and value your achievements
  • grow in confidence so that you can engage effectively and contribute to your community
  • inspire your family and friends with the pleasure and value of learning
  • see learning as a positive experience and life long journey, seeking to continually develop and extend your skills, knowledge and understanding
  • develop positive routines and approaches which transfer to future learning or work

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Who can benefit from adult learning

Our courses meet the needs of many different learners including

  • learners who do not have a recent Level 2 qualification (5 GCSEs grade C or above including Maths and English)
  • learners who are living with or have experienced mental and/or emotional health and wellbeing difficulties
  • learners who may be returning to learning or employment after a gap in time
  • learners who may be seeking to develop their skills to find employment or support children or grandchildren in school

The courses we offer

You can choose from a variety of learning opportunities, these are grouped into:

  • Wellbeing courses - e.g. cultural crafts, building confidence and assertiveness and an introduction to mindfulness
  • Employability courses - these are designed to improve your employability prospects and range from courses in childcare to awards in office administration
  • English and Maths courses up to Function Skills Level Two
  • English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • IT courses - these cater for a range of learner needs from basic skills in using the internet to more advanced courses on using IT for work

Some of these courses are non-accredited.  This means you do not receive a qualification at the end of the course but we also offer accredited courses with a range of qualifications.

Where and when classes take place

Our courses take place in accessible local venues, such as libraries, community halls, children’s centres and schools.

How much will a course cost

If you are aged 19 or over and have few or no formal qualifications, you could be eligible to take free part-time courses.

Free courses are open to people aged 19+ with qualifications below Level 2 who have been resident in the UK for at least three years, or who are:

  • EU citizens
  • from an EEA member country
  • refugees or asylum seekers
  • married to a UK/EU/EEA citizen

We are also providing courses for adults recovering from mental health problems. These learners are eligible for free courses even if they have previously achieved educational qualifications above Level 2 / GCSE.

For further details contact us on 01454 864613 or email 

ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and accredited employability courses

Adult Learning introduced payments for ESOL and accredited employability courses across South Gloucestershire from September 2016.  These courses are free if you are on any of the following work-related benefits or if you are the unwaged partner of someone receiving any of these below:

  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Employment Support Allowance (in the Work-related Activity Group)
  • Universal Credit
  • Council Tax Benefit (not including the 25% single occupancy discount)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Asylum Seeker Allowance

If you do not qualify for free courses, you will need to pay a £3 per hour fee.

Additional support for learners

Our classes are inclusive and we welcome everyone.  Resources can usually be adapted to meet specific needs. Support workers are also welcome to attend alongside learners if appropriate.

We may be able to help with childcare on an individual basis, if that enables you to attend a course. Please contact us on 01454 865924 or by emailing for details.

If you are recovering from mental health problems, you can speak to a development worker in confidence about your learning needs. They will help you to choose the right course and continue to be a supportive point of contact throughout.

How to apply for adult learning

For information on available courses and how to enroll contact us on 01454 864613 or email

Contact us

For general enquiries please contact us on 01454 864613 or email

For concerns relating to safeguarding issues or Prevent, please contact:

Jane Thomas on 07860 181 352 or email


Teresa Howell on 07584 580 223 or email 

Alternatively, for safeguarding:

Adults - 01454 868007

Children - 01454 866000

Out of hours - 01454 615165

Prevent - 01454 863844

Anti-Terrorist Hotline - 0800 789 321

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