Learner information

Welcome to Surrey Adult Learning

This page contains all the information you need to have whilst learning with us and explains what you can expect from us and what we expect from you.

We urge you read through before starting your course.

What is adult learning?

Surrey Adult Learning provides inclusive opportunities to promote learning, health and wellbeing. There are hundreds of courses to choose from and there is something to suit everyone, of all ages and abilities. Whether you're a beginner, want to improve your skills, gain a long-desired qualification or just fancy trying a new hobby, we've got the course for you.

With seven dedicated adult learning centres in North and South West Surrey, plus nearly a hundred community venues and an extended online programme, we can meet the needs of learners in and around Surrey.

For further information on our goals, values and expectations please visit our what is adult learning webpage.


Terms dates

Our centres mostly run courses during the same terms as Surrey schools. Please be aware that course lengths do vary and some courses occasionally run during half term or outside of the above dates. Your tutor will advise you of specific dates relating to your course.

To view our term dates for the academic year 2021/22, please visit our term dates webpage.


Smoking and vaping

Smoking or vaping is not permitted on any Surrey County Council owned land. As such you will need to leave the adult learning premises if you wish to smoke during any break time.


Accidents

If you have an accident, or 'near miss' whilst on our premises, please let your tutor or a member of centre staff know and they will handle the situation accordingly.


Attendance and absence

Our courses build on past learning, week by week, to develop new skills and increase knowledge. You will find your progress easier if you attend every lesson. If you need to miss a lesson, please let your tutor know the previous week or contact the Customer Service Team before the lesson on 0300 200 1044 or adultlearning@surreycc.gov.uk

You may not be aware that for the majority of our courses 50% or more of the cost of providing the course is met by a Government grant. For these courses we are required to report on our learner attendances so that we can demonstrate good value for public money. Poor learner attendance could impact on future grants.

If you are absent for two weeks without letting us know you will be contacted to check if you have been unwell or if there has been another problem preventing your attendance. If you continue to be absent from class for a further two weeks without explanation you will be withdrawn from the class and your place will be offered to someone else.

If you are attending one of our maths or English classes you will be contacted after every unplanned absence. If you miss three consecutive weeks without explanation you will be withdrawn from the course.

If you need to withdraw from your class for any reason, please let your tutor know as we may be able to offer your place to someone else.


Exams

If you have enrolled on a course leading to a qualification, you will be expected to sit the assessment at the appropriate time. You will also be expected to show proof of identity at the time of the exam, e.g. your passport.

Exam results will be emailed to you on the day of release. If your exam result is not what you expected and you feel you have a good reason to challenge the result, you have a right to appeal. Please ask your tutor for a copy of our 'Enquiries about Results – how to appeal' document.

If you have any enquiries regarding special arrangements for your exam or any other support you may need, please speak to your tutor in the first instance.


Additional learner support

We welcome learners with additional needs and disabilities. At enrolment you will have been asked to let us know if you have any additional needs or disabilities so that where reasonable, we can organise appropriate support for you. If you have not yet let us know, please speak to your tutor or centre staff.

If you would like to discuss an additional need or disability in confidence, please contact the Assistant Curriculum Manager for Supported Learning on 01932 794506

Although we try to ensure our buildings are accessible there may be some areas where we are unaware that we are not meeting your needs. If you are concerned about physical access to any facilities within our buildings please talk to centre staff.


Information and advice about learning

We promise to provide:

  • Information that is helpful, relevant and supports your learning.
  • Advice to help you choose the next course.
  • Guidance to signpost you to further relevant learning if we cannot meet your requirements.

Your tutor will provide you with 'next steps' information at the end of every course and be ready to respond to any requests for information you may have throughout your course.

In February 2019 SAL was successfully reassessed against the Matrix Standard. This is a national quality standard for education providers who give information, advice and guidance. For further information about our Matrix and Ofsted inspection, please visit our policies and reports webpage.


Health and safety

We are all responsible for our own health and safety.

If you have concerns about the health and safety practices on your course, or the environment in which your course is taking place, please speak to your tutor or the staff based at the centre. Alternatively, please contact the Customer Service Team on 0300 200 1044 or email adultlearning@surreyc.gov.uk

I accept that by using my personal equipment during my course, I take responsibility for its condition and use and that I may be liable for any claims that arise as a result. Surrey Adult Learning will not take any responsibility for accidents, injury or damage, or any claims as a result of the use of personal equipment by learners or tutors.

If you are on a cookery or fitness related course, you will be sent an initial assessment form that will need to be completed and returned to us as soon as possible. These are important documents as they help the tutor plan your course, taking into account any allergies or dietary requirements on our cookery courses or any illnesses or injuries on the fitness courses. These forms can be printed off and returned by post or in person, or completed electronically and emailed back to us.


Complaints, comments and feedback

We welcome all comments you may have about your experience of Surrey Adult Learning ranging from enrolment all the way through to the end of your course.

You can give your feedback to any of our staff either in person, over the phone on 0300 200 1044, via email using the adultlearning@surreycc.gov.uk email address, or online by completing our feedback form. We also have a comments box at each of our centres for you to use should you wish to. All emails sent from an adult learning group email address include a survey link in the footer. This allows you to provide any feedback you have about our levels of customer service.

Twice yearly you will have the opportunity to let us know your views on your experience of Surrey Adult Learning through our Learner Satisfaction Survey, and through our Learner Focus Groups. If you have a complaint, we would like to resolve it as quickly and effectively as possible. In the first instance please talk to your tutor, centre staff or contact the Assistant Curriculum Manager for your course. If you are not satisfied with the outcome then please contact the Deputy Principal.

For further information on making complaints, please visit our making a complaint webpage.


Contact preferences

Following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we or your tutor may need to contact you about your course, as a result of a tutor absence which means we need to postpone or cancel a session or in relation to some coursework.

We have two options in relation to your contact preferences. At the point you enrol or shortly after the start of your course, you will be asked whether you would be happy to be contacted by email:

  1. About upcoming courses, events and exhibitions, discounts and special offers
  2. To provide feedback about your course and our service

Equality and diversity

Our commitment to equality is not about treating everyone the same, but recognising and respecting differences and treating each other with fairness and dignity.

Surrey Adult Learning shows commitment to equality and diversity by:

  • Building fairness into all that we do.
  • Eliminating all forms of discrimination.
  • Creating opportunities for adults who would not otherwise be able to participate in adult learning.
  • Listening, responding and working together with our learners to provide learning.
  • Providing services which are accessible to everyone.
  • Positively promoting equality in our activities and communications.
  • Developing learning environments where people are valued and respected.
  • Taking any complaints about inequality seriously and challenging all forms of discrimination or harassment.

Safeguarding and British values

Safeguarding is intended to promote the welfare of our learners, especially those who are most vulnerable, by helping to protect them from bullying, harassment, abuse of any kind, discrimination or victimisation. This also includes supporting any learners who are at risk or being radicalised or drawn into terrorism.

If you feel at any time during your course that you have been subject to, or have witnessed, any of the above, you are encouraged to let us know. We promise to take anything you tell us seriously.

British Values Our Learner Charter tells you what we value, what we ask of you and what you should expect from us. It outlines our commitment to equality and promoting British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. In your class your tutor will make sure that individual views are heard and valued; discussion and debate is encouraged and opportunities are taken to explain rights and responsibilities

For further information or to report any safeguarding issues, please visit our safeguarding and British values webpage.


How we use 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 successor bodies to these organisations. For the purposes of 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.

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 refer to the government publication ESFA privacy notice.


Learning records service

The information you supply is used by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Education (DfE), to issue you with a Unique Learner Number (ULN) and to create your Personal Learning Record, as part of the functions of the DfE. For more information about how your information is processed, and to access your Personal Learning Record (PLR), please refer to the government publications learning records service privacy notice.


Fees and discounts

For full details please visit our fees and discounts webpage.


Refund on courses

If you decide to withdraw from a course up to eight weeks before the course starts you will receive a full refund. Between eight weeks and two weeks a £15 charge will be payable. After this time no refund is available. Please refer to the fees policy for full information.

Once a course has begun, Centre Coordinators can only consider refund requests in writing in exceptional personal or family circumstances. Holidays, loss of interest, new time commitments and similar domestic changes do not qualify.

For further information on refunds, please visit our refunds and course cancellation webpage.


Our customer service team

The Customer Service Team are based at the Woking Centre and are the first point of contact for all learner telephone enquiries for the service. They are also a central processing team and undertake the administration of all the examinations. Customer Service Team staff are very knowledgeable and will be more than happy to help you. Their contact details are below.

Address: Woking Centre, Hoebrook Close, Westfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9PE

Tel: 0300 200 1044. Phone lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and closed on weekends and Bank Holidays. Calls to 03 numbers from any network will cost no more than those to 01 and 02 numbers and count as part of any call package.

Email: adultlearning@surreycc.gov.uk


Centres

Full details about centres can be found on our centres webpage.


Connecting to our free WIFI

Network Name: _unicorn_public_btwifi

Click 'Get online' to connect and agree to BT's term and conditions. Please use the login above and adhere to our Safe use of the Internet policy. Any feedback you may have, please let one of our Centre Staff know at Reception and this will be fed back to our IT Department


Acceptable use of computers, tables and mobile phones#

These guidelines are intended to:

  1. Promote safety for everyone.
  2. Protect our networks, systems and data from unauthorised access or from damage.
  3. Limit the use of Internet facilities to those appropriate to the needs of Surrey County Council (SCC) and Surrey Adult Learning (SAL), its staff and learners.

In order to comply with Surrey County Council's (SCC) "Internet Acceptable Use Policy", it is essential for our learners to read and accept the conditions set out below:

  • Access to information is a primary reason for using the Internet and Social Media. It may involve Web Browsing, the use of search tools and downloading or sharing information. This should be primarily for research purposes or for learner development.
  • The Internet (including use of electronic mail and social media) must not be used for accessing or transmitting offensive, threatening or illegal material. A good general rule is that accessing material that would be acceptable and appropriate to use in printed form is generally considered to be acceptable use.
  • All users must observe the law on copyright in respect of information downloaded from the Internet. Software cannot be copied to be used on hardware that does not belong to Surrey Adult Learning (SAL); nor can it be downloaded and installed on Surrey Adult Learning (SAL) computers, tablets or mobile devices.
  • Electronic mail and social media should primarily be used for Surrey Adult Learning (SAL) teaching purposes. Electronic mail and social media must not be used as a means of harassment, for chain letters or inappropriate attachments such as screen savers and games.

In order to keep all individuals safe on Surrey Adult Learning (SAL) premises, browsing sites that promote the following is not permitted:

Criminal Skills – Instructions to promote and encourage or provide the skills to commit illegal or criminal activities. Dating and Introduction Services – Online dating agencies etc.

Drugs – Sites that provide information on the purchase and use of illegal or recreational drugs.

Extreme or Obscene – These sites are typically extremely violent, gory or horrific in nature and may be related to sex, bodily functions, obscenity or perverse activities, terrorism, radical ideas etc.

Games – Unless of educational value.

Hate Speech – Any sort of propaganda that would encourage the oppression of specific groups of individuals. This includes derogatory speech against age, disability, sex/gender, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, sexual orientation, religious belief, pregnancy and maternity or race.

Non Business Worthless Content – Sites of no apparent use or content e.g. MP3 music download sites.

Online Gambling – Sites which allow gambling to be undertaken by the user.

Sex – Contains sites that reference, discuss, or show photographs, pictures or videos of sex or sexually oriented material.

If you wish to know more about staying safe online and protecting yourself please read the Guidelines on e-Safety and e-Responsibility in the Classroom.


Continuing your learning

When you have completed your course you may wish to progress to other classes. Your tutor will be able to advise you on opportunities available.

There are other providers you can contact to help build your knowledge and skills too. Find out more by visiting our other learning opportunities webpage.