Fees and refunds

A detailed explanation of how fees are charged for our courses is available in our Fees policy:

However the following information should help answer most of your questions.

How much does it cost to do a course?

Fees vary depending on the type of course and each course has its price displayed on the website.  Our courses are funded by the government and depending on the type of course learners are sometimes required to pay a tuition fee, or a contribution to the cost of resources or exam fees. Many courses are free or have remitted fees depending on your circumstances. Community Learning courses cost £5.50 an hour plus a £5 registration fee and help is available for learners on a range of benefits. Courses that lead to a qualification vary in price and learners who are not unemployed or not on a low wage need to pay the course fee displayed.

I am unemployed but would like to take a course leading to a qualification but cannot afford the cost so can I get any help?

If you are unemployed and want to do a course leading to a qualification in most cases the course will be free depending on the type of course as long as you meet the definition of an unemployed learner set out by the ESFA and you can provide evidence on request. If you are not sure you meet the definitions described in the Fees Policy please contact adultlearning@northnorthants.gov.uk for further advice.

If you are unemployed and you want to do a course that does not lead to a qualification and the course charges tuition fees you only need to pay 30% of the cost. (See below for further information).

I am on a low wage and cannot afford the course so can I get any help?

If you earn less than £18,525.00 a year and can provide evidence of your gross annual wage you will be able to study for free if the course leads to a qualification or pay just 30% of the cost if you want to undertake a Community Learning course.

I earn more than £18,525.00 a year but my personal circumstances mean I would still find this course, or the resources required, expensive so are you able to help at all?

There is a Discretionary Learner Support Fund available to support learner hardship for learners studying for qualifications and for learners on Community Learning courses the service has a Bursary Fund. For more information contact adultlearning@northnorthants.gov.uk  

Is there any other help for learners attending Community Learning courses? 

Learners will only pay 30% of the cost of the course, and can provide evidence on request, if one or more of the following apply.

  • They receive Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), including those receiving National Insurance credits only
  • They receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • They receive Universal Credit, and their earned income from employment (disregarding benefits) is less than £338 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £541 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner)
  • They receive Income support
  • The receive Housing Benefit
  • They receive Carer's allowance
  • They receive Council Tax Reduction
  • They receive Child Tax Credit and their household income is below £16,480
  • They receive Working Tax Credit and their household income below £16,480
  • They are aged 66 or over
  • They earn less than £18,525.00 gross salary

Are these concessions available for courses leading to qualifications?

Financial support for learners who are not on a low wage or unemployed is managed differently so please contact Adultlearning@northnorthants.gov.uk for advice. There are a small number of courses leading to qualifications where different funding regulations apply and it can be complicated so the important thing is to always ask if you are not sure what support you are entitled to.

How do I go about providing evidence that I qualify for remitted fees on a course?

You must provide our business support team with suitable evidence to support your claim. Please email Adultlearning@northnorthants.gov.uk attaching a copy or image of your receipt of benefit. Please note that once suitable proof of evidence has been provided ALS will not store copies of your evidence once your enrolment is confirmed

What happens if I cannot provide suitable evidence in advance of the course starting?

Unfortunately if you do not provide evidence you will be asked to pay the full fee for the course and if for any reason you fail to do so you will be asked to leave the course and it may affect future enrolments on our courses.

What happens if I don't want to do the course after I have enrolled. Am I entitled to a refund?

​Decisions to run courses based on learner numbers are made up to 2 weeks before the start date. If numbers are low courses may be cancelled and you will be issued a full refund.

​There is a 14 day cooling off period which commences the day the learner is enrolled on the system, not from the start date of the course. During this period you will have the right to cancel the course and obtain a full refund. Once the cooling off period has expired there is no obligation to make any refund. If the start date of the course occurs during the cooling off period, you will not be entitled to a refund.

​Refunds for leaving a course due to a learner's medical condition will only be given on proof of a doctor's certificate. The learner will receive a proportional refund of the fees paid in relation to the number of classes remaining. The refund will be dealt with from the date the doctor confirms the learner's medical condition.