Learner Handbook

Welcome to Stockton Learning and Skills Service!

This page aims to give you information that may be relevant or of interest to you while learning with us.

Our promise to Learners

The Service is committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity by providing high quality guidance and support to help learners achieve their potential.

Learners can expect the Service will:

  • Provide impartial, personalised and constructive pre-course, on course and progression guidance. The Service is committed to ensuring a truly fair and transparent approach to  assessment, advice and guidance

  • Employ a “right learner, right course, right support” attitude

  • Implement fair, consistent and transparent approaches to assess needs and provide the support needed to successfully complete a programme of study

  • Develop learner's skills, including Maths, English and Computing & Digital skills, so as to support progression to further study or work

  • Ensure learners have a long term development plan to help them with their transition in to work

  • Do all that it can to keep learners safe.

The standards that learners can expect from the Service (and partners):

  • The Service will make sure that learners have the information that they need to make a decision about which programme is right for them

  • The Service will deal with enrolments quickly and fairly

  • The Service will do everything it can to make sure that learners enjoy their programme and that they succeed

  • If learners wish to change or leave their programme, the Service will help them with their next step

  • When learners finish their programme, the Service will make sure that they have everything that they need for their next step

  • The Service will respond to learner suggestions or complaints promptly and fairly. If learners feel that the Service is not doing what it has committed to, let us know so we can do something about it.

We believe that quality is very important and all our services are independently and externally inspected. We also regularly review our provision internally.

Attendance and Punctuality

To ensure that our courses stay viable, it is important that you attend every session.

All learners enrolled in any course at Stockton Learning and Skills Service are required to attend all scheduled classes, workshops, and other educational activities relating to the course enrolled on. Attendance is a fundamental responsibility that allows learners to benefit fully from the learning experience and ensures the efficient delivery of course content.

In addition to consistent attendance, punctuality plays a pivotal role in showcasing learners' dedication to their academic journey. Arriving on time for all scheduled activities demonstrates a strong commitment to learning, respect for fellow learners, and consideration for Tutors.

We acknowledge that circumstances may arise that impact attendance and punctuality. Learners are encouraged to communicate proactively with their Tutors to discuss any challenges they may face and explore potential solutions.

Health & Safety

You are responsible for your own Health and Safety, but Stockton Learning and Skills Service will do all it can to ensure you learn in a safe environment.

To ensure your safety:

  • All accidents must be reported immediately to your tutor

  • Always follow the rules governing the use of special equipment

  • Always use specialist protective clothing when required

  • If you are aware of a potential health and safety hazard, please report this to the nearest member of staff as soon as possible

  • All venues, work placements and employers are vetted and monitored for Health and Safety compliance

  • Any learner thought to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted to participate.

Using our ICT Facilities

All learners will be required to sign an ICT User Agreement.

You must adhere to a set of mandatory rules where it is strictly forbidden to retrieve, store, view, receive or download/upload of any material or information, by means of email or other electronic facilities, that is illegal to the United Kingdom or could reasonably be construed as offensive, including any material that may be cause a concern from a Safeguarding or Prevent perspective.

It is illegal and a breach of our Acceptable Use Policy to intentionally eaves drop on another person’s connection or interfere with their computer connections, configuration or data in any way. Anyone using this service implicitly consents to have their network/internet activity monitored.

Internet usage may result in the Service being required to provide information to the Police or notify other authorities. Deliberate misuse will result in immediate suspension.

Wi-Fi networks may be less secure and the Service accept no responsibility for personal information that may be disclosed due to the use of our Wi-Fi service

Safeguarding and Prevent

It is our aim to ensure that every one is kept safe.

Stockton Council Stockton Learning and Skills Service takes Safeguarding Learners seriously, and complies with the statutory duty to promote the Prevent Agenda to protect learners from the risk of radicalisation and being drawn into terrorism.

More information can be found on our dedicated Safeguarding and Prevent pages.

Equal Opportunities for all

The Service is dedicated to offering inclusive support that embraces diversity and fosters equal opportunities. Additionally, the Service is committed to equality and recognises the value of diversity among its staff.

More information can be found on our dedicated Equal Opportunities page.

Voice of the Learner

We highly value your opinions regarding the quality of the services we offer. We consider learning to be a collaborative endeavor and greatly appreciate the input of both our learners and staff members. Therefore, we encourage you to share your thoughts and suggestions on any relevant matter. Your comments and feedback play a crucial role in enhancing our services. If you have any commendations, comments, or complaints, you can discuss them with any staff member. Alternatively, you can directly contact your Tutor/assessor or reach out via email to learning.skills@stockton.gov.uk.

More information can be found on our Survey & Learner Voice and Comments, Compliments and Complaints pages  

Terms and Conditions

Our Terms and Conditions are available here or can be posted to you on request.

Learner Support

If you require additional assistance in any of our classes, please indicate this on your enrolment form. By doing so, we can ensure that the necessary support is arranged for your first class. Alternatively, please speak to your Tutor. 

More information can be found on our dedicated Learner Support page.

24+ Learning Loans

If you are aged 24+ and wish to study at level 3 you may be eligible to apply for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan to help with course fees.

You may also be eligible for money from the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan Bursary Fund if you need help with other costs such as childcare. Further information is available at www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans/ overview.

Unfortunately we may not be able to provide funding for all requests, in which case each application will be considered on an individual basis. If you wish to appeal on any decision, please write to Stockton Learning and Skills Service at Billingham Community Centre.

Closure of Classes

Classes will be closed if a reasonable attendance is not maintained. However, every effort will be made to offer an alternative class.


Refunds are not normally given except where a course has been closed by Stockton Learning and Skills Service due to circumstances such as low class numbers or adverse weather conditions. However, consideration will be given to each case on an individual basis.

Learners should note that this request must be received no later than 14 days after last attendance and refunds would be given on a pro rata basis.

If you wish to withdraw from a class and consider the circumstances to be exceptional, please submit your request for a refund in writing to: Stockton Learning and Skills Service Billingham Community Centre The Causeway Billingham TS23 2DA or by email to learning.skills@stockton.gov.uk