Do you need help towards the cost of your studies?
If you are on a qualification course and claiming benefits, or on a low income, you may be eligible to apply for help with costs related to your study.
Discretionary Learner Support Fund (DSLF)
The Learner Support Fund is a limited discretionary grant provided by the West Midlands Combined Authority to help learners experiencing financial hardship to stay in education.
This fund can be used to help with the course costs, exam fees, childcare costs and DBS checks where they are a requirement of the course.
To apply you must: be on a qualification course, meet residency requirements; provide evidence that you are on a low income or are experiencing financial hardship.
Please note: All support funds are subject to individual eligibility and the availability of funds. Unfortunately learners who are not EC/EEA citizens are not eligible for fee waivers, discounts or financial support. Before applying for financial support please check if you and the course you have enrolled on are eligible. You must also be prepared to provide proof of your income and status if you apply.
Government Support Funds
You can get full details of these financial support schemes, the eligibility criteria, and application forms at www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance or by phoning 0300 100 0607. The key support funds available are:
Bursary for Level 3 certificate or diploma courses
If you are paying for your course via an Advanced Learning Loan you are eligible to apply to this fund to support childcare costs, course resources including text books and any additional learning support needs. Learners under 19 years old will usually be eligible for support through a different fund.
16-19 Bursary Fund
This is a Government scheme to help young people facing financial hardship to stay in full-time education. To be eligible learners must be on a full-time programme of study. For more information please visit www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund/
Care to Learn
This fund is for young parents under 20. If you qualify you can claim up to £160 per week in childcare costs for each child, plus travel costs. You do not have to be in receipt of benefits to claim Care to Learn and it will not affect any other benefit you receive. You will need to apply online at www.gov.uk/care-to-learn
Advanced learner loans for over 19s studying on level 3 courses
If you are aged 19 or over on the 31st August 2020 and you are enrolling on a level 3 course with BAES, then you must pay the full fee or take out a loan depending on the eligibility of the qualification. More information can be found at: www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan
You do not have to pay your loan back until you have started earning over £26,568 per year.
The Careers and Courses Team
Not sure of the best way to get that dream job?
If you are thinking about returning to learning or in work and looking to improve your career prospects we are here to help you to make the right course choices.
Our Careers and Courses Team provides free and impartial Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) about learning and work. Book an appointment with one of the team to talk you through your course choices and find out about the qualifications you will need to be successful. We are not just here to get you onto a course, during your time with BAES we will be available to talk through your future course options and help to guide you each step of the way towards your ultimate career goal.
During the year we put on free employment workshops that will develop the job hunting skills you will need to be successful gaining employment. We also arrange careers events and opportunities for you to meet local employers and colleges so you have a clear understanding of your options for course progression and the employment opportunities available to you.
Your Views - Complaints Process
At Birmingham Adult Education Service we believe that learners and members of the public who wish to make a complaint should have access to a system that:
- is simple to understand and use
- allows for speedy administration and also keeps people informed of progress
- ensures a full and fair investigation
- respects as far as possible your request for confidentiality
- provides an effective response and takes appropriate action
- provides information to BAES management so that services can be improved
Stage 1: Speak to a member of staff for advice
Whether your concern is about quality of teaching, your tutor, the centre or your personal safety it is important to let us know about your complaint quickly. If possible we want to resolve the matter for you straightaway.
In the first instance we suggest you approach a member of staff you are comfortable talking to. Staff will listen to your concerns or complaint and advise you on the best way to resolve the issue. You will also be talked through your different options and about how you can have your complaint investigated. You will then be in a position to decide whether to take your complaint further.
Stage 2: Resolve the issue informally
You should, if possible, raise the complaint directly with the person responsible for the matter. If this is not practical you should ask to raise the matter with the appropriate Manager. You may wish to be accompanied by a friend when meeting staff to directly talk about a complaint. If possible a suitable solution will be agreed and implemented.
Stage 3: Follow our formal complaints process
If you are unhappy with the outcome of such an informal process, you may consider whether to raise the matter formally. Where complaints are formal then BAES will handle these within a reasonable timescale, keep you informed of progress and ensure a fair investigation. Our response will address all the points at issue and seek an appropriate solution.
A formal complaint should be made in writing and should include a description of what has happened with as many details as you can. Please inform staff if you need help with this. The written complaint may be submitted either via your centre on a Your Views feedback form or online at www.learnbaes.ac.uk
Alternatively you can use the Birmingham City Council Your Views process which is found online at www.birmingham.gov.uk/yourviews
You can be assured that it will be dealt with honestly, openly and in confidence.
If you prefer any information to be kept confidential, you should make this clear to the person to whom the complaint is made. Please be aware that in some circumstances it may not be possible for confidentiality to be maintained. You should also understand that in some circumstances confidentiality or anonymity may make it difficult for BAES to further your complaint.
Recording and monitoring of complaints
Formal complaints form part of BAES’s processes for monitoring and evaluating performance. Your complaint will be logged and outcomes of the complaint recorded. This includes the recording of protected characteristics in line with the Equality Act (2010) to help foster good relations and eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of age, disability, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and transgender.
Your feedback is really important to us
It’s always good to hear from you when things go right! However, it’s equally important for us to know when things haven't been so good.
If you are unhappy with any part of our service, or if anything is getting in the way of your learning we really do want to hear about it. There are a number of ways you can pass on your views to us.
Speak to a member of staff
You can do this in person or by calling 0121 303 4318. We will always listen to your views and if possible resolve any issues for you straight away. If the member of staff is unable to help you, they will pass on your comments straight away to some-one else who can.
Write it down
You can do this in a number of ways.
Pop down your thoughts on one of our Your Views postcards and drop it in your centre’s Your Views postbox. The Centre Manager will be able to decide the best way to deal with this information.Please note: These boxes are emptied weekly.
If you prefer you can ask for a Your Views feedback form or fill in the online version below.
Alternatively you can fill in a Birmingham City Council feedback form at www.birmingham.gov.uk/yourviews
You can find out more information about our Complaints procedure here or ask a member of staff for a copy of our InfoSheet.