Enrolment & Course Fees

Applying for a course, booking your assessment and enrolment

Once you have identified a course you would like to apply for, please click the button below and complete the online booking form. This will provide us with the basic information we need to determine whether you are eligible for any course discounts.

Once we have received your booking form, one of the team will get in touch with you to either book an initial assessment, if your chosen course requires one, or to process your enrolment and any associated course fees.

If you are eligible for course fee discounts or exemptions, we may need to ask you for further information and evidence. This is so that we can prove to the Department for Education, on your behalf, that you are eligible for funding.

Enrolment can be done face to face at our main centre on 330 Northumberland Avenue, or done online. If we process your enrolment online, we will need you to submit electronic copies of evidence via email or file sharing. We will also need an electronic signature on your learning agreement. Our friendly team will walk you through the process and we can provide support at every step of the way.

Payment of any course fees can be made over the phone or in person at one of our centres. We are currently working on offering all of our learners a wholly digital service where both enrolment and payment of fees will be done online. We hope to launch this service soon.

Learner Support Fund

New Directions College is able to provide financial support for individuals enrolled on a course that is either fully or part funded by the ESFA ( Education and Skills funding agency), through our Learner Support Fund. This fund is available for individuals experiencing financial hardship or another barrier to learning. Unfortunately this fund is not available to Apprentices. Each application is individually assessed and must meet specific eligibility criteria to be successful. If you require support to complete your application, you can contact us on 0345 842 0012 or email: newdirections@reading.gov.uk

The Learner Support Fund may be able to provide the following support for eligible learners:

• Help with childcare costs (you must be age 20+)
• Help with course fees
• Help with the cost of books, kit & equipment, including digital
• Help with travel expenses

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

• Unemployed
• In receipt of pension credit
• In receipt of a means tested benefit e.g. universal credit, JSA, ESA, Income support
• From a low-income household – less than £20,319 per year
• Have a learning disability/difficulty
• Household income adversely affected by COVID 19

When applying you must provide the following evidence: (Photographs including screenshots are acceptable)

  1. Evidence of the benefit you receive
  2. Evidence of low-household income, less than £20,319 – last 3 pay slips, bank statement (dated within last 3 months), P60
  3. A supporting statement as to why you are applying to the fund
  4. A self declaration that your household income has been adversely affected by COVID 19

If you are aged 20+ and live within an eligible postcode you will automatically be eligible for help towards childcare. If you don’t live within an eligible postcode area then we will require evidence of your household income to demonstrate you have financial hardship and require support. If you are 19, you should apply for help with childcare costs through the Care to Learn Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn

Please complete this online application form to be considered for support through our Learner Support Fund. Your application will be assessed on receipt and we will contact you if we require any additional information or evidence. We aim to assess each application as quickly as possible and will contact you within 5 working days with a provisional outcome.

Initial Assessments

Initial assessments are required for some of our accredited courses. If you are applying to study English, ESOL or mathematics, you will be asked to take an online assessment first. These assessments will look at literacy (reading, writing, speaking & listening) and numeracy (maths). This will help us to determine the right course and level for you. We will then be able to provide you with advice and guidance about available course dates.

Some of our Digital Skills and Skills for Work courses will also require an initial assessment. These assessments will look at your current knowledge and skills in literacy and numeracy but may also scan your level of skill within a specific occupational area. This again will help us to identify your strengths and key areas for development. The results will help inform your Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and your targets and goals for learning.

These initial assessments are not exams and will be conducted in a relaxed environment. You cannot pass or fail them, they are a standard set of assessment questions that will help determine the level of your current skill and knowledge. The outcome of the assessment will be discussed between you and the course Leader.

Course Fees

Annually, the Department for Education (DfE), through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) contracts with New Directions College to deliver a range of adult and community learning opportunities and issues an annual funding grant to support that delivery. 

The grant funding is not intended to fully cover delivery costs and except for provision which is available through the Legal Entitlement (English, Maths, Digital and some L2/L3 vocational qualifications) and Community Learning delivery, the ESFA expects the service to charge course fees to learners to contribute towards the cost of delivery. 

When you apply to study with us, we will ask you for personal information that will help us to determine your funding eligibility. We will then be able to tell you whether you need to pay a fee or not.

The type of information we need to know is:

  • Your age and residency status:
    • You must be over the age of 19 on the 31st August of the academic year you are studying in;
    • You must live and be resident in an area of England that is outside of a ‘devolved authority’ area* (see detailed list below)
    • You must be a citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or other countries determined within the EEA, including those with bilateral agreements such as Switzerland, or have settled status or the Right of Abode in the UK, and;
    • have been ordinarily resident in the EEA or other countries determined within the EEA, including those with bilateral agreements such as Switzerland, for at least the previous 3 years on the first day of learning.

  • Your employment status: If you are employed, we will ask you to confirm your salary. If you earn a ‘low wage’ as determined by the Government (currently £20,319 PA) your course may be free.
  • Pre-existing qualifications
  • The course and qualification you plan to apply for

Once we have assessed your details and considered the type of course you are applying for, we will let you know which funding category applies to you. There are three categories of funding available for learners:

  1. Full Funding (100%) – the Government will pay the whole course fee.
  2. Co- Funding (50%) – where 50% of course fees will be met by the Government and the other 50% plus a registration fee is due from the Learner/Sponsor.
  3. No Funding/Overseas Learners (0%) – the learner or sponsor will need to pay the course fee in full.
  4. Advanced Learning Loan – For some L3 courses, some learners may be eligible to apply for an advanced learning loan to pay for the course fee. The loan is repayable to the Student Loans Company by the learner over an agreed period of time.

How to pay for your course

All fees must be paid in advance unless:

  • An instalment agreement has been authorised and implemented; or
  • Confirmation of a loan agreement is in place with the Student Loans Company; or
  • A purchase order for the training fees has been received from an employer or government agency

New Directions College operates a cashless payment system and no longer accepts cash or cheques as a method of payment. Our preferred methods of Payment are by debit card or credit card or standing orders where appropriate. 

Receipts will be issued to the registered learner with whom the contract for service provision has been made unless an employer or other organisation is sponsoring an enrolment, in which case a receipt will be issued on receipt of payment accordingly.  Payment will be credited to the learner’s account even if actual payment has been made by a third party on behalf of the learner.

Standing orders

For courses lasting 10 weeks or more and costing over £80.00, payment by Standing order is available. 50% of the course fee will need to be paid on enrolment with the remaining amount divided over 4 payments.  It is the learner’s responsibility to set up the standing order and ensure payments are made to clear the outstanding balance before the date at which the course finishes.  Failure to do so will result in the enrolment being cancelled and the learner remaining liable for the outstanding debt.  Learners may be excluded for non-payment of fees.  New Directions College reserves the right to refuse this payment option in all cases.

Financial Support

New Directions College has an additional learning support scheme which offers financial support to learners to pay for their course fees if they can evidence financial hardship. Learners must meet basic residency criteria and be eligible for funding in order to apply for financial support. Please see information above. Please contact the College for more information or see information on our Additional Learner Support Policy.

Refund of fees

Fees are not refunded unless there is a statutory requirement to do so or unless New Directions College cancels the course.   There is no obligation for the College to refund course fees unless the service is not provided with reasonable care and skill. The refund policy, which does not affect statutory rights, is as follows:

Automatic full refund of inclusive course fee for all:

  • Courses cancelled by New Directions College prior to their start date
  • Courses cancelled by New Directions College on the day the course is due to start or if there are insufficient enrolments two weeks after the course start date.
  • Learner cancellations, notified in writing within 14 working days of the initial booking and prior to attending the course
  • An overcharge in error 
  • Transfer to a lower priced course following cancellation of a course by New Directions College. 

Pro rata refund of course fee may be claimed for:

  • Transfers to a lower priced course following cancellation of a course by New Directions College.
  • Permanent withdrawal from a course by a learner due solely to a long-term new medical condition of the learner which prevents attendance on the course, or of a person for whom the learner has a permanent care responsibility, reported in writing and supported by the written advice of a qualified medical practitioner.
  • The administration fee of £30/£15 will be retained on all refunds.

Refunds for original payments made by credit/debit card must be refunded onto the original card.  As card details are not stored, the cardholder will be required to present the card or card details again before the refund can be processed.

All refunds will be made to the registered learner unless (a) the registered learner provides written authorisation to make a payment to a third party or (b) the enrolment is being sponsored by an employer or similar organisation

Payments made by third parties on behalf of a learner form a contract between the registered learner and the third party.  If a refund is due to a learner and a third party (other than an employer or other organisation sponsor) who made the original payment on the learner’s behalf, the refund will still be made to the registered learner.  If the original third-party payment was made by credit/debit card the cardholder will need to present the card or card details again and the registered learner will need to sign to confirm payment can be refunded to the third party. The decision of the Principal or delegated Officer is final. 

Advanced Learning Loan

Some L3 courses are free of charge for learners. However, some are not funded and a fee would need to be paid. For specific L3 courses, some learners may be eligible to apply for an advanced learning loan to pay for the course fee. The loan is repayable to the student loans company by the learner over an agreed period of time.

Please speak to us if you would like to apply for an advanced learning loan. We can guide you through the application process and provide you with key information about your course. You will need this to make an application.

You can find out more information about an advanced learning loan by visiting the Gov.uk website here.

Cancellations and Withdrawals

Withdrawal is the complete termination of a learner’s registration in both the programme of study and all units associated with it.

Withdrawal by a learner

If a learner is planning to withdraw from a course at New Directions College, the learner must:

  • Make an appointment with the curriculum manager to explain the reasons and to let them know what they are planning to do next. If the learner cannot withdraw in person, they should telephone or email the relevant Curriculum Manager, supplying the following details: Name, date of birth, date of withdrawal, reason for leaving and what they will be doing next (e.g Work, another course)
  • Pay any outstanding fees (including monies still due under standing order) and;
  • Return any New Directions College property.

Learners on Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit and who are actively seeking work must also:

Complete a self-declaration letter indicating that the reason for withdrawing is due to obtaining employment that prevents them from continuing the course.  Failure to do so may affect their benefits.

Learners who have a Student Loan must: 

Complete the Student Loans Company Withdrawal Form.  Failure to do so may mean that the loan liability will continue to increase. 

Withdrawals of a course offer/place by New Directions College 

Absence – Automatic withdrawal of a learner by New Directions College: 

New Directions College will automatically withdraw a learner from a course because of non-attendance or non-participation of any element of their agreed learning plan after four consecutive weeks of absence from planned sessions of their course and no communication.  If a learner knows of a reason why they are going to be absent for more than four weeks, they must send information to the respective Curriculum Manager in writing explaining why they are going to be absent, and the timeframe of this absence.  New Directions College reserves the right to withdraw the learner after four weeks absence if we are not satisfied that the learner is going to genuinely return to their programme of learning and any outstanding fees will be pursued if applicable. 

Behaviour – Automatic withdrawals by New Directions College due to violations of the Learner Code of Conduct .

New Directions College reserves the right to suspend or dismiss a learner from their programme of learning at any time during the course.  This may be initiated as a result of disciplinary issues, non-payment of tuition/fees, or incomplete admission/health records, or other situations where the learner code of conduct is broken.  The learner will receive confirmation of this in writing, and be told which set of administrative procedures apply, indicating that the learner may be withdrawn from their programme of study.  The learner may be pursued for any outstanding fees or costs incurred if applicable. 

*Devolved Authority Areas

In order to be eligible for funding, learners must live outside of the following devolved authority areas:

  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority
  • West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • West of England Combined Authority
  • Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
  • Sheffield City Region
  • North of Tyne Combined Authority
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority
  • Mayor of London