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Paying for your programme


Some of our programmes are free. For others you will need to pay.

Many of the costs of learning courses are covered by a grant to Gateshead Council from external agencies. The level of support varies according to the course. This explains why some have no charge and why there is a charge for others.

Our charges are explained below.

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Free courses

These courses are free for everyone:

  • 'Skills for Jobs' courses for the unemployed
  • 'Family Learning' courses
  • 'Skills for Life' literacy and numeracy courses
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Fees policy for externally funded courses

You may have to pay a fee for courses that are not in the categories above.

Full price
Payable if you are under 60 and do not qualify for a concession

Over-60s price
25% reduction if you are over 60 on the first day of the course 

100% concession:
No tuition fee to pay 

There is no fee to pay for a course where you meet one of the criteria below: 

  • You are 16-18 years old.
  • You are 19-23 years old and the course will be your first Full Level 2 qualification (fees will be charged at the normal adult rate for other courses unless you meet other criteria here).
  • You are 19-24 years old and the course will be your first Full Level 3 qualification (fees will be charged at the normal adult rate as above for any other courses).  
  • You are 19-23 years old and you do not already have a full-level 2 qualification and need to study an entry-level or level 1 qualification in order to progress to level 2
  • You are undertaking a learning aim below level 3 and are getting one of the active benefits specified in the list below and are undertaking skills training in order to help you into work or removes a barrier to getting you into work.
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit and you are unemployed
    • Employment and Support Allowance (Work-Related Activity Group)
      Please note that other benefits are not active so unfortunately do not automatically entitle you on their own to a 100% Concession.
  • You are undertaking a learning aim below level 3 and are not in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (WRAG) but you are unemployed and in receipt of another state benefit and will be studying for a learning aim that will help you enter employment. Please note that this eligibility is at the discretion of the provider.

There is no Skills Funding Agency funding available for learners aged 24 and over undertaking a non-Apprenticeship learning aim at level 3 or above. Learners must either take out a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan or fund the course privately.

If you do not fall into either of these categories and can’t afford to pay your course fees, then you can apply to our hardship funds for financial help. Speak to the enrolling officer at the centre or contact us on 0191 433 8516 for more information.

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Fees policy for non-funded courses

For courses where Gateshead Council receive no funding from external agencies, such as our 'Learning for Leisure' courses, the full cost of learning must be borne by the learner. Fees are determined by the actual cost of running the course, and these are based on a rate of £6.50 per hour.

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Getting a discount or concession

If you qualify for a discount or concession, you must bring evidence of this when you come to enrol, e.g. benefit book or proof of age

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Fee rates are based on a value of £2.75 per hour for learning at full price, or £2.10 per hour for those aged over 60. However actual course fees may be increased as required by actual delivery costs and are subject to review in year.

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Refund policy

A full refund will be offered if a course is cancelled before the first session, if for example when there are too few enrolments for the course to be cost effective. If a course closes after five weeks, a partial refund will be offered. Refunds will only be offered in other cases for medical or employment-related reasons. A doctor’s note or a letter from an employer will be needed as proof.

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What is included in the costs?

Published course fees cover the tuition costs of the course as well as your share of the cost of your accreditation and examination fees.

On certain courses additional equipment and materials may also apply. Any such additional costs will be explained at the time of enrolment and explained on course information sheets.

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Examination fees

Some of the cost of your examination and/or assessment is included in your course fee. However, if you do not sit the exam without good reason, we reserve the right to charge you for the examination/assessment cost in full. This will be made clear to you when your examination/assessment entry is being submitted.  A charge will also be made for any extra examination or assessment or resits.

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DBS checks

If your course involves your working with children or vulnerable adults, we will need to arrange for a police clearance check to be carried out. There may be a charge for this.

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 Additional Learning Support

We can sometimes access additional support for you depending on your course, if you have disabilities that need in-class support, or learning difficulties such as additional literacy, language or numeracy needs.

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Discretionary learner support

Depending on your circumstances and the course you are enrolled on, we often help with the cost of associated with your learning for example books, materials, and accredited childcare costs. 

If you are granted financial assistance but then decide to leave before the course ends, we will expect you to repay any moneys received.

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Occasionally we are successful in gaining project funding that allows us to reduce the cost of programmes, in this circumstance we will of course pass on the reduced cost to the learner, conversely we also run programmes that attract no subsidy and for these programmes we must apply a funding rate that allows full cost recovery.

Contact us

The Dryden Centre 
Evistones Road

0191 433 8646