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Flexible learning

There are a few free distance learning courses offered through Gateshead Council by Learning Curve to it's Foster Carers. You do not need to have any formal qualifications in order to undertake any of these courses but you will need to demonstrate a commitment of approximately 10-30 hours to study time and motivation to work through the specially prepared materials. It takes about 10-12 weeks to complete the programme, you do not have to complete courses which are related to your role, however you would be expected to complete this in your own time.  

These are some of the courses that can be accessed for free, providing you meet the eligibility criteria detailed below:

Column 1Column 2 *
Adult Social CareAdverse Childhood Experiences
Business AdministrationBehaviour That Challenges 
Business Start-UpCaring for Children and Young People 
Business Improvement TechniquesChildren and Young Peoples Mental Health 
Care PlanningNutrition and Health 
Common Health ConditionsSafeguarding and Prevent 
Counselling SkillsSpecific Learning Difficulties 
Customer Service for Hospitality / in CareUnderstanding Autism
Dementia Care 
Dignity and Safeguarding 
End of Life Care 
Falls Prevention Awareness 
Information Advice or Guidance 
Lean Organisation Management Techniques 
Mental Health Awareness 
Safe Handling of Medication 
Team Leading 
Warehousing and Storage 

A full list of the courses can be found at Courses for Learners | Learning Curve Group (opens new window)

* Any of the courses in Column 2 above will count as two of your annual training course requirements.  Please send a copy of your certificate to to have your training record updated.  


The Adult Education Budget (AEB) which is used to fund these qualifications is released on 1 August each year and is allocated on a geographical basis. Learning Curve will use your home postcode to verify whether or not funding is available in your area. Obviously the later you enrol after the 1 August the greater the likelihood that funding has been utilised elsewhere. If you have tried online enrolment prior to 1 August and received notification that funding is not available in your area, this may be why - Learning Curve recommend you try again after 1 August.

Eligibility criteria

  • aged 19 or over 
  • must live in England
  • lived in the EU for 3 consecutive years
  • you must not have completed any part of the requested qualification previously
  • prior qualifications may effect eligibility
  • a withdrawal fee of a maximum of £125 is charged for learners that enrol onto a course and do not complete.
  • if you have previously completed one of our Flexible Learning Qualifications you can not be enrolled onto the same Qualification again.
  • if a learner is aged 19 to 23 and wishes to sign up to a VRQ qualification, they must already have a level 2 qualification.


At present enrolment for the programmes is via one of two routes:-

Electronically through the following link Learning Curve online enrolment (opens new window). Please read the first page carefully and have your documentation to hand when completing the information. You will then be set up with an E-Assessor on-line portal account where you will complete and record your learning.  Once enrolled you can alternatively contact Learning Curve and ask for a workbook to complete the qualification.  If you enrol online please inform e-mail Foster Carer Training.

If anyone would like to complete one of these courses but does not want or can not enrol online, we are hoping to organise face to face inductions session at Dryden in September.  Please e-mail Foster Carer Training indicating which course you would like to undertake and we will be in contact once dates/times for the induction have been organised.

As part of the funding criteria enrolment (both online and in person) includes a basic maths and english assessment - these are not tests and there is no pass or fail.

Course delivery and assessment

The courses are easily accessible within the the home or workplace through an online portal or paper based workbook, meaning you do not attend a classroom but still receive high-quality support throughout your learning journey.

Tutor support

You will have access to a tutor from the training provider who will support you throughout the programme. You will be able to contact your tutor for help, support and guidance at any stage of the course. Your tutor will provide you with detailed feedback on your work.


  • achieve a nationally recognised qualification
  • further your personal and professional development
  • gain positive working relationships
  • improve your skills in service delivery
  • increase service standards
  • learn at a time that suits you without the need to attend college

Should you have any questions please e-mail Foster Carer Training