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Student guide

We work in partnership with specially chosen providers to deliver courses across the borough. Working together we ensure your learning experience is high quality, in a safe place, and that you receive the support and guidance needed to achieve your goals.

Our courses are delivered by your provider, on behalf of Merton Adult Learning. This is great because you have the benefit of a range of courses available to you, being delivered by experienced providers, whilst being underpinned by the quality assurance of Merton Adult Learning.

Our Merton Adult Learning strategy shows that we are committed to providing high quality, sustainable adult learning in order to improve the social, economic, health and wellbeing of our residents. We deliver this through a strategic approach; commissioning provision to the best providers in the field and by developing sophisticated evidence based approaches to what we deliver.

We actively welcome and celebrate equality and diversity and value the benefits that it brings to us, and the wider community. Our strong belief in motivating and empowering individuals to continue learning throughout their lives is supported by the variety of our courses which meet the diverse needs of our community.

When you join your class you will receive an induction to your course and be given information on the venue you attend, health and safety, safeguarding and learner support details.

This guide provides you with important information about studying with us, including what we expect of you, and what you can expect from us. Your tutor is on hand to help and guide you with any questions you may have.

Now that you have taken this step into learning, we want you to enjoy your course, fully participate and embrace the work involved in gaining your new skill.

What you can expect as a learner

We will:

  • Ensure you have a friendly and supportive place to learn
  • Provide suitably qualified and experienced tutors to deliver high quality teaching that enables you to achieve your goals
  • Risk assess our learning venues to ensure a safe and inclusive place for you to learn in, and inform you on how you can stay safe and who to contact if you have any concerns
  • Take positive action to promote equality and diversity
  • Assess your learning needs, give you clear and impartial advice about which course is best for you, agree your learning goals, track your progress and give you feedback on the work you have done
  • Provide help with employment and careers advice
  • Provide extra support if you need it to achieve your learning goals
  • Ensure you receive information on how you can progress with your learning or next steps
  • Ask you for feedback on your course and your learning experience
  • Respond to any feedback, suggestions or complaints you may have
  • Contact you after your course to find out what you have moved on to

What we expect from you as a learner

We ask that you:

  • Follow the health & safety and safeguarding guidelines for where your learning takes place
  • Attend your classes and get there on time as missing classes can lead to non-achievement and arriving late can disrupt the session
  • Turn off your phone while you are in class
  • Contact your course provider if you are unable to make a class or have decided to withdraw from your course
  • Let your course provider know if you see something that may be a risk or cause harm to you or someone else
  • Work towards achieving your learning goals, and ask your tutor for support if you need it
  • Complete all work to the best of your ability, and within deadlines set by your tutor
  • Attend your exam, and abide by the examination rules
  • Talk to your tutor about your progress throughout your course
  • Treat other learners and staff with respect, and do not accept or take part in any form of discrimination, bullying, harassment, hate crime or extremism
  • Use all internet and technology media safely and appropriately
  • Complete an evaluation of your course

If you need to report a safeguarding incident, please contact the Designated Person at your provider.

Where your learning takes place online, we will inform you of any additional guidance for taking part in remote learning

During your learning

When you start your course, your tutor will go through an induction, and let you know what you can expect from the venue and the facilities available at the place where you study.

You will complete an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which will show what you will be aiming to achieve, and you will add your own personal goals you want to achieve. Throughout the course, the tutor will give you feedback and progress updates. These will be logged on your ILP.

If you find you are experiencing difficulties with your study, let your tutor know and they will arrange for someone to discuss learning support options with you.

You will be asked to complete an evaluation of your course, and a learner survey. The information given in these helps us to review and enhance the service we provide.

Attendance

It's important that you attend all of your classes and that you arrive on time. We have found that learners who miss classes and/or arrive late find it hard to achieve their goals. Late arrivals can disrupt classes and make it hard for other learners to keep focus.

Poor attendance to classes can also lead to courses being withdrawn, and no longer being available to learners. If you are unable to attend your class due to illness or another essential reason, you must inform your provider by phoning the contact number they give you.

We expect you to catch up on work you have missed, and you will need to make arrangements with your tutor to do this.

If you miss too many classes, you will be withdrawn from your course and you will not be able to continue with your study.

If you feel the course isn't meeting your needs, or if you feel you need support, please let your tutor or the learning support advisor at your provider know so they can help you.

Keeping safe

Your safety is important to us, and Merton Adult Learning works closely with our providers to ensure they have the best procedures in place to provide you with information and to keep you safe.

Safeguarding – We firmly believe that it is always unacceptable for any learner or staff member to encounter and experience abuse or harm of any sort. Harm or abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or financial, and can include bullying, including online bullying, discrimination, grooming, substance abuse, domestic abuse, and so called honour based violence.

If you are concerned in any way about the safety or wellbeing of yourself, or someone else, you can report this to the Designated Person at your provider.

Preventing extremism and radicalisation – We have a role to play in safeguarding learners from being drawn into extremist behaviour and radicalisation. Our providers will help you to understand how to keep safe, the risks posed by extremism and radicalisation, and explain the Fundamental British Values of:

  • Democracy
  • The Rule of Law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect, and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

Any concerns regarding extremism, radicalisation or exploitation should be immediately referred to the Designated Safeguarding Officer at your provider.

On-line safety – You will use a range of technology on a daily basis to help you with your study, work, leisure and more. It is important to understand how to stay safe while you are using and accessing information, and the risks that can be involved in using technology.

Your provider will help guide you on how to stay safe when using technology and let you know what their policy is for E-safety. You can also find helpful information and advice here:

To help with staying safe on-line, you can:

  • Use the internet and social media responsibly
  • Avoid sharing personal information
  • Use strong passwords and don't share your passwords
  • Report concerns about extremist or inappropriate material

When using technology at your provider venues, do not:

  • Access, display or download any offensive or extremist material
  • Use or display offensive or abusive language
  • Use unauthorised material

At the end of your course

Your tutor will advise you of the next steps you can take in your learning. You may decide to continue with another level of the same course, try something new, start a job, or apply for a new job or a better job if you're already working.

Your provider will contact you to find out what you have decided to do.

For more course opportunities please see courses for adults

Compliments, suggestions and complaints

Have a suggestion? Wish to pay a compliment? Not happy?

We make every effort to ensure that your time spent on your course is both enjoyable and fulfilling but should you wish to make a complaint, compliment or suggestion, then please follow your providers compliment / complaint process.

You should receive details of how to make a compliment / complaint when you start your course.

If your complaint is not resolved by your provider, you can contact Merton Adult Learning at adultlearning@merton.gov.uk

Learner view

Your feedback is important to us, and your provider will let you know how you can give them your view on the teaching and learning experience while you're studying with them.

This may include attending a group meeting or by completing an evaluation or satisfaction survey. You may also be asked for your feedback by an observer during your lesson.

During an Ofsted inspection, you will be asked to complete the Ofsted Learner View survey through a link provided at the time.

Data protection and how we use your personal information

Your information may be shared with third parties for education, training, employment and well-being related purposes, including for research. This will only take place where the law allows it and the sharing is in compliance with the data protection legislation. (Further details can be found on your enrolment form).

You can agree to be contacted for other purposes by ticking a box on your enrolment form.

London Borough of Merton is also registered under the relevant protection legislation. The information supplied on your enrolment form will be retained and used by Merton Adult Learning and your provider with whom you study.

Funding

Merton Adult Learning receives funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver the courses we run through our providers. To claim this funding, we collect information from you on your enrolment form, individual learning plans, surveys and your destination outcomes.

Unique Learner Number

It is a requirement that every learner must be given a Unique Learner Number (ULN). This will be given when you enrol on an Adult Learning course. This will allow you to track your achievements at any college or centre. Please keep this information safe.