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Frequently Asked Questions – Coronavirus 

During this difficult time we understand that many of you may have questions regarding your course or exam. We hope this page brings some clarity to what is an uncertain time for all. If your question has not been answered on this page please email our Customer Service Team,, so we can add the answer here for others who may have the same question. Thank you for your patience at this time.

Contacting Us


New Courses for September

Course Applications



Contacting Us

When will your phone lines re-open?

Our phone lines re-opened on 19 June.  They are likely to be very busy, so if you can, please email us instead,, or use the live chat facility on our website.

When will your centres re-open to the public?

Please click here for more information regarding our centres and opening times. There will be a queuing system in place to restrict numbers within the reception area.

How do I send copies of information you’ve requested regarding my income, etc.?

We are happy to accept scanned versions of documents or photographs of ID emailed to Please state clearly who you are, what you are sending and why. Please note that the facility to complete forms, provide ID and evidence will soon be available via our website.

Can I still access Skills & Learning support teams if the centres are closed?

Support teams will be working remotely wherever possible to continue to provide guidance to learners.  Please use the email address: for all queries. Our phone lines are now open, as of 19th June 2020, so please contact our Customer Service Team if you need to access support – 01202 262300.



What is Skills & Learning doing about Coronavirus?

For the safety of our learners and staff, we have suspended all our classroom and face to face teaching/services temporarily and will be moving learning online wherever possible.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19?

The dedicated website for Government advice regarding Coronavirus can be accessed here. 

The NHS also have a dedicated webpage to provide support and more information regarding COVID-19 and self-isolation. This can be accessed here.

New Courses for the Autumn 

Can I still enrol or apply for a course?

Yes, you can apply and enrol on any of our live courses here.

Are the courses in your brochure going to run as advertised?

We are working hard to run our courses as planned, including social distancing measures to ensure it’s safe.  It may be that some or all of the learning will be delivered online to restrict group sizes, however, if a course cannot run for any reason then if you paid a fee you will be fully refunded  – we’ll keep you informed about this.

I haven’t received a copy of your brochure, how do I get one?

An electronic version of our brochure is now available on our website here.  If you haven’t had one delivered by 13th July and you’d like to receive one through the post please email us,, including your name, address and postcode.

I am an existing learner, do I need to re-enrol?

If you’ve been in touch with your tutor during lockdown they will have informed you of the arrangements for re-enrolling.  

If you haven’t been able to continue with your learning during lockdown please email us,, with your name and details of the course that you’d like to continue with.

I'm a furloughed worker - can I still study a course?

Yes, furloughed workers are able to undertake training and studying during this time. To take a look at our full range of courses please click here.

Course Applicationsfor courses that require an online application form to be completed

How do I apply?

Please search for the course that you would like to apply for to complete your online application here.

Have you received my application?

You should receive an automatic email within 24 hours to confirm that your application has been received.  Please check your junk mail or spam folder as well as your inbox.  An email will also be sent if we need you to complete a further assessment or if we require any further information.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?

We aim to be in touch within 14 days.  Please check your junk mail or spam folder as well as your inbox. 

I’ve done a course with you before, do I still need to apply?

Yes please.  Where an application form is used to assess a learner’s suitability for a course, all learners need to complete the application irrespective of whether they’ve already applied or enrolled on a course with us (unless you’ve been advised by your existing Skills & Learning tutor that this is not necessary).  If you’ve previously submitted an application your basic details will already be filled in on your new application so the process won’t take as long.

I’ve tried to complete an application, but I’ve received an error message about a duplicate record. What do I need to do?

Please email us,, and we’ll get this resolved as quickly as possible so that you can complete your application.

I’m not very confident with using a computer, do you accept paper applications?

The course that you’re applying for includes an element of work that will need to be completed using a computer, so it’s important for us to ensure that you have the necessary skills.  If you feel that you need to brush up on your ICT skills please click here for more information on our ICT courses.


I took an exam with Skills & Learning before lockdown, but haven’t yet received my result, when will I get it?

You can check the latest information regarding results and resits on our exminations page here

I was due to take a Functional Skills or ESOL Skills for Life 4692 exam before 31 July 2020, what will happen now?

In order to fight the spread of Covid-19, and in line with the directive from the Secretary of State for Education, Ofqual has now announced that Functional Skills and ESOL Skills for Life 4692 learners due to complete their qualification between 20 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 should receive a Centre Assessed Grade (or calculated result) where there is sufficient evidence to support this approach.

At Skills & Learning we are currently identifying learners in scope for this approach and we are following the guidance issued by the Awarding Organisations to devise a fair and objective process to make our professional judgements.  We will be taking a holistic view across your whole course, using a range of permitted sources of evidence to calculate the result that we believe you would have achieved had your learning not been disrupted and had you taken your exams in Summer 2020. We are not able under any circumstances to discuss this process or your results with you as these are subject to moderation by our Awarding organisation.

If we are able to calculate a result for you, we will contact you and advise you that we have done this after the submission is complete.  Please note that we are only permitted to submit a centre assessed grade for learners who were due to take their exams between 20 March and 31 July and where we have valid and sufficient evidence to support our judgement.

If we do not have sufficient evidence to support you receiving a centre assessed result, or if you were due to take exams in the next academic year, then you will be given priority to return to classes in the Autumn term.  We expect results to be issued by the end of July 2020 so please contact us at that point if you wish to re-enrol.

I was due to take a GCSE exam, what happens now?

Ofqual has issued an official letter to GCSE & A-Level students regarding summer 2020 grading – to access this letter please click here

I was taking another type of qualification course, what happens now?

We will need to wait for clear guidance from the individual awarding organisations before being able to make any decisions about the process for calculating the award of specific qualifications.  We will need to be confident that we have enough evidence of a learner’s performance during their programme of study and we may require some further learning and assessment activities to support these decisions.  Our aim is therefore to continue delivering and supporting learning online/remotely wherever possible.  We will continue to prepare learners for re-joining classes and sitting formal exams and assessments later in the year, even if a grade/qualification is calculated through alternative means in the meantime.  We will prioritise learners who need a qualification outcome in order to take their next steps to minimise the impact of the current situation on positive progression.

How will I be notified of my exam result?

Results will be posted to you.  If you need to contact us to advise us of a new address please email us,

Can I just sit an exam with Skills & Learning as an external candidate rather than doing an exam as part of a course?

Unfortunately we don’t offer exams only; exams are only available as part of a course.

General Learning

I'm facing changes in my employment - how can you help me?

During these challenging times Skills & Learning is here to support you with many professional and personal development opportunities. If you are unsure of what to do next, the Next Steps team can help you. You can book a free 1:1 appointment with our Progression Officer, Ceira, who can help you with your changes in employment, applying for new jobs or provide free impartial information about learning opportunites near you. To book, or to find out more information, please click here.

We have created this guide to provide support and information for those facing changes to their employment.

How do I access Office 365 from Home?

We have developed a guide on how you can access your 365 account from home which you can access here.

I need help with my digital skills - where can I go?

We have a range of Computing courses at a range of levels should you wish to work on your digital skills, please click here for more information.

Alternatively the Bourne Digital project could help you with digital skills should you not wish to enrol on a course. They can support with problems accessing your emails, getting to grips with Office 365, helping to stay in contact with others, applying for jobs online and understanding how digital skills can help you stay mentally and physcially well.

Bourne Digital is a fully funded project (no cost to you) providing digital support to those with no or low digital skills. They are at the end of a phone Monday-Friday 9-5pm to support you.

Bourne Digital can support individuals living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole during these times of social isolation.

Getting in touch is very easy, just call 01202 677557 and one of our Mentors will call you back. Contact can be made via telephone calls, webinars and email communications within the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas. 

Bourne Digital is part of the Power Up initiative and is delivered by Ansbury Guidance in partnership with BCP Library Service, Skills & Learning, BCHA, Routes to Inclusion & West Howe Enterprises. It is an initiative by the Good Things Foundation with the financial support of J.P Morgan. You can find out more about the funded projects and keep up to date with all the latest news from the Power Up initiative by visiting

Please do not hesitate to contact us and for those that are interested, please contact 01202 677557 or email They look forward to hearing from you. 

How do I look after my mental wellbeing whilst studying/staying at home?

Staying at home can have an impact on our mental health and wellbeing. It is important that we take care of our mind as well as our body during this time. Every Mind Matters is an NHS campaign with some excellent tips on how to keep well during this time. For more information please click here. 

If you are studying at home be sure to: 

  • Have a separate workspace from where you sleep or relax – it’s all to easy to take a quick nap when your in areas you associate with sleep. 
  • Eat well, drink lots of water and get a good night’s sleep.  
  • Set yourself small goals so you have something to work towards, this will help motivate 

For more study tips here are some articles we found useful: 

Oxford Learning 


Learning something new can also support with your wellbeing if you are not already doing so. Why not take a look at our range of resources on our Keep Learning, Keep Well webpage here.

I'm an apprentice - will my learning be affected?

If you are a current apprentice, you may already be working from home.  If you do continue to work either in the workplace or at home, your apprenticeship study can continue with all your learning and support moving online. If you are currently unable to work due to your employer’s decision to suspend their operations, you may be placed on a break in study.  This will allow you to pick up your apprenticeship work and learning at a later date Please contact your apprenticeship tutor and let them know if you are currently unable to work either due to ill health or lockdown. 

Most end point assessment organisations are adapting their EPAs to enable online assessment.  Your tutor will guide you if you are near to Gateway or EPA and can take this online option.  

We are working with our apprenticeship tutors to move learning and reviews online where possible.  Furloughed apprentices and those working from home can continue with their training whilst away from the workplace. Please take a look at the guidance here and contact your apprenticeship tutor about your programme moving online.

Can I still complete my work experience/traineeship placement?

All work placements are suspended during the temporary social distancing period. If you are fit and well and over 18, you may wish to volunteer for the NHS during this time – click here to find out more.