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Our Learner Handbook is now digital! Welcome to your course…

Dear Learner

Welcome to Skills & Learning.

We want your learning journey to be rewarding and enjoyable, inspiring you to take your skills to the next level.

To help you get the most out of your time with us, this digital handbook provides information on what you can expect from us and what we expect from you. We are committed to providing you with a high quality service in safe and friendly learning environments. We would like to know if your experience is good and we want to know if it is not, so that we can put things right. Please give us your feedback at every opportunity to help us develop our service.

By the end of your course you will be one of thousands of learners who have improved their confidence, skills and wellbeing or their employability prospects.

Enjoy your learning!

– Lesley Spain, Principal Learning Manager

Our Commitment to You

As a learner you can expect Skills & Learning to:

✓ Provide a welcoming and safe place to learn

✓ Provide a service that is professional, friendly and effective

✓ Offer information and advice about learning and progression pathways

✓ Provide experienced and suitably qualified tutors

✓ Listen to and act on your comments, compliments and concerns

Let us know if you are unable to attend by calling 01202 262300 or emailing

We are inspected by Ofsted who are always interested in your views about us. You are able to register your views with them by going to: and completing a short survey.


Your Commitment as a Learner

As a learner you will be expected to:

★ Treat everyone with respect and consideration at all times

★ Arrive on time and attend all sessions

★ Comply with our policies and procedures, including health and safety guidelines, as they are there to keep you safe whilst you learn with us

★ Be responsible for your own learning

★ Advise us if you have any special needs or require additional support to participate in a course

Please note: You may use your mobile phone for learning purposes with your tutors permission. You must not use your mobile to make or accept personal calls in class.

Be Safe

You have the right to be and feel safe where you learn. Your tutor will give you a health and safety induction at the start of your course.

Please read some of our safety expectations below.


If you have an accident, report it to your tutor who can contact a qualified first aider if necessary. Keep all gangways clear of bags and other belongings.

Fire and Emergencies

Take the fire drills seriously – this practice can save lives in an emergency. Never block fire doors and make sure you know how to raise the alarm, what it sounds like, where the fire exits are and where the assembly points are. If you are a wheelchair user or have mobility difficulties, we will develop a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) with you.

Computers and Online Safety

There can be serious risks with going online, Your tutor will advise you on how to stay safe online and the dangers of inappropriate use of social networking and other websites. Please read our e-safety guide for more information

Personal Safety

Learn to plan ahead and take practical steps to keep yourself safe. At the end of a class walk to bus stops and stations with other learners especially if your class finishes late. Get further information from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust at


You should only use materials and equipment recommended or approved by your tutor.


Other people should not threaten, hurt or abuse you in any way and you should respect others’ rights to safety and not threaten, hurt or abuse them in any way.

Marking Guidelines

At Skills & Learning we are committed to helping you improve and develop the skills you need in employment and everyday life. Depending on the course you are taking and you personal goals, one of the ways that we will do this is to mark your work and provide you with feedback in a way that is appropriate and relevant to you. These codes may be used by your tutor or assessor to give you feedback on your written work.

Well done / good point / you have made good progress
capMisuse of capital letter / capital letter missing
^Word(s) missing from the sentence
spThere is a spelling error
pThere is a punctuation error or punctuation is missing
grThere is a grammatical error – e.g error in tense used, order of words or word ending
//Error with paragraphing – you need to start a new paragraph / divide your paragraph
incIncomplete sentence / sentence fragment
vocVocabulary – wrong word used or style of writing not fit for purpose (too formal or informal)
??Check and rewrite – meaning is unclear / writing lacks coherency
RepRepetition – this point has already been made


▶  All work that you do needs to be produced to a high standard.

▶  Always check and proofread your work before you hand it in, even if it is word processed.  A spellchecker will not pick up all errors.

▶  Use a dictionary, BKSB resources and recommended websites to develop your skills

▶  If you do not understand something please ask! We are here to help you learn.

Online Learning and Support Materials

Online learning and support materials for your course will be available through a Microsoft Office 365 account that you will be allocated when your course starts.

Please be aware that if you have difficulties with your Office 365 account during your time learning with us support can be found by clicking here. 

Nearly all our courses have online resources to support and enhance your learning and some courses may have all or some content delivered online. If you are studying from home please go to our policies page. to find out our guidelines on how to work safely and considerately online whilst at home.

If you feel you need further support accessing your Office 365 account please email

About Us

How Skills & Learning is funded

Most courses we offer are either fully funded or partially funded (reduced fee payable) by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Skills & Learning has a duty to ensure this funding is used responsibly to support learners who are committed to achieving. If you are on one of these courses staff at Skills & Learning will direct you to an ESFA /  ipsos-morti satisfaction survey between November and April, where you can give your feedback. We will also need feedback from you on the impact of your learning, for example, whether it led to you getting a job or improved your health and wellbeing. This information will be collected from you in your class or by online or telephone surveys.

Some of our courses are supported with funding from other sources, such as the European Social Fund. We also offer full cost courses, which are not supported with any external funding and the fees from theses must cover our costs.

How we use your data

Please click here to read our Privacy Notice.

Full details of The Learning Records Service – Privacy Notice, and how the information disclosed to us is used is available at your local centre. It can also be found at or by phoning the Learning Records Service’s Customer helpline on 0845 602 2589.

Unspent Criminal Convictions

If you have an unspent criminal conviction, please see our Policy on the Disclosure of Unspent Conviction here and complete the confidential online form.

Skills & Learning are keen to support learners to help them gain new knowledge and skills. You must tell us if you have an unspent criminal conviction before you enrol on a course. We will discuss your conviction with you to assess any risk to other learners, staff or to you. We will then decide if you can join your chosen course, based on the risk and nature of your conviction. Failure to disclose an unspent conviction when you apply may result in you being asked to leave your course.


Skills and Learning have centres across Dorset including Blandford, Bournemouth, Dorchester, Ferndown, Poole Dolphin Centre and Weymouth. For more information about our centres click here.