Starting with few qualifications

Learning in the Community

Community or Adult Learning is for adults with few or no qualifications. Courses help learners to build confidence and acquire new skills, which may help them to progress into work and/or to support them in their wider roles as parents and community members.  Many courses are free for everyone; other courses may be free for those on means-tested benefits or a low income, but check with your local provider.  

Community Learning  offer courses in a wide range of subjects, such as IT, English, maths, ESOL, crafts, family learning in schools, employability, health and wellbeing, and confidence building.

Courses are held in your local community, such as libraries, community centres and schools. They are offered in small groups, in a supportive setting with experienced tutors. Reasonable adjustments such as resources and venue access can be made to meet specific needs wherever possible.

Community Learning is funded externally and inspected by Ofsted.  They work in partnership with other local organisations.    


Each year the Festival of Learning Campaign celebrates and issues awards to Adult Learners for their inspirational achievements.  They often start their journeys in community settings, such as Joanne Matthews who received the Return to Learning Award 2022. She left school with no qualifications having faced multiple personal barriers - years later she embarked on a series of courses in her local community to end up working in mental health as a support worker. 

Click here for her full story or watch her short video opposite.

South Gloucestershire Community Learning

This is one such organisation, based within the Council, but forming part of a wider Consortium with Bristol and North Somerset. View the website for a list of courses starting September 2022, many of which are free. 

The prospectus includes a full programme of flexible learning options including English, maths, wellbeing and digital courses.  You can contact them by phone 01454 864613 or email community.learning@southglos.gov.uk for further information.

For similar community adult classes in other parts of the country, please refer to the Providers' section; your local Council or Adult Learning Services; or via the gov.uk website

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