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Financial support for adult learners

Discretionary Learner Support Fund

If you're unemployed or on a low income and would like to sign up for a Skills and Qualifications course, you can apply for financial support from the Discretionary Learner Support Fund, or the Advanced Learning Loan Bursary which is only available if you are taking out an Advanced Learning Loan for your course fees.

To apply for this support you must:

  • Be joining an accredited course run by Norfolk Community Learning Services (one leading to a qualification) 
  • Be unemployed or receiving a gross annual income below £25,000
  • Not be in full time education elsewhere

How the funding can help you:

  • Help with the cost of travel to and from your classes
  • Help with the cost of essential course materials
  • Payment for Ofsted registered childcare while you attend your classes (This is for applicants aged 20+ only. If you are aged 19 we can help you apply for Care to Learn funding.)
  • Help towards the cost of course fees if a fee concession does not apply

If you've chosen a course and are ready to apply for funding you can download an application form. The application process is the same for whichever fund applies to you.

Or you can contact our Learner Support Fund Co-ordinator on 01603 306551 or by email at

Advanced Learning Loan

An Advanced Learning Loan is only available for courses that are Level 3 or above and isn’t like other loans because:

  • It doesn’t have to be paid back until you are earning more than £25,000 a year
  • Repayments are linked to how much you earn, not how much you borrow
  • It won’t affect your credit rating
  • Your current credit rating will not be taken into account when applying for the loan

Applying for the loan does not involve a credit check and there is no upper age limit. It doesn’t matter what your household income is or if you are in receipt of benefits, you could still get a loan.

Interest is applied to your loan as soon as payments to Norfolk Community Learning Services begin. Please see the Advanced Learning Loan website for current rates of interest. The interest applies to the loan, not your monthly repayments. After you finish your course, the interest will depend on your income. The interest on your loan will change, but the rate of repayment stays the same.

For more information visit or speak to our Learner Support Fund Co-ordinator on 01603 306551 or by email at

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