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Further Education

We offer a small selection of Further Education courses that give you an overview of a particular area of interest and for you to develop a wide set of skills, knowledge and experience that can be used for further training and development in a range of industries. You can progress from these qualifications with the assurance that they have given you the knowledge and the skills set you need to progress with your study or career. 

Accessible study materials and dedicated tutor instruction means that on pour Further Education courses, you will have the flexibility to study the knowledge based assessments online rather than attending classroom based lessons. 

Take a look at the table below to see what's currently on offer. Whatever your circumstances, gain a recognised and respected qualification and achieve your goals with Learning & Skills Darlington.

Course title Level Qualification How is this course accessed?
Early Years Practitioner (RQF) 2 Diploma Online/Classroom/Workplace
Diploma in Care 2 Diploma Online/Classroom/Workplace
Award in Education and Training (AET - formerly PTTLS) 3 Award Classroom based
Healthcare Support 3 Diploma Online/Classroom/Workplace
Children and Young People's Workforce 3 Diploma Online/Classroom/Workplace
Early Years Educator 3 Diploma Online/Classroom/Workplace
Understanding Autism 3 Certificate Online/Classroom/Workplace
Understanding the Principles of Dementia Care  3 Certificate Online/Classroom/Workplace
Assessing Vocational Achievement (AVA - formerly TAQA) 3 Certificate Online/Classroom/Workplace
Adult Care 4 Diploma Online/Classroom/Workplace

​Further Education courses

We also offer shorter Distance Learning (DL) Level 2 courses in similar areas.

Case Study - Clare Hardie


Clare Hardie

I started as a Support Worker in 2010. My employer put me through my L2 Adult Social Care Qualification. I was quickly promoted to a keyworker / senior support worker. I stayed with this company for 7 years but found there was no real opportunity for me to excel or be promoted further so I started to seek out a new employer that would encourage my development and sought out opportunity to achieve my L3 Adult Care Qualification.

I enjoyed the support worker role, but I knew I wanted to do more. I knew I did not want to be a service manager so was unsure with the L3 what other opportunities it could give me. I was concerned that I would have to apply for an advanced student learner loan to cover the costs and that paying this back would be arduous.

I did not enjoy school and so did not do well in my GCSEs. I decided to do my Maths and English qualifications with the Learning & Skills Service first. Although apprehensive due to my Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and returning to these subjects again in my mid-30s, I was encouraged by tutors and supported at every stage. I enjoyed learning and meeting people from all different backgrounds and ages.

When I had my Maths and English, I knew I had to keep going to further myself and met with Michaela Peacock. We spoke about my history and that I knew I wanted to do more than Support Work. Michaela helped me to be sure that holding my L3 Adult Care Diploma would allow me to look at other areas of care work such as Advocacy and Counselling, not just continuing into Management.

I found that I enjoy learning now and I have continued to seek out other training courses with Learning & Skills and other providers. I found that the doubts I once had in myself have since almost gone. I found that attending the centre at least once a week helped me to stay on track and get through the course.

I cannot thank Michaela Peacock enough for all the kindness, understanding, reassurance, support and laughs to help get me through the course. Michaela was always professional, approachable and went above and beyond to advise me where to look or what I needed to do to meet the criteria to achieve my goal. I now have now career goals and am working towards them with a more positive frame of mind.

If I had not participated in the course, I know I would have either stayed as a support worker or reached burn out and have left the care sector completely. I would likely have returned to previous occupations in the leisure sector.

Following my course, I have recently started my L3 Education and Training Diploma. This will qualify me to progress in teaching/training roles in a wide range of organisations. Due to my work in Care I intend to deliver training to others and work as an assessor and eventually achieve my Level 5 in Education and Training and teach Adult Care.

Learning & Skills has helped me a lot. I will continue to access the courses to help me to continue onwards. Michaela, my tutor, is still there with advice if I have the odd question. Michaela had every faith in me even when I was stressed working, trying to do the course and keep focused. Michaela is the tutor I wish I had years ago but I'm so glad she was and still is there. Thank you.

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