Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that this page will answer questions that you have about studying with us. If you can’t find the answer to your question below, please contact us.

Questions relating to Booking a course

Visit our booking system at, where you can search for courses. To see the full details of any course, click on the course title in the search results.

Zoom details for online courses are sent by email automatically by our system around 24 hours before the start of the course, or soon after you book if you enrol after this time. You will only receive the Zoom details for your class once, at the start of the course, so please keep this email saved.

Please contact us to check that we have the correct date of birth registered on our system.

If you did a course with us before 2019 you will exist on our database, but won’t have an account for the online system. The system will say that it can’t reset your password as it can’t find a password to reset.

Please contact us and we will create an account for you.

When you make your enrolment, make sure you fill in the ‘Support Needs’ section by adding a new row and completing your details. If you would like to add any more details, or want to let us know about a support need after you have enrolled, you can contact us.

It is particularly important that you provide this information if you have a health need that your tutor will need to be aware of during the course; especially for courses such as our exercise programme.

Yes, carers can accompany individuals for free. Please let us know in advance, so that we can take this into account when calculating the number of people who fit in the classroom. Please note that carers who attend for free cannot take part in the course themselves – any carers who want to also take part whilst supporting will need to book a separate place on the course.

Yes, but please make sure that our team are aware of any support needs that you have whilst you are in the class.

Our funding rules stipulate that learners must be over the age of 19 before the start of a course, or 16 to access the Routes to Success programme.

However, in some situations we may allow young people who are over the age of 17 to join a leisure course, providing that they are accompanied by an adult. In these cases we will normally ask the young person to wait until a day or two before the course before we can confirm the enrolment, so that over 19s have priority as per our funding guidelines. There is no fee reduction available in these cases.

A course will be closed if it doesn’t have enough enrolments to be viable a week before the start date. In general, a course needs 8 enrolments to be viable.

We have two types of course: Flexible Learning (or rolling programmes) and courses with set start and end dates.

Flexible Learning and rolling programmes can be started at any time, subject to a pre-course assessment. These are usually Level 1 or 2 Digital Skills, English or maths courses.

Where a course has a set start and end date, you will get the best learning experience by attending the whole course. However, in most cases it is possible to join a course late as long as there is space available and the tutor agrees. For courses such as languages, our tutors will be happy to discuss the learning you have missed with you if you join after the start of the course.
Where a course has a set exam date, such as GCSEs, there will be a set date after which late entries cannot be accepted.

The venue for most courses is listed on the course information page of the booking system.

Flexible Learning courses take place in York Explore, Acomb Explore and Clifton Explore libraries, and Winterscale House.

Our courses take place in a wide range of venues which all have different access and parking arrangements. Many of our course venues are listed on the AccesssAble website, but please also feel free to contact us before you book a course to discuss your specific needs with our team.

The number of places available on a course is calculated based on the size of the classroom and/or the availability of the tools or materials needed to complete the course. This means that it is not normally possible to add a space, however we do keep waiting lists and can let you know if a space becomes available.

To join a waiting list either follow the enrolment process as normal (as the course is full the system will redirect you to the waiting list instead), or contact us and ask to join the waiting list.

You can apply for courses such as English, maths, digital skills and work based learning qualifications at any time in the year.

Enrolments for courses in our health, leisure, arts and languages programmes usually open in June (for Autumn courses) and December (for Spring courses). It is our policy to give learners who are progressing from term to term priority – in this case you will be able to enrol on your progression course from around two weeks before the end of your course.

Subscribers to our newsletter receive an email alert when new courses are available to book, and information will be shared on our social media feeds.

Your course guide will list the items that you need to bring to your first class, and this information will also be on your confirmation email. Your tutor may also email a reminder of this information shortly before the start of the course, particularly for art and craft courses where you may need more items.

Questions relating to Payments

Leisure courses: Some leisure courses qualify for a reduced fee option, usually for those receiving a State Pension and/or Means Tested Benefits. If this is an option it will be listed below the full fee on the online course description. Please see our full fee policy for details of which Means Tested Benefits qualify.

Qualifications: You may be eligible for a reduced price if you are any of the following:

  • unemployed
  • earning under £18,525 per year
  • claiming Universal Credit or some other Means Tested Benefits

For full details, please see our fee policy for accredited courses.

State Pension: A letter from the Pension Service stating that you are in receipt of State Pension. You should receive a letter confirming your pension status each year, usually in April. Once you have provided proof of your pension and this is recorded on our database, you will not need to re-send the evidence for future enrolments.

Other Means Tested Benefits: Either a screenshot of your Universal Credit portal showing the date, your name and the amount of UC you are receiving, or a letter from the DWP dated within 3 months of enrolling on the course, stating that you are receiving a benefit. For benefits that are reviewed on an annual basis, a document dated in the current financial year is required, normally sent in April.

Staff Discount: Your CYC Payroll number. (Please ensure you don’t send us a password protected payslip).

Unfortunately we are unable to reduce the cost of a course due to holiday or work arrangements. If you start the course with a free taster session we will deduct the cost of one session from the cost of the course. If there is a space left and you join the course part way through the cost will be reduced pro-rata, but please note that this is at the tutor’s discretion and isn’t always possible.

Unfortunately we can’t help with the cost of course materials if you are joining a health, leisure, arts or languages course.

If you are joining an accredited course please contact us about applying for the Discretionary Learner Support fund.

No – you need to pay for your course in order to complete your booking. Unfortunately we are unable to hold spaces on courses for any reason without a payment.

Questions relating to Exams

The assessment for each course depends on the level you are studying at and the exam board you are studying with. You will be given information about the assessment process when you start your course.

You will be given information about how you will receive your results when you sit your exam. Please look out for this and make a note.

As a guide:

  • Students sitting digital exams will often receive their results instantly
  • Students sitting Functional Skills exams will be contacted by the exams team or their tutor around 6 weeks after the exam
  • Students sitting GCSE exams will receive their results on GCSE results day (usually the second Thursday in August).

Unfortunately we cannot currently register private exam candidates.

Questions relating to Curriculum Areas

  • The CPCAB website states that it may be possible to study their courses as distance learning. Is this possible for this course?
    • We have an opportunity to study for a Level 2 Certificate online as well as in face to face sessions. Level 3 and Level 4 courses both require face to face sessions, so it is not possible to study these courses solely online.
  • How long are CPCAB Counselling courses?
    • Level 2: One year part time – 3 hours a week for 30 weeks
    • Level 3: One year part time – 3 hours a week for 32 weeks
    • Level 4: two years part time – 7 hours a week for 30 weeks a year (60 weeks in total)

For full information about our CPCAB Counselling courses, including dates, times and lengths of courses, see our Counselling pages.

  • Which course should I enrol on?
    • If you’re not sure which level you should enrol on, please book an initial assessment with one of our tutors. At the assessment the tutors will discuss your current knowledge and experience and advise you on the most suitable course.
  • I don’t have a laptop or computer. Can I still do the course?
    • Yes – we can lend you a device for the duration of your course, and in some cases may be able to make a referral to the IT ReUse project to get you a refurbished device to keep.
  • I want to learn skills but I don’t want to do an exam. Is that possible?
    • Yes, learners on our flexible learning courses can choose whether or not they complete exams.
  • I am an ayslum seeker. Can I access an English course with York Learning?
    • Unfortunately Asylum Seekers are not eligible for government funding and therefore can’t access our courses. We recommend speaking to our partners at Refugee Action York for advice about courses you may be able to access.
  • I am a refugee. Can I access an English course with York Learning?
    • Yes, in most cases refugees can access our courses but we will need to check your individual status. Please book an assessment with us.
  • I already have a grade C/4+ in English or maths. Can I join a course to refresh my knowledge?
    • The funding rules state that you can’t repeat a qualification, so if you have an O Level or a secondary qualification from another country you can join a course to refresh your knowledge. If you have a GCSE C or 4 or above you can’t join an accredited course, but please contact us as we may be able to provide support on a case by case basis. You can also access online guides such as BBC Bitesize or the National Numeracy Challenge.
  • What’s the difference between ‘Functional Skills’ and GCSE?
    • ‘Functional Skills’ is the name for English, maths and Digital Skills qualifications that focus on using skills in every day life. These qualifications start at ‘Pre-Entry’ level and continue through Entry Level 1, 2 and 3, followed by Levels 1 and 2. Functional Skills courses can be considered a stepping stone to get ready for GCSE.
      GCSEs are a Level 2 qualification, so they are equivalent to Level 2 Functional Skills. GCSE courses take a more academic approach to the subjects, but our tutors are experts at teaching the topics in an accessible and real life way.
      Level 2  (either Functional Skills or GCSE) is now considered to be the standard pre-requisite for many job roles or higher education courses.
  • Who are Family Learning courses for?
    • Anyone can do the workshops and sometimes the short courses if there is space but please be aware that the pace and delivery is suited to parents/carers who may be low in confidence or skills as these are who they are designed for. Our Keep Up courses include a Functional Skills English or maths qualification, so they are for people who do not have GCSE 4/C+ or Functional Skills Level 2 in the subject they want to study.
  • Is there childcare?
    • We have childcare at some venues and courses. It will be specified on the website or course publicity if this is the case. Childcare places must be reserved in advance and are limited in number so please keep us informed if you no longer need it.
  • I’m not sure what level of my chosen language I should enrol on. How can I check?
  • Can I enrol on a ballroom or social jive course on my own?
    • You will need a partner to dance with. If you don’t have a partner that you can enrol with, please contact us in advance of booking to ask if anyone else has enquired about a partner or if the tutor is able to arrange for another dancer to be available for you to dance with.
  • Can I do a free taster session?
    • You can take part in a free taster session in most exercise, dance and music classes. Please contact us in advance to arrange this. Unfortunately it is not normally possible to arrange a taster session in a language or art class.
  • How do I use Padlet?
    • Your tutor may ask you to use a website called Padlet to share work and information during your course. If this is the case, your tutor will be able to give you some guidance, or you can contact our ICT Skills team for some one to one guidance.
  • What age range is the Routes to Success programme for?
    • Learners must be 16-18 to enrol on the programme or up to 24 with an Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Is the programme full time?
    • Yes, the programme is 3 days a week, which is considered to be full time education.
  • Do I have to study English and maths as part of the programme?
    • Yes, you will need to study either Functional Skills or GCSE English and maths courses as part of the programme.
  • How do I apply?
  • What are the costs of a work based learning course or apprenticeship?
    • This depends on your personal circumstances. There is funding available for those who are eligible, or your employer may pay.
  • What are the pre-requisites for enrolling on a programme?
    • In order to study a work based course you need to be working or volunteering in a suitable position for at least 10 hours per week.