Returning to learning

Returning to learning

Going back to learning doesn't have to be daunting, find out about the options available to you...

It’s never too late

Once you’re out of the education loop it can be hard to find a way back. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to give yourself the second chance you deserve.

Whether you want to turn your hand to something entirely different or you didn’t quite get what you needed last time around, returning to education can be a bit daunting but here we’ve outlined some useful info to help you figure out what’s best for you.

College courses can still be free!

If you don’t have Level 3, many further education courses are still free!  This is very important to know if (for any reason) you could have done better at GCSE time.

What employers want to see most are English and Maths qualifications.  Part time courses in the day or evening are free to all ages, giving everyone a chance to reach GCSE grade 9-4.

Employment prospects are far better if you have qualifications – so government funding makes some courses free for 19-23 year olds who haven’t reached Level 3.

Work out your next level up.  Search Adult Courses on local college websites. You need to check carefully with the college if the course you want is free for you. Plan to start before you turn 24!

Know your levels




Level 1


GCSE grades 3-1 (grade D-G), BTEC Level 1, NVQ Level 1
Level 2

GCSE grades 9-4 (grade A*-C), Intermediate Apprenticeship, BTEC Level 2, NVQ Level 2


Level 3 A Levels, Advanced Apprenticeships, IB, BTEC Level 3 National, NVQ Level 3

If your time away from home is very limited, it’s still possible to continue learning online, now more than ever before, although most qualifications done online have course fees.

Learning is well known to be good for mental health too, because the focus is outside of yourself.  Accomplishing something new feels really good.

I’m planning to start a dog training business and studying Animal Behaviour online, up to Level 3 so far. I’m also working my way up to qualify as a trick dog trainer, all by submitting video evidence. The best bit about working with animals is that you can’t go into it with anything other than a positive attitude, or the dog won’t be relaxed enough to perform. It’s really increased my bond with my dog as well as given me time to relax.


National Extension College

Learn Direct

Free online courses

Free online courses look great on a c.v. if you’re job hunting or wanting a change of direction.

Free online courses from National Careers Service



More info for you

Have a look at some other areas which can help you with your caring role...

Keys in a door


Find out about what housing support and information there is out there for you.

Books on a shelf in a library

Higher Education

Find out about the different ways to access higher education and what's out there!

young women hugging

Your health

Some ideas on how to take care of your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing...

Find out about…

housing, returning to learning, higher education issues, working, apprenticeships, your health, planning your future, financial help and managing your money.

Click here

Can we help you?

The 18-24 team offers free specialist support to young adult carers across Surrey. Text us on 07723 486730 and we'll come back to you as soon as we can!

Contact us!
Not found