Milton Keynes Council provides a range of part-time learning opportunities for adults through its Adult Continuing Education (ACE) Service. The opportunities are designed to meet the needs of the whole community and to respond to the challenging needs of the borough. ACE is committed to ensuring that all learners have a rewarding and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
This page is also available in large print, on cassette tape and via e-mail upon request from our Rivers ACE Centre office, either in person or by contacting us on:
Telephone: 01908 556700
Fax: 01908 646207
In addition, a member of staff will read and explain any part of the booklet to you. Please contact us to make an appointment if you would like to use this facility.
2. Addresses and Telephone Numbers
How do I contact you?
The central office at Rivers ACE Centre is normally staffed from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday Milton Keynes Adult Continuing Education, Rivers Centre, Trent Road, West Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 7BB
Tel: 01908 556700
Fax: 01908 646207
E mail: email@example.com
3. Enrolment Procedures
How do I enrol?
To enrol, first of all decide which course(s) you want to study, then: Complete the enrolment form in the brochure. Send, take or fax your enrolment form to the ACE office.
Alternatively, you can enrol by telephone or online at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/ace with a credit or debit card. If you would like assistance with any part of the enrolment process please contact Learning Support on 01908 556751.
Indicate if you have a specific requirement and we will contact you to discuss your support needs. We can arrange an informal interview to discuss specialist support before you enrol.
If you are enrolling on a Skills for Life course you will be invited to an informal, confidential meeting with a tutor before you enrol. The Skills for Life department can be contacted on 01908 556703.
4. Specialist Support What type of support is available?
If you would like information about the support available, please contact Ritu Hunjan in Learning Support on 01908 556751. If you have any queries or concerns about a particular course you will be put in contact with the relevant member of staff who will be happy to advise you. All support is available subject to initial assessment and agreement of need.
Can I get help with enrolment?
A member of staff can assist you with the enrolment process.
I have problems with my eyes, particularly when the writing is so small. Will you be able to help?
We can produce handouts and examination papers in larger print, on coloured paper, on a USB stick or send them to you via email.
I wear a hearing aid and sometimes I find it very difficult to hear things in noisy places. Do you have any facilities to help with this problem?
We can provide a portable hearing loop
I have problems going up and down the stairs because of my joints. Do you have lifts in all your buildings?
If there is no lift we can move a class to a room on the ground floor in some venues.
I can’t sit for two hours because I have a bad back. Do you provide any firm chairs for your classes?
If sitting for a long period of time is uncomfortable due a back condition or arthritis, for example, it is possible for us to provide a special adjustable chair.
My sister has learning difficulties and would need someone to assist her while in class because of her ability to understand information and instructions. Do you have any staff to help with this?
If you have a learning difficulty and/or physical disability we can arrange a 1:1 in class and/or out of class support assistant.
I find it really difficult to use the ordinary computer keyboard because I can’t really see the letters on the keys. Can you help with this problem?
We have specially adapted computers and software.
I may require extra time to take the examination. Is this possible?
We can make special arrangements in examinations and assessments for you. Please note that evidence of your disability will be required by awarding bodies.
I communicate using Sign Language. Can you assist me?
We can provide communication support in class.
Can you provide support for Dyslexia?
We can provide any necessary adjustments, for example extra time for exams or coloured paper / overlays. We can give you a Dyslexia Assessment if your tutor recommends this.
I would like to improve my reading / writing / maths. What does ACE provide?
ACE offers many English and Maths classes in a range of locations across the borough to help develop skills at the appropriate level for each learner, up to GCSE level.
Do you have courses for specific age groups?
We do not run courses for specific age groups however some courses are attractive to particular age groups, for example our A-level courses are appealing to 16-18 year olds. Other courses are highly valued by older learners, for example, art courses, which are offered in the day as well as evening as far as possible as this is the preferred time.
Does ACE have courses specifically for men and women?
Courses are generally intended to be available equally to men and women. However ACE runs a small number of courses targeted at either men or women, where it is clear that there are specific reasons to do so. For example, there are courses for women returning to the labour market, and for women from certain minority ethnic communities, and family learning courses for fathers and children.
English is not my first language. Can you help?
Yes, ACE provides a range of courses at different levels for learners whose first language is not English.
Can ACE meet my cultural needs?
There is a small team who ensure the needs of black and minority ethnic (BME) groups are met through ACE, e.g. by putting on classes in partnership with faith groups and using tutors, teaching assistants and interpreters to support learners whose first language is not English.
What other support can ACE offer?
ACE recognises that people may be disadvantaged by a number of factors not addressed above. These include:
- Single parenthood (who may have childcare difficulties)
- Being in care/leaving care
- Being a carer
- Being poor (where finance is a barrier)
- Being an asylum seeker
- Poor access to transport In addition some people may suffer from disadvantage as a result of the attitudes of others. As well as the above groups, people’s
- Sexual orientation
- Religion or belief
ACE does many things to combat prejudice and celebrate diversity. Some courses are targeted specifically at these groups and/or held in local venues so learners don’t have to travel. Some courses are delivered with the support of a mobile crèche. Where specialist facilities are not nearby, transport is sometimes provided.
5. Examinations & Assessments
What special examination adjustments are there?
We can make reasonable adjustments for you to take an examination or accreditation. We can organise:
• Extra time for you to take an exam or assessment
• Rest breaks during an exam
• Specifically prepared papers on coloured paper or with enlarged print
• A reader or writer
• An interpreter of British Sign Language for oral and listening examinations
What do you need to do?
Tell us in good time!
Talk to your tutor early so that he/she can contact our Examinations Staff at the Rivers Centre Office. Tel: 01908 556700.
Examination boards will require evidence of disability or professional assessment reports in order to authorise adjustments to be made.
6. Physical Access
Do the centres have suitable accommodation and facilities for students with disabilities?
Our courses are held at many local venues throughout Milton Keynes and have various levels of accessibility. If you wish to discuss physical access or would like to be shown around any of our centres please contact:
Ritu Hunjan – Learning Support
Rivers ACE Centre,
Tel: 01908 556751
Where access is limited, we will try to arrange courses to take place in the most accessible part of the building. We will work with the people who own any building we use to find solutions to meet individual needs. If this cannot be achieved we will offer you a similar course in a more suitable venue.
If you require help in entering or leaving the building, we will arrange for someone to assist you. Please let us know in advance if you require such assistance.
You can also bring a friend, relative or an assistant, free of charge, to your course to help you. The following venue list and map gives an indication of accessibility for learners with disabilities at our venues, but please contact us on 01908 556700 if you would like more detailed information about access at any of our venues.
7. Transport Arrangements
Can you help with transport?
We do not provide transport from a student’s home to our centres. We may be able to provide Learner Support Funds to help pay for transport. For information, contact Ritu Hunjan at our Rivers Centre Office 01908 556751.
MK PlusBus is a community transport service provided by Milton Keynes Council.
Bookings: 01908 266950
Cancellations: 01908 266955
Out of Hours: 01908 266954
8. Learner Support Fund
If you are attending a course leading to a qualification and paying a reduced fee, the Learner Support Fund could help you with additional costs e.g.
• Books, equipment and course materials
• Examination Fees
• Bus fares, travel costs
The claim form is available here. Please note that you will need to print off the form and complete by hand. Learner Support Fund form_(13K)
For copies of the form or for more information please phone or drop in to see us:
Rivers ACE Centre
9. Telling us about your needs
When and how should I contact ACE to discuss my disability and adjustment requirements?
It is really important that you share information about your needs with us so that we can provide the help that you require. If you are in any doubt please ask for advice.
Before the course
You can inform us about your disability and adjustment requirements when you enrol on a course. A member of staff from the Learning Support Team will contact you to discuss your requirements.
During the course
You can discuss your disability and adjustment requirements with your course tutor who can make a referral for you.
You can contact the Learning Support Team directly; a confidential appointment will be arranged for you to discuss your requirements.
You can complete and return the Adjustment Request Form on the following page.
If you require special arrangements to be made due to your disability it is vital that you let us know early as we need to apply to the examination or awarding bodies for their authorisation. Please note that evidence of your disability or professional assessment reports will need to be submitted with all applications for special examination arrangements. You must notify us of your adjustment requirements when you register your entry for examination.
10. Learners’ Forum
Filling in feedback forms is not the only way to help us improve. We really value opportunities to talk directly to you about experiences and views so we visit as many classes as possible over the year and also host regular meetings and focus groups.
Would you like to take part in one of these or represent ACE learners at Milton Keynes Adult Learning Forum meetings?
Please tell your tutor, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Ritu on 01908 556751.
What will happen if I am not happy with the level of support that I receive?
We welcome your suggestions. We would also like to hear from you if you wish to compliment us on any aspect of our service. If you wish to comment on this booklet or anything else about our service please contact us in person, by telephone, fax or in writing. Our contact details are on the back of this booklet.
If you wish to make a complaint there are three stages:
In most cases problems can be sorted out quickly and satisfactorily at stage 1. Please telephone or write to the Adult Learning Manager at ACE saying what your complaint is and what you think ought to be done.
Adult Learning Manager
Rivers ACE Centre
Tel: 01908 556700
Fax: 01908 646207
Where you are not satisfied with what has been done or the problem continues you can appeal and this will be dealt with a more senior officer. You will be kept informed of the outcome of this investigation.
If you are still not satisfied with the result of the stage 2 investigation you can ask for a further investigation which will be carried out by an independent senior officer. All written complaints should be acknowledged within 7 days with a full response within 21 days.
Still not happy? Stage 3 is the final stage of our council complaints procedure. However, if you are still not happy with the outcome, you can contact your local Councillor, MP or the Ombudsman.