Next Steps

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Qualification type: Certificate
Level: Entry level
Awarding body EDEXCEL
Academic year: 2016/2017
Start date Sep 2017
Duration 1 year
Location: Darlington College
Attendance: Full time

Course overview

Next Steps at Darlington College provides a supported learning environment for young people making their next steps towards qualifications and employment. Next Steps is available at Entry Levels 1-3 and up to Level 1 for the Workgroup programme. Students can make progress within Next Steps for up to 4 years or more before moving on to other courses or leaving college to do other things, including getting a job.

We work closely with schools, social workers and local authority SEN Teams to make sure we can offer you what you need to succeed.

Entry requirements

No formal qualifications are required, learners will be assessed on basic maths and English skills. Places will be offered following an informal but successful interview with one of the course leaders at the college.

How to enquire/apply

To apply for this course please click the apply button and complete the online application form. If you have any queries with regards to your application or would like further information and support please contact us on 01325 503030.

Studying and learning

Next Step 1

Qualification: Certificate in Skills for Independence and Work at E1, E2, or E3

On this course students will develop employability skills through enterprise and volunteering activities, independent living skills and have an opportunity to try a vocational area from a wide range of options, including Construction, IT/Media, Horticulture, Hair and Beauty and Catering. We can also arrange some taster sessions in other areas for them.

As part of the course they will also improve their English and maths skills to help them progress in the future.

Next Step 2 – Workgroup

Qualification: Certificate in Workskills

Entry 2 – Level 1

On this course students will further develop skills for work and be able to use these skills in a work placement at least one day a week. They will also investigate the world of work and continue to improve English, maths and ICT skills.

How will I be assessed

Work placements

Students access a wide range of work placements on the Workskills programme.  Work placements include: The Dogs Trust, Patchwork People, Café JJ, Coast and Country Housing, The Coop, Kings Church, Mowbray School or internal placements.

Enterprise activities

As part of their course they will have the opportunity to take part in our enterprise activities. Groups meet to plan business ideas e.g. making craft goods to sell, working on up-cycling or running the college sweet trolley.

Volunteering and fund raising activities

Students on Next Steps have lots of opportunities to take part in volunteering and fund raising activities.

In the past few months we have supported organisations such as: Family Help, King’s Centre, Samaritan’s Purse, St Theresa’s Hospice, British Heart Foundation and Darlington Powerchair Football to name but a few.

Extra independent living skills training

Dilston Specialist College are working with us to provide independent living skills training to students who would benefit. They have a residential property in Darlington where they can help young people to develop their independence in the home as part of their course. We can organise this on an individual basis.

Things you may need

Helping students get used to college

We understand that coming to college for the first time can be a bit scary. We can arrange for students to visit the college, as many times as they need, before they start the course.

They will get to know the building and staff and discuss the support they might need.

What next

How can you find out more?

To get more information about Next Steps contact us: Email:

Call us on: 01325 503277 or 503190 for a chat with a member of the Next Steps Team.

Information, advice and support

What support can students get on Next Steps?

  • All our Next Steps courses are taught in small group sizes (average of 8 students).
  • Students will learn through practical sessions, classroom based activities, visits and practical work in the community.
  • Their personal tutor will meet with them on a regular basis to review their progress.
  • We will help students plan their progression.
  • Our team of Learning Support Assistants are here to give them as much support as needed in class. They can also support students out of class at break times and lunch times and even meet them in the morning when they arrive at college and be with them until the end of the college day.
  • We have a friendly base room where they can go to spend time as needed when students are not in lessons, and support staff are always there to make sure they are safe and enjoying their activities.
  • If students are doing a work placement as part of their course we will also make sure that they have support staff with them if they need it. We are working in partnership with Dilston Specialist College who have a team of well qualified job coaches who can support them at their placement if required.
  • We will also help with funding where appropriate and available (up to the age of 25).
Fees and funding

This course is free if you are 16-18 years of age on August 31 of the calendar year in which you begin your studies. If you are 19+ years of age fees may apply. However help may be available. To see if you can receive any funding call our Student Services Team on 01325 503030.
Course fees are payable to Darlington College. Registration and membership fees may be payable. All course fees are per year.

What if I need support?

Here at the college we have outstanding support. Our support staff are dedicated to providing you with all the help and guidance you may need throughout your college journey.

You might need help and advice on a wide range of issues such as childcare, counselling and additional learning support. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Course and Information Team, who will direct your call to the appropriate member of the college support team, call: 01325 503030.

Enquiry Form

If you have any questions about this course, send us a message using the form below.

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