Adult Learning Service

About us

The County Council’s Adult Learning Service (ALS) provides learning opportunities that enable adults and families to participate in high quality, accessible and impactful learning and training, improving the lives and outcomes for individuals by maximising their potential.

With a focus on lifelong learning, we offer opportunities to:

  • learn for work
  • learn for life
  • learn to support families
  • learn for health and wellbeing
  • learn for enrichment.

We deliver courses to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Adults with Learning Disabilities (ALD).

We work with partners across West Sussex to help people and communities fulfil their potential by delivering a hybrid of face-to-face and online courses and skills development in English, Maths and Digital Skills.

We help to improve employability skills in various career areas, creating pathways into enhanced employment opportunities.

Courses are funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

If you are a local resident and aged over 19, you may be entitled to study for free, subject to our eligibility criteria.

You will be able to enrol on a course for free if you:

  • fulfil the residency eligibility requirements set out by the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • are a resident of West Sussex
  • are 19 years old or over at the start date of the course
  • are unemployed and receive a mean tested state benefit or are employed and earn less than £20,319 gross annual salary.

Please note that we will ask for evidence of the above requirements as part of the enrolment process.

You must attend at least 90% of your classes or your place on the course may be at risk.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to enrol onto any of the free courses offered by the programme, you must be:

  • a UK national and have lived in the UK continuously for 3 years
  • a UK national and have lived in either the European Economic Area (EEA) only, or EEA and UK only for at least the last 3 years
  • an EEA national with pre-settled or settled status (under the EU settlement scheme) and have lived continuously in the EEA, Gibraltar, or the UK for at least 3 years
  • you are a non-UK national with permission granted by the UK Government to live in the UK continuously for at least 3 years.

You must attend at least 90% of your classes or your place on the course may be at risk.

National Careers Service

We work in partnership with the National Careers Service who can provide you with impartial learning and careers information, advice and guidance.

The National Careers Service can help you:

  • assess your skills
  • find the right course
  • explore funding for training
  • develop or enhance your CV
  • improve your interview skills
  • understand the local job market
  • explore your career options
  • realise your potential.

They provide free and impartial information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

To find out more, visit the National Careers Service website or freephone 0800 100 900. Lines are open Monday-Friday 8.00am to 8.00pm and Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm.


The County Council has a contract with the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), to provide a range of adult learning opportunities. We do this by working in partnership with adult education providers who deliver across West Sussex.

The ESFA Funding and Performance Management Rules requires us to publish the supply chain and charges policy below.