Sources of financial help

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NEC’s underlying philosophy is education for all. We don’t want financial constraints to stand in the way of people improving their prospects with one of our courses. If you want to study with us but are unsure whether you can afford it, there are a number of possible sources of funding.

Funding for childcare courses

You may be able to get help with the cost of your childcare course from your local authority. Contact your local authority's children's services department for further details.

Standard learning credits and enhanced learning credits

Members of the armed forces who wish to study with us may be entitled to contributions towards the cost of their course through either the standard learning credits (SLC) scheme or the enhanced learning credits (ELC) scheme.

The SLC scheme can provide funding of up to 80 per cent of the cost of a course, to a maximum of £175, for courses up to Level 2 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), such as GCSEs and IGCSEs.

The ELC scheme provides a similar service, but for courses leading to qualifications at Level 3 or above on the NQF, such as A levels. For more information about the ELC scheme visit the ELC Administration Service website at

If you are serving in the armed forces and wish to take advantage of either of these schemes, you should speak to your education officer before enrolling.

Prisoners' Education Trust

The Prisoners' Education Trust provides grants to prisoners who wish to improve their future by studying through distance learning. You can find out more about the charity by visiting its website, at

Other sources of advice

If you’re still not sure whether you’ll be able to afford the cost of studying with us, the following services might be able to offer further advice:

  • Local library
  • National Careers Service
  • Citizens Advice Bureaux
  • Jobcentres
  • Local educational authorities
  • Trade unions (if you are a member).