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Student Services & Support

Gold-standard advice & guidance

Our students can be confident they will receive high quality information, advice and guidance and that this high quality runs through all aspects of the college’s processes and provision.

The Matrix Standard is the unique quality framework for the effective delivery of information, advice and/or guidance on learning and work.

The Matrix Standard supports organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals.

When the college was assessed, the assessor praised:

  • Our staff’s levels of enthusiasm
  • Our work with employers
  • Our emerging tutor links with industry to gain work experience
  • Our employer services’ work to develop local businesses
  • Our progression focus


Every student will need support, advice & guidance at some time in their time at college.

It might be for transport information, learning support, a friendly constructive ear to discuss worries or counselling to support overcoming more serious issues.

Our highly-trained advisors will be able to help – and if they believe you need more support, they have access to a wide network of external agencies who will have the answer.

Information Centre and Student Services

Our Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) Advisors are based in the Information Centre, next to the college reception (Great Yarmouth campus) or in the Advice Centre (Lowestoft campus). They can help with a range of topics including:

  • Course information, applications and enrolment
  • Job seeking techniques, applications and CVs
  • Finance for college and university study
  • Progression options and careers advice
  • Referrals to other agencies, training and education providers
  • Transport information

Advisors offer free and impartial advice to enable individuals to make well informed choices about their future plans. Advisors work with current learners, and those considering starting a course at East Coast College. If you have any queries prior to starting a course, please contact us on 0800 854 695 or email

Information Centre Opening Times

Term time:
Monday - Thursday: 08.00 – 17.00
Great Yarmouth Campus
08.30 - 17.00
Lowestoft Campus
 08.00 - 16.30
Great Yarmouth Campus
08.30 - 16.30
Lowestoft Campus
  We are open during the college holidays and we close at 17.00 (16.30 on a Friday).

Contact Us

To speak to an Advisor, drop in during the times above, ring 0800 854 695 or email us on 

Advisors deal with quick queries on a drop-in basis, but you can book an appointment slot if you would like to discuss your plans in more detail.

Advisors also deliver group sessions to current learners, on topics such as job seeking and applying to university, so it is likely you will meet them at some point during your time at college.

Absence Line

Current students and their parents/carers should call the College to report absences on 0800 854695. Select the appropriate campus when asked and then follow the menus to speak to an advisor.


A range of resources is available to help learners explore their options and make choices about their future. Learners have access to excellent careers resources including online programmes. Tutors are available to support learners with using the resources when necessary

Wellbeing & Advice

East Coast College has a designated Student Wellbeing Team to advise, help and support you with any personal issues that you may require assistance with. The Wellbeing Team can provide support in relation to housing, benefits, health issues, safeguarding and any other queries inside and outside of college.

To talk to someone you can email, phone or visit.  The team is based in Student Services.

Student Union

Read the Student Union Constitution

Bursary/Discretionary Learner Support Fund

If you’re aged between 16 and 19 and think you might struggle with the costs for full-time education or training, you may receive a bursary.

Students most in need will be eligible to receive a bursary of £1,200 a year but only if you fall into one of the categories below:

  • people in care
  • care leavers
  • people claiming income support
  • disabled young people who receive Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance

Discretionary Learner Support Fund (dLSF) 2017/18

For those who aren’t eligible for the Bursary, an alternative college fund may be available. The dLSF is intended to support Further Education learners (aged 16 and over) with a financial need that could prevent them from coming to college.

The funds are limited and applicants must meet the eligibility criteria of being in receipt of a means tested benefit or on a low income. Please note current proof will be required.

Financial support may be available to cover:

  • Childcare costs
  • Travel costs
  • Course related costs
  • Emergencies and exceptional hardship

If you would like to apply for support from either the Bursary or the dLSF please contact Kerry Pickering on 01493 419272 (Great Yarmouth campus) or Vanessa Brown on 01502 525124 (Lowestoft campus) for an application form and any further information you may require.

For further information, please click on the link Directgov.

Students aged 24 or over and studying a Level 3 - 6 qualification will be able to access Advanced Learner Loans to fund their education.

Advanced Learner Loans replace government grants for learners (entitlement and tuition fee remission based on benefit status). They are non-means-tested and are repayable only once the learner is earning above £21,000.


To qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan you must:

  • be aged 24 or over at the start of your course. There is no upper age limit
  • be a resident in the UK
  • have not previously had a loan to do the same course subject and level
  • be studying a course at Level 3 -6
  • You will only be able to apply for a loan to meet the upfront costs of your qualification, which will be paid directly to the College.
  • The loans are not means tested or credit checked so if you meet the criteria you will be able to apply for a loan whether you are employed or unemployed.
  • The loan is to pay for course fees only, not for books, travel or any additional costs.
  • You don’t pay anything upfront for your course fees and until you are earning over £21,000, you won’t have to begin paying anything back (certain criteria apply).
  • If your loan is to cover the fees for an Access to Higher Education course and you progress to complete a university-level (higher education) course, you will not have to pay back your Advanced Learner Loan.

More information

Visit  for full details and official information.

Anyone who been accepted for an Advanced Learner Loan can apply for discretionary support with travel and childcare. This is means tested. 

If you are 18 or over, you may be able to apply for a loan for course fees and possibly other course related costs which could help with your career.

Applications can be made via the Government website linked below. If you require advice and guidance, please speak to our student finance team.

Learning Support

At East Coast College we offer a wide range of support and help to our learners to help them achieve on their courses. When you apply to East Coast College you will be given an opportunity at your interview to discuss any support needs that you have. If you have been supported at school for a learning difficulty such as dyslexia or a disability such as a hearing impairment, that support can continue at college. You can also ask for help with English and maths.

If you have an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) or Statement of Educational Needs we can arrange for you and your parent or carer to talk to one of our specialist tutors about the best course for you and what help you will need while you are studying at East Coast College. They can also come to your interview with you to explain to the tutor what support you will be able to have in class.

We can arrange support either in your class, where often one of our co-educators will work with several learners or alternatively we can arrange one-to-one support, either in class or in a separate session with one of the support tutors. We also have drop-in sessions after college and at lunchtime. 

Learning Support Assessment

You can ask for an assessment if you think you need help in the classroom and our specialist tutors can carry out an assessment, for example for dyslexia or an Irlens assessment to see if you would benefit from a coloured overlay for reading or different coloured paper to write on. We have both visual and hearing impairment specialists and we offer a drop-in session at lunchtimes for learners on the Autistic Spectrum.

If you would like more information or to talk about a course that you are thinking of applying for, ring Roy Emmerson or Sean Ojeniyi on 01502 525069 (Lowestoft Campus) / 01493 419215 (Great Yarmouth Campus).

Learning Disabilities

East Coast College offers a variety of courses from Entry 1 onwards. Each learner undertakes a ‘getting to know you’ period so that we can identify how best to support each learner. We ensure that there are no more than 10 learners in a group and additional support is always available. If you would like a chat about studying within Foundation Skills please call Pam Birt, Learning Manager Foundation Skills, on 01493 41927

Pam Birt is the Programme Area Leader for Foundation Skills whom you can contact on 01493 419271 if you have an LDA/EHCP or if you have support at school and are worried about which course might be right for you.

Nikki Lane is the Head of Student Wellbeing and Support at East Coast College whom you can contact on 01493 418300 if you have support at school and are worried about which course might be right for you.

East Coast College offers lots of different courses at Entry level: some are based within vocational areas for example construction, catering, hair and beauty whilst others are based in Foundation Skills. Foundation Skills is designed to provide a more supported college experience. Learners with learning difficulties and disabilities or learners who have had support at school often study in Foundation Skills. Foundation Skills courses focus on improving your English and maths skills, developing your independent living skills, developing skills to help you get a job or give you the basic skills needed to progress into the wider college. We also have a course that aims to support you into employment. Most of the courses can be studied at Entry 1, 2 or 3.

If you have a statement, LDA or Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) and are and you are thinking of coming to GYC we may already know about your support needs. You might have already met our Foundation Skills staff and started to talk about how we can support you.

When you fill in the application form there is a question asking if you have support at school. If you do and you tick this box we will make sure there is someone at your interview who can talk to you about how you like to be supported.

We have support for learners in class both in a group and one to one basis. This support can be discreet if you do not want it to be obvious that you are receiving help or it can take place out of class either in a group or one to one with a member of the learning support team.

Some learners need support outside of the classroom as well and we can provide this for example at breaks and lunch times, to help you find your taxi or get onto your bus and we have quiet areas that some people prefer. We can provide support with personal care should learners need this.

It can be scary moving on to college so we like to get to know all our learners before they arrive at college in September to make sure the right support is in place. We will invite you into college to take part in “Getting to Know You Days”. They are a chance for you to spend time with the staff, to meet other people who will be on your course, to make sure you know your way around and check that the support we have planned is right for you.
The “Getting to Know You Days” can be one or two days or up to a year depending on you and your individual needs. We like to link with college and your parents/carers so we can really understand how we can support you.

We think it is important to get to know and build relationships with parents/carers as well. College is just as new to them as it is for you. The days you spend with us will be fun and friendly so that you will start looking forward to your future at East Coast College.