Student Support & Wellbeing

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

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


Opening Times:

Great Yarmouth campus:

Monday: 08.00 – 17.00

Tuesday: 08.00 – 20.00

Wednesday: 08.00 – 17.00

Thursday: 08.00 – 20.00

Friday: 08.00 – 16.30

Lowestoft campus:

Monday: 08.30 – 17.00

Tuesday: 08.30 – 17.00

Wednesday: 08.30 – 17.00

Thursday: 08.30 – 17.00

Friday: 08.30 – 16.30

Lowestoft Sixth Form College:

Monday: 08.00 – 17.00

Tuesday: 08.00 – 17.00

Wednesday: 08.00 – 17.00

Thursday: 08.00 – 17.00

Friday: 08.00 – 16.30


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.


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) 2018/19

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 visit 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 the Government Advanced Learning Loans page 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.

Government Career Development Loans Eligibility

Special Education Needs and Disabilities

Please visit our Special Education Needs and Disabilities page.


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.

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.

If you have any questions, you can always email our team at