Education and training


Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service is part of the Employment, Business and Skills team at Waltham Forest Council. We are the  Council’s direct provider of adult education and work based training.

We are committed to engaging local people in lifelong learning through working in partnership and promoting widening participation and high quality learning and training opportunities.

We provide a range of accredited and non-accredited learning opportunities for adults and young people across the borough.

Gaining qualifications Click to get info

Going to college on a regular basis may not be practical for you, so long distance learning could be a good option. It means you can study in your own home and at your own pace. You’ll be given materials to work through and will have the support of online tutorials and forums.

Adult education courses Click to get info

You could try one of a wide range of adult education classes run by Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service.

Courses range from one day 'taster' sessions to 36 week courses. Classes are held at different times of the day or evening and most are open to all adults. 

Some of our courses are online, others are in-class or a mix of online and in-class learning. Our courses range from one day 'taster' sessions to 36 week courses. Classes are held at different times of the day or evening and most are open to all adults. 

On some of our courses you can gain a qualification accredited by nationally recognised awarding bodies. Awarding bodies include City & Guilds, Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE), Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative Awards (SFEDI), Pearson Edexcel, NCFE and Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

Our courses cover a wide range of topics. Our short videos explain more about our courses and what you can gain from enrolling with us.

Education for pleasure Click to get info

Furthering your education and doing a new course doesn’t just have to be about gaining a qualification or increasing your job prospects. Maybe you just want to learn a skill, develop a new hobby, get out a bit more, or meet new people.

This could be at a local college, our adult learning service or an other providers 

Paying for your course Click to get info

Most courses will charge fees. For further education you may not have to pay fees if you receive Employment and Support Allowance and are in the 'work-related activity' group.

For access to higher education diplomas, there are loans available to people over 24 years old. These are called 24+ Advance Learning Loans.

Talk to your local college for further advice about funding a course you’re interested in.

Just because someone has a learning disability doesn’t mean they’re not entitled to further education or developing new skills.

If you have a learning disability many colleges have courses which can help you to develop your life skills and abilities. There are courses to help you move on to further education, to develop your workplace skills, help you to get a job, and to enable you to live more independently. 

For further information visit the adult learning service.

The Waltham Forest English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Advice Service offers free sessions for residents who want to learn or improve their English. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, residents can still register for and participate in English language courses online. To book an appointment and find a free online language course, text or WhatsApp your NAME + ‘ESOL advice’ to 07770 054 167.

This service is provided as part of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) funded Connecting Communities programme. If you would like to find out about the barriers that residents with an ESOL need are facing in the borough, or review how the model of this programme is helping to improve English language provision, check out our report:

Job skills programmes Click to get info

Looking for a job or a promotion? Our workshops and short courses can help! All our job skills courses are free if you do not have a job.

Find out what employers are looking for

Gain knowledge and skills for work

Build your CV

Get help with completing application forms and covering letters

Improve your interview techniques

Develop your communication skills

Improve your time management and team working skills

Improve your self-confidence.

At Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service, we work with Waltham Forest Social Prescribing and other wellbeing organisations. We set up a range of creative and gardening courses at different venues in the borough. We have been fortunate to work with a range of partners in some of the most beautiful and inspiring green and blue spaces in the borough including Lloyd Park, Walthamstow Wetlands and Epping Forest.

Our courses introduce many learners to the borough’s beautiful outdoor spaces. For example, our plant lovers walks and introduction to gardening courses at Lloyd Park, Epping Forest and Vestry House Museum gardens. Our socially prescribed workshops encourage residents to work together.

Our social prescribing or community referral allows GPs, nurses and other primary care health professionals to refer people to a range of local non-clinical services.

Your safety Click to get info

We are following public health guidance for Covid-19 safety. Our buildings have been specially prepared for safe learning.