Supporting you

We work hard to provide a safe and supportive experience for all our learners.

No matter where you’re going or where you’re starting from in life, everything we do is to help you achieve your ambitions.

Your mental and physical wellbeing is equally as important to us as your studies. We understand that some learners need more support than others and that’s why we’ve invested heavily in our skilled Student Support team.

We can work with you, your family or guardians, and external partners to support your learning on full- and part-time courses at college, leisure courses, right through to moving into employment or higher-level learning.

At Activate Learning, we expect you to behave in a professional way—as if you were in the workplace—and we will always treat you with respect.

When you join us as a student, you will sign a Learner Contract. This lists the standards of behaviour that you agree to demonstrate during your time as a student. We do this because we are committed to creating a community of successful learners, and for everyone to demonstrate the attributes required for this success.

Activate Learning provides a “calm, welcoming and inclusive learning environment” where learners “enjoy their learning and are respectful of their peers and teachers.” Ofsted 2022

For some people, starting college may be a daunting experience. To help you settle, we offer taster sessions, college tours, summer programmes and one-to-one support to ensure you adjust to college life quickly.

If you would like to discuss your support needs with someone, please complete our enquiry form.

Our teams provide a range of support:

Sometimes, barriers can prevent us from achieving our best. Sometimes, we all need a helping hand to get back on track. Our team of attendance specialists are here to help you work through these barriers and things that may be holding you back, and make sure you can attend all your lessons to maximise your learning!

Our Careers team can help you boost your employability skills. They will work with you to help you understand which careers may be available after your chosen study programme and to develop your knowledge of what your future career might look like. This will help you make informed decisions about your future.

Student Crew

If you are interested in working at college while you study, ask about opportunities to join our Student Crew. We’ve got all kinds of paid work opportunities, and it looks great on your CV!

As part of our guarantee to enable you to work efficiently, whether on campus or remotely, we have set up a ‘buy your own device’ scheme to enable all learners to buy a laptop or tablet. We want everyone to have access to the right equipment even if they aren’t physically at college. We’ve teamed up with two companies, Academia and Dell, who can support you with buying a new device.

There is a choice of devices available to choose from and the option to pay via a payment plan, so you can spread the cost. The devices are sold as bundles which includes a case and a warranty and the option to add insurance should you wish to do so.

Visit our online store with Academia 

Visit our online store with Dell

Throughout the year, we organise a vibrant range of events and activities to enrich the learner experience at college. This includes charity events, awareness days, and celebrating religious festivals. 

Students' Union

Have your say and join the Activate Learning Students’ Union! You could run for one of the executive committee positions or join some of the clubs and societies that are run by students.

Each campus has its own Students’ Union room where you can mix with other students, chill out and relax or work.

Learner Voice and Student Representatives

Your feedback is extremely valuable to us because it helps shape the learning experience for thousands of students every year.

More opportunities to share your views are also available through our Students' Union. Every year, the Student Support team will ask you if you would like to represent your course at college by becoming a course representative.

All course reps are given extensive training to develop the skills, qualities and attributes to represent the rest of their peers.

Oxford is like my home now, and that’s in large part to the college. Without their support, the support of all the tutors and staff, I wouldn’t be where I am now, so I have to say a massive thank you to them. I’ll always be grateful to them. Merhawi, Engineering Level 3

Faith rooms are available for you to use on all campuses for prayer and quiet reflection.

In our everyday lives and at college, we have responsibility to keep ourselves safe on and off campus. At college, everyone must adhere to the Code of Conduct and demonstrate the behaviour and Attributes expected of us.

This is to ensure we can learn and interact in an environment with mutual respect and understanding. Together we can create a safe, fulfilling and positive environment.

Our award-winning Learning Philosophy helps us to understand how to teach and enable people to learn effectively. To bring this to life, we utilise the important relationship between the brain, motivation and emotions. It’s a key topic to keeping yourself safe.

Here are the other topics you need to understand in order to keep yourself safe at college:

  • British Values
  • Sexual health – Speak Up Speak Out
  • Prevent – Extremism, Radicalisation and Incel
  • County lines
  • Online Safety
  • Behaviour – Code of Conduct and Attributes
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing 

It's important you read the Keeping Yourself Safe booklet.

We ensure that support is in place in the classroom for young and adult learners with additional learning support needs. This will help you access teaching and learning and make the most of the student experience on campus.

We want to help you achieve your goals and make your learning experience as positive and productive as possible. If you need help, get in touch today!

Higher Education study support

We offer flexible support for students who are studying on higher education programmes at Activate Learning:

  • One-to-one meetings with the HE support team to discuss your support needs, including reasonable adjustments, for example, you could be allowed extra time in exams
  • We work with teaching teams to ensure that you will be supported
  • Small study skills workshops, including topics such as revision tips, planning your essays and how to manage your time effectively
  • One-to-one study skills support and mentoring
  • Support can be delivered face to face, in small groups or online
  • Support and guidance for students applying for Disabled Students Allowance funding
  • Support to access screening for or diagnosing specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia
  • Online resources for students to access independently
  • Referral to the Sensory Impairment team, supporting students who are deaf, hard of hearing or visually impaired
  • Wellbeing support

We offer two programmes to help support young people who are NEETs (not in education, employment or training) or at risk of becoming NEETs. These programmes build confidence, teach the skills that employers are looking for and provides support in applying for jobs or going onto full-time study.

Our NEET programme

With this programme, young people will have the opportunity to:

  • study at one of our campuses one day a week (for a number of weeks)
  • sign up for a vocational taster programme (in motor vehicle, construction, catering and more)
  • receive the support they need to succeed

Back on Track project

We are working with partner organisations to deliver a free project to help transform the lives of youngsters at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or who have recently become NEET.

This Building Better Opportunities project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. It will run until June 2022, focusing on helping young people aged 15–17 across Oxfordshire access the support they need to continue gaining skills and knowledge for their future careers. You can learn more about it on our group website.

The Back on Track project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Everyone should feel comfortable and safe in and outside college. Your wellbeing is intrinsic to your happiness, doing well in your studies and having an enjoyable experience on campus.

Taking care of you and your sexual wellbeing 

As part of our Speak up Speak out campaign we are exploring the following topics:

  • Consent
  • Sharing nudes and sexting
  • Porn and revenge porn
  • Online sexual abuse
  • Sexist stereotypes and sexualised language
  • LGBTQ – homophobic and transphobic abuse
  • Peer-on-peer abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence
  • Healthy respectful relationships

Healthy respectful relationships 

When you’re in a new relationship, it’s normal to feel excited, special, and happy.  

Sometimes relationships can change, and it can be difficult to notice when things are going wrong.  

In a healthy relationship, someone shouldn’t try to control or threaten you. This behaviour might be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological.   

If your relationship doesn’t feel right, it could be time to walk away.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing sexual things with someone, then you don’t have to.   

Sex is only OK if both people involved want to have sex. Consent might not always be a straightforward yes or no answer. It’s important to pay attention to your partners words, actions and sounds.  

It is important to form healthy relationships and surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself.  

Your mental health matters   

It is important to take care of your mind and body, to take some time for yourself to unwind and do the things you enjoy.  

If you are feeling on edge from time to time, that’s normal. You may like to practice your mindfulness, try deep breathing, stretching, meditation or other relaxation techniques.  

Be sure to take time to walk in open spaces each day and look at organising your daily routine with a flexible schedule that works for you. Also, allow yourself to indulge occasionally, spend some time with friends, binge your favourite TV series, get lost in a book you’ve been meaning to read or even embrace a new hobby altogether!  

If you are seriously struggling with your mental health, the Safeguarding team are on hand to ensure you have the support you need and access to counselling services if required.

Support and information 

Everyone has a responsibility to know what’s OK and what’s not OK. Everyone deserves to feel safe, happy and supported where they are. If you are ever affected by any of the topics in this booklet, you can speak to anyone in the Safeguarding Team at Activate Learning.

If you’re a student or parent at an Activate Learning college and you have any questions or concerns, please email or contact the Activate Learning Group Safeguarding and Student Support team on 01865 550 401 between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays.

The team can provide advice, guidance and support if you are worried about your own or somebody else’s health, safety or well-being.  Whatever it is, the team will always listen and will want you to feel safe, supported and cared for.  

Other services that can offer specialist help include:  

  • The Mix provides free, confidential emotional support for young people aged 16 – 25.   
  • Young Minds offer a free 24/7 crisis messenger by texting YM to 85258.  
  • GALOP provides advice and support to members of the LGBT+ community.  
  • The Survivors Trust has a chat service and a helpline to support people affected by sexual violence or abuse.  
  • Victims First is committed to making sure that all victims receive the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of the crime.  
  • Survivors UK supports men who have been raped or sexually assaulted.  
  • RAINN offer advice and support for people with disabilities who have experienced sexual abuse.   
  • SafeLink have dedicated support for victims with learning disabilities.  
  • CEOP’s aim is to protect children from online sexual abuse. You can speak to a child protection advisor who will do everything they can to make you safe.  
  • Revenge Porn Helpline helps adults that are being threatened to have intimate images shared without consent or have already been shared.  

Visit for more information on sexual health and wellbeing. 

Student support

Our dedicated Student Support teams are on hand to ensure you feel supported during your time at college.


Study, relationships, money worries... sometimes problems can seem hard to deal with and life can be challenging at times. All our learners have access to a free, confidential counselling service, to help them work through any issues that may be affecting their studies.

Mental health

Mental health issues will affect one in four people in the UK each year.

Mental health support is an important part of how we help you maintain a good balance between your study, personal life and other commitments you may have. Many teachers and support staff are trained in mental health first aid to support you on your journey.

If you are distressed and need someone to talk to, we can help. Our qualified counsellors can discuss your personal, education or work issues. They are experts in offering strategies to handle stress, worries or anxiety. Our aim is to help build resilience and coping strategies, helping you succeed and grow.

Support for LGBTQIA+ students

Activate Learning offer dedicated individual and group support for LGBTQIA+ students at our colleges. We work closely with community networks and clubs to offer as much support as possible. We facilitate LGBTQIA+ clubs and groups at all of our campuses and will continue to expand these groups.

Throughout the academic year, the Student Support team celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with a range of external and internal events.

We continue to train and upskill our Student Support staff to better support the diverse students at our colleges.

Regardless of age, Student Support can support you with referrals and engagement to other services in the community.

At each of our college campuses we have an LGBTQIA+ society. Anyone that identifies in the LGBTQIA+ community or as an ally is welcome to come along. The society meets to offer support, fundraise for charities and events, and organise events for the community in college. The society is completely student-led so we need your input! If you are interested in coming along to a meeting or joining the society then drop an email to your Head of Student Experience or speak to your local Student Support team on campus.


We have a team of safeguarding and child protection specialists to respond if you are worried about your own or somebody else’s health, safety or wellbeing, on or off campus. Ultimately, it is everybody’s responsibility to keep our campuses safe and we try our best to foster a strong sense of community. When on campus, we ask that you always wear your lanyard to identify yourself and to access buildings. We want everyone to feel welcome, safe and secure whilst at college.

We know how important it is for parents to be aware of all opportunities available to their children, as well as the support that’s on offer, so we are always on hand to give clear and impartial advice on all the latest employment and education opportunities.