Guidance for Parents & Learners:
Making an informed choice


At any significant crossroads in our lives it can be difficult to guarantee you're making the right decision. It's impossible to know which path is for you until it's taken, but we can make informed choices.

Whether you’ve set career goals already or just want a little more guidance and direction to follow your passion there is a place for you at VLUK.

All of our programmes provide you with a number of opportunities and act as an excellent springboard for your future career.


We are dedicated to providing you with an excellent standard of learning. In return we want to know you are committed to achieving your best.

We expect all our learners to attend every session and engage with the programmes of study with a positive attitude.  You have to want to be here.

During your study you must be willing to participate as part of a team and each learner must work in line with the assessment guidelines set by the awarding body and your tutor.

You get out of our study programmes what you put in. We expect every learner to achieve the minimum target grades but if you have the right attitude we can help you exceed expectations.

View our policies

The well-being of our learners is at the forefront of the education service we provide. We are committed to meeting the needs of all of our learners with the main aim of maintaining their well-being.

All sessions are delivered in a safe environment. Our aims is to invoke confidence that you can succeed and for learners who experience difficulties; physical or mental, sensitive support is available to you through a variety of sources.

We ensure you have a secure place to study and support your achievements during your study and upon completion of the programme. There is nothing more important to us than our learners health and well-being.

Each learner has access to regular personal and group tutorials, which provide a space for learners to voice their opinions.

Our online tools and excellent standard of mentoring provide you with the necessary support to accomplish your very best.

Individual learner plans will provide clear action templates to encourage and support progress.

We provide you with the tools to succeed both in your study and employment.

16-19 Tuition Funding Statement 2021-22

The purpose of this statement is to set out how Virtual Learning UK is using its 16 to 19 tuition fund allocation to support learners who have been academically disadvantaged due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Who will be supported through this fund? 

  • Learners who have a grade 4 or above in English and/or maths, are from an economically disadvantaged background and would need catch-up support - these are defined as learners from the 27% most economically deprived areas of the country based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation  
  • Learners who have not achieved a grade 4 or 5 in English and/or maths  
  • Learners who have had disrupted learning, for example on vocational courses where assessment has been deferred because of lockdown  
  • Learners who may benefit from small group tuition to reach their full potential

How will learners be supported?

1 - Academic interventions - needs to be specific and targeted to improve learner outcomes

  • 1:1 Assessment - Using outside agencies to support initial consultation with staff to review the impact of disruption on learners including SEND. This will include: ability to communicate with others, how they have coped with disruptions in learning, safeguarding concerns (E.g online safety, anxiety). The use of relevant support services will be used, where appropriate, to ensure appropriate plans are in place to support learners. (E.g Outcome: Staff to produce Individualised Learning and Career Plan, in relation to whole aim outcomes and specific E&M development).
  • Study Skills Workshop - Delivery of workshops to re-engage learners with research and delivery of suitable academic topics (E.g Outcome: Group presentation, confidence in analysis of work, improvement of academic understanding and work ethic).
  • Study Skills Support - Learners issued with assignment, questions and receive small group support with content creation, preparation and delivery (E.g Outcome: Unit Written Submission, Numeracy and Literacy development for GCSE to move from grade 1/2/3 up to a 4+ over time time with us).

2 - Behavioural interventions - needs to improve engagement and behaviour. 

  • Mental Preparation - Group and/or one to one workshop aimed to develop resilience through mental preparation (E.g Outcome: Group Presentation, Enhanced Learning and Study Skills). The additional support is identified through the teacher and ACL referral process to our support team. Then, extra mentors are engaged to support and build confidence and mental strategies through extra work experience opportunities, academic and pastoral sessions and positive reinforcement and rewards.  

Group Integration - Identify and plan an external day trip to a suitable venue focussing on team building activities (E.g Outcome: Completion of Workbooks, development of confidence and learning strategies).

All learners are entitled to apply for a bursary to support their education. VLUK will support learners to apply.

Bursary funds are limited and learners should be aware they will not cover all of the costs associated with the programme.

Bursary payments are not guaranteed.

We can't guarantee you will find employment directly after graduating but we can provide you with the platform to give yourself the very best chance.

All our courses offer an abundance of opportunities and experiences within your chosen industry.

With hard work, focus and good networking skills our programmes have proven to lead to many careers, for example:

  • Teaching sport in Primary, Secondary and Further Education
  • Sports coaching
  • Sports leisure centre assistant/management
  • Fitness gym instructor/management
  • Professional sports player
  • Sports journalism
  • Sports therapy/physiotherapy
  • Sports marketing and business
  • Health & Social care professional
  • Business

We pride ourselves on supporting you throughout your development and this includes your next steps after graduation.

IAG is provided by VLUK tutors and other staff members on the Sport Brain online learning platform, Virtual Learning UK website and the learner intranet.

We want you to succeed just as much as you do and offering free career guidance is all part of our comprehensive service to your progress.

Overall Aim
Our aim is to simply provide all our learners with the impartial information, advice and guidance needed to help them succeed in their chosen field.

Here at VLUK your best interest is at the forefront of every decision we make.


  • To ensure learners make informed decisions about their chosen programme of study.
  • To provide clear and concise information regarding the learning aims/objectives of the vocational/academic education programme being studied.
  • To support learner’s progress and completion of qualifications relevant to their intended career path.
  • To provide impartial information, advice and guidance through the Sport Brain virtual learning platform which supports decision making around career development and higher education.
  • To ensure a timely and robust review process across information, advice and guidance provision, leading to the development and implementation of clear, focused and timely improvement plans.

Induction Week Wednesday 1st - Friday 3rd September 2021
Term 1 start Monday 6th September 2021
Term 1 end Friday 22nd October 2021
Term 2 start Monday 1st November 2021
Term 2 end Friday 17th December 2021
Term 3 start Tuesday 4th January 2022
Term 3 end Friday 11th February 2022
Term 4 start Monday 21st February 2022
Term 4 end Friday 1st April 2022
Term 5 Start Tuesday 19th April 2022
Term 5 end Friday 27th May 2022
Term 6 start Monday 6th June 2022
Term 6 end Friday 8th July 2022

Download term dates

We expect all learners to have a minimum of 97% attendance. It is not only a government expectation, but it is key in developing the calibre of learners that will go on to exceed in employment.

Attendance of learners is monitored and tracked every day. We strongly believe high attendance is key to success in all aspects of our education programmes.

It is an expectation that in the event of absence that tutors and other named key points of contact are contacted at the earliest possible opportunity.

View our policies

Contact us


Here is a list of frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions please email

Click here to apply to the site of your choice.

  • You will be required to provide evidence of your predicted GCSE grades.
  • You may be required to attend a trial/open event at the site you are interested in.
  • References may be requested.
  • Before you are offered a place you will be invited for an interview. This is to check that the programme is suitable for you and that you are suitable for the programme.
  • This could lead to a conditional offer, where you will be able to start the programme if you have met the entry criteria.

Prior to actually starting the programme, you will need to show evidence of the GCSE grades you achieved. This will be towards the end of August.

Once you have been accepted you will need to confirm your attendance for induction days, which are usually in the first week of September.

Your induction days, will provide you with detailed information about your programme including:

  • Learning agreement and enrolment
  • Timetable and location of venues
  • The Sport Brain online learning platform
  • The BTEC qualification and units of study
  • Scheme of work and assessment plan
  • Key members of staff
  • Introduction to classmates

There are various ways by which VLUK learners make their way to their education site. Individual sites will provide you with detailed guidance on transport links and options that best meet your needs.

The actual education part of the programme is completely free of charge. We are an Education Funding Agency and Skills Funding Agency funded by the government.

You will have access to:

  • The bespoke online learning platform- The Sport Brain - which is exclusively used by VLUK learners.
  • Experienced and qualified teachers
  • Industry based facilities.

Your chosen programme, however, may charge additional costs for specialist kit/training gear and coaching/training. Details of this will be provided by the individual programme you are interested in.

In the first instance you would speak to your named tutor or site leader/coach.

In the event that you feel you cannot speak directly with certain members of staff, you will be able to contact:

  • Neil Ouldridge - Head of Learner Experience
  • Or email

You will require standard items such as:

  • suitable sports kit/training gear - a kit pack is usually part of the sign-up process
  • pen and a notepad
  • you may need a laptop - some of our partner sites are fortunate enough to provide them. This is important to understand - as all work required to complete your qualification is submitted and assessed through our bespoke online platform.
  • You will be expected to wear kit/training gear appropriate to the education programme. You will be provided with details of the kit pack on offer.
  • The highest standards of behaviour and respect for staff and classmates. This is judged and graded every half term of the programme - six times in total.

Please refer to the pathways section of each individual course, for further information about the options available to you on completion.

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