Return to Learn and Women’s Lives

Return to Learn participants at their graduation ceremony

These 10-week courses are designed for members who may have been away from learning for some time. They’re run for us by the Workers Educational Association (WEA) in a welcoming and supportive environment. There are no exams to take. It’s nothing like going back to school! At the end of the course you will receive a certificate from UNISON and the WEA.

The courses are free to attend. UNISON pays the cost of all materials and out of pocket expenses. UNISON can also help with childcare or dependant care costs.

You will join a group of learners who will meet weekly or fortnightly at a local venue at a time that’s designed to be convenient. You will have a tutor to help and advise you throughout the course. There will also be a free residential weekend school.

To find out if either of these courses is running near you, contact your regional education team.

Return to Learn

Return to Learn is a course designed for adults who may have been away from learning for some time.

You’ll find that it helps you, not only in your job, but also outside work, with things like taking part in group activities, helping the kids with homework, getting yourself heard, and finding new opportunities. Often members go on to take qualifications in English and maths, and many have found it a helpful route into further and higher education.

The course includes:

  • problem solving
  • using a computer
  • discussions
  • team working
  • exploring points of view
  • everyday maths
  • improving notetaking and writing
  • thinking about your future

I think it’s fantastic – best thing since sliced bread. It’s free education. I’ve never looked back. People should give it a try. – Pete Gibson, Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Women’s Lives

If you are a woman member who wants to get back into education but have been put off in the past because it all seemed too difficult then Women’s Lives is ideal. It is particularly suitable for women who have been out of education for a long time and have had few educational opportunities in the past.

The aim of the course is to build your confidence as well as to help you to develop your study skills, so the emphasis is on co-operation and mutual support. It focuses on women’s experiences at work and in their personal lives.

You found out more about women’s issues, but you also found out about academic work, such as researching topics, interviewing people and writing up assignments, so it was also a good way for women to get back into learning. – Julia O’Connell, Isle of Wight Council

Learning in your region

Booking and attending courses

member learning tree logo