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Essential Student Support

The essential support page is here to provide you with information, advice and support that you can receive whilst at college to help ensure that you have a positive learner journey experience. The essential support page also includes useful external agency information, including out of hours help and advice. 

contingency exam dates

The awarding bodies have collectively agreed a contingency day for several years now which is always scheduled at the end of the GCSE, GCE AS and A-level exam timetables.

The contingency day is in the event of national or significant local disruption to exams in the United Kingdom, being part of the awarding bodies’ standard contingency planning for exams.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, further resilience was needed within the exam timetables. A single contingency day was not felt to be sufficient if a national event or incident had a significant effect on the exam timetable. For example, summer exams could be affected by extremely high temperatures.

 For the June 2023 exams, the awarding bodies have therefore introduced two additional half-day contingency sessions. These are on Thursday 8 June 2023 and Thursday 15 June 2023. The standard contingency day remains at the end of the timetable being scheduled on Wednesday 28 June 2023.

Colleges should ensure candidates and parents are aware of the contingency arrangements on these three days. They should consider the contingency day of Wednesday 28 June 2023 when making their plans for the summer. Candidates should be encouraged to remain available until Wednesday 28 June 2023 should examinations need to be rescheduled

Worried about exams?

If you’re feeling worried or anxious about your exam results, take a look at our Managing Worries about exam results information here to find some useful tips.

financial support

There are two types of Financial Support you may require as a learner at Buxton and Leek College.

Tuition Fees – Further Education Course

If you are aged 18 or under on the first day of the academic year, you do not have to pay tuition fees for your course (subject to residency criteria).

If you are aged over 18 years of age on the first day of the academic year, whether you have to pay for the cost of your course or not depends on criteria such as age, eligibility for discounts, and whether you live in the UK, European Union (EU) or overseas.

When you have enrolled our Fees Team would check if you/ your course are eligible for any fee remission or discounts (not to be mistaken with the FE Bursary Funds), or whether you will need to take out an advanced learner loan.

For further information regarding tuition fees please visit


Bursary Funding towards additional course costs such as Transport, Kit, Uniform, DBS, Childcare etc.

Buxton and Leek College is granted limited funding from the Government each year to issue out as Bursaries towards costs that may be a barrier to learners on eligible Further Education study programmes.

Learners looking to study a Higher Education programme should refer to our University funding pages here: Undergraduate fees and finance – Undergraduate – University of Derby

These Bursaries (as of 31.08.2022) may be available to learners enrolled on a Full Time Study Programme, Part Time Study programme, Traineeship or Supported Internship. Apprenticeships are not currently included as they are classed as Waged Training.

Bursaries are issued subject to the funds available and are means tested subject to the household income set for the academic year – this year (01.09.2022 – 30.06.2023) the threshold was less than £40,000pa to be eligible for support and we hope to receive enough funding next academic year to continue this.

We normally manage to support our learners with between 75-90% of additional course costs.

If you would like further information regarding the Bursaries available, please click here.

If you are looking to study an apprenticeship and would like to know what funding may be available to you, then visit our webpage here


Free College Meals Scheme

Learners who are aged the following at the start of the academic year:

  • 16-18 years old
  • 19 years old and in the the 2nd year of a two year study programme they began aged 16-18
  • 19 – 25 years old and in receipt of an Educational Health Programme

and enrolled on a Full Time Study Programme, Traineeship or Supported Internship may be eligible for a free meal for timetabled days they are due to study with us or be on placement. The learner or their Parent(s)/ Guardian(s) must be in receipt of an eligible benefit to qualify.

To find out more information please visit our webpage here



The Careers and Employment Service, along with the Work Experience Team, are here to help you. We have various online resources on the careers website that you can access to help you prepare for your future career and improve your employability.

We also offer personalised advice through one-on-one appointments, either online or in-person. You can book an appointment with a Careers Advisor or Career Coach to talk about planning your career, applying to university, writing your CV, preparing for interviews and exploring your options based on your qualifications.

Appointments are available between Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm (subject to availability). You can check availability and book here:

The Careers and Employment Service will continue to support you for up to 12 months after you’ve completed your course.

The Work Experience Team are available on to answer questions via – Monday to Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

library services

You can view our Library opening hours here.

Is the Library/HUB open for me to use?

The Devonshire Library and Leek HUB are open for students that want to browse our books or use a PC/study space. For information about our opening hours and to make a booking, please visit our website. If you need any help or support, please contact the Library on 01332 591215 or email us on

Do I need to return my Laptop?

As you will be studying on campus and at home, laptops that were loaned out in December/January will continue to renew automatically each week, unless you receive an email recall notice from the Library service. If you receive a recall notice from the Library service, please return your laptop to the Library/HUB. If you have any queries about your account, please contact the Library on 01332 591215 or email us on

You can find the Subject Guides via this link – look for your subject in the list.

Each Guide has information on using books and eBooks, using our search engine, Discover to find articles and more, and provides links to useful websites. There is also help with using Harvard referencing.

If you have further questions, there’s a web-chat icon in the bottom right corner of every Subject Guide page that students can click on and ask a question. You can also book places at Academic Librarian Clinics for specific queries (on the calendar, look for the ones called ‘Buxton and Leek students’).

You can take a look at our virtual tour here.

You can now also access our library FE subject guides by following this link


Ingrid Keith is offering Chaplaincy support with Spiritual Well-Being and has found a helpful link for students to gain support too-

If you would like a confidential chat with a Chaplain, please email and a Teams call can be set up to talk about religion, spirituality or anything you are worried about during these uncertain times.