UNISON Education

Welcome to the Regional Education Programme. Once again we have endeavoured to offer courses to suit everyone, as Lifelong Learning is still high on our agenda.

The education programme is designed to help you and your branch. UNISON needs more, better equipped and motivated activists. The courses provided are aimed at building confidence and developing abilities. Courses are available for potential, new and more experienced activists seeking to improve their knowledge and skills. We are sure that both you and UNISON will benefit from the experience. It is never too late to learn.

Return to Learn and Women's Lives Courses 2017

Return to learn

womens lives

Return to Learn and Women's Lives Courses - all the details (15/09/17)


I am delighted to send you information about the very popular UNISON Return to Learn and Women's Lives courses.  We are recruiting to these courses in your area.

The courses are a fantastic free opportunity for UNISON members who have been away from learning for a long time.

The courses are run in a friendly and supportive environment with the support of a WEA (Workers' Educational Association) tutor experienced in working with adults.

We are holding information sessions during September/October 2017 in each town, starting at 6pm (please check dates and times on next page).  They will last for up to 2 hours. 

The courses will then commence in September/October 2017. Both courses are open to UNISON members only.

Return to Learn consists of 12 study group sessions run in the evening for two and a half hours and one residential weekend.

Women’s Lives consists of 10 two-hour study group sessions and one residential weekend.

If you are interested in finding out more about these courses please reserve a place at the information session by completing and returning the tear off slip inside the leaflet enclosed.  At the information session you can meet the course tutor, find out more about the course and decide whether or not you would like to take part. 

Details of the venues for the information sessions are as follows: -



Information Meeting





6.00 – 8.00 pm
Monday 2
October 2017

Barnsley Town Hall,
Room 10
Church Street,
Barnsley S70 2TA

Felicity Sanderson
07966 254331


6.00 – 8.00 pm
Thursday 5
October 2017

1 Blackledge,

John Sephula
07966 255768


6.00 - 8.00 pm
Tuesday 17 October 2017

Doncaster UNISON, 156 St. Sepulchre Gate West, Doncaster,

Tara Hannan-Murphy
07966 588 385

WOMEN’S LIVES COURSES: (which are training courses for women)


Information Meeting





6.00 – 8.00 pm
Wednesday 4 October 2017

Huddersfield New College,
New Hey Road,

John Sephula
07966 255768



6.00 – 8.00 pm
Tuesday 26
September 2017

St George’s Conference Centre, 60 Great George Street, Leeds,

Brian Chadwick
07966 255769


6.00 – 8.00 pm
Wednesday 20 September 2017

The Circle, Conference Room, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield ,
S1  4FW

Sue Taylor
07966 254324 staylor@wea.org.uk

For more information about the courses, please contact the relevant WEA Organiser listed above during office hours. 

We very much hope that you will decide to find out more about Return to Learn and Women’s Lives courses and we look forward to receiving your reply slip.

Yours sincerely

Rob Demaine
Regional Organiser, Education


Education Programme 2017


Download the 2017 Full Education Programme (Large File) pdf logo

Download the 2017 Members Education Programme pdf logo

Download the 2017 Calendar pdf logo

How to apply for Education Programme courses


STEP 2: Print it out and fill it in. Please remember to ask your Branch to authorise your form (signature from the Branch Education Co-ordinator/Secretary/Chair)

STEP 3: Send your completed form to Education Administrator, UNISON Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Centre, Commerce House, Wade Lane, LEEDS LS2 8NJ

Download the Residential application form pdf logo

Download the Non-Residential application form pdf logo

Useful info

Passport to learning

If you have recently become a UNISON Steward, Health & Safety Rep, or Union Learner Rep then you’re probably feeling slightly anxious about what you have let yourself in for. Don’t panic! UNISON education and training is here to help you develop the knowledge, skills and confidence you will need in your new role. The Passport to Learning scheme gives all Reps a clear programme of training which is easy to follow and can be done at a pace to suit each individual.


Our courses are friendly and informal and are aimed to make learning a fun rather than a daunting experience. Everybody’s views and experiences are listened to. Much of the time is spent working in small groups. You won’t be lectured to or suddenly be called to give answers.

Child Care We provide crèche facilities on weekend residential courses when child care is needed (you need to ask for this at least two weeks prior to the course). A carers’ allowance may be paid where care costs have been incurred in addition to those normally paid by the member. If you need child or dependant care to be provided at home please let us know as soon as you can. A detailed form will be issued to you for completion.

UNISON’S policy is to use training venues which are fully accessible for those members with disabilities and we make every effort to do so. However facilities for disabled members do vary between venues so please let us know relevant details of your disability when booking a place. If you require a facilitator in order for you to take part then you need to tell us on the booking form who they are so we can book accommodation for them if necessary.

Ramadan For those members attending courses during Ramadan the course tutors will liaise with the member and the training venue to ensure that food is available at the appropriate time for the member to break their fast.

Course Fees There is no cost to members attending any union courses. Course fees will be charged to your Branch on a subsidised basis.

Expenses In line with your own Branch policy, you may reclaim travel and additional child care expenses from Branch funds. You are advised to find out what you may claim before attending the course.

Time Off Members should contact their Branch Secretary or Branch Education Co-ordinator regarding time off to attend trade union coursesTime off with pay is normally available to stewards/representatives to attend trade union courses. However, not all courses attract time off with pay. Also some of our courses are open to any member and they are therefore not normally eligible for time off. If you are in doubt, contact your Branch Secretary/Branch Education Co-ordinator.

Additional Needs If you have additional needs such as a requirement for a loop system or special dietary requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so that this can be arranged.

Course Times Non-residential courses usually begin at 9.30am and finish at 4.30pm.
Two night weekend residential courses normally start with a session at 6.30pm on Friday and finish at lunchtime on Sunday.

One night residential courses normally commence at 9.30am Saturday and finish around lunchtime on Sunday.

These times may vary slightly and you will be notified of course times when you are offered a place on the course.

Closing Dates are indicated for each course.

Late applications may mean the course has to be cancelled or child/dependant care cannot be organised. Most courses have to operate on a minimum of 10 applicants, so please, don’t delay, send your form in today.

Additional Courses If you wish to apply for more than one course, application forms may be photocopied.

Venues Most of our residential courses are run at venues where meals are provided and where special diets are catered for if you let us know in advance. Whenever possible, residential accommodation is usually on a non-shared basis.

Non-residential venues vary, but generally will include access to tea/coffee facilities and meals whenever possible.

Atmosphere The Yorkshire & Humberside Region prides itself on the fact that our courses are relaxed, informal and supportive, so you are invited to dress at all times for comfort.

Cancellations If, for any reason you find that you cannot attend a course on which you have been allocated a place, it is essential that you contact us immediately. Whatever your reason for cancelling it may mean that another member can be offered a place or that you can be accommodated in some other way. But, failure to notify us will mean that your Branch is asked to pay the full cost of your place on the course. If you do not attend and do not give adequate notice, your Branch will be automatically notified and charged. If course attendees or branches cancel a place more than 2 weeks before the course is due to take place, then no charge will be made to branches, as the Region should not have incurred any charge at that stage. (Although a cancellation at this stage may result in low numbers of attendees, which may mean the course having to be cancelled.)

If course attendees or branches cancel a place less than 2 weeks before the course is due to take place, then the branch will be charged the full course fee.

Where a course participant does not attend the course and has not informed the regional education administrator prior to the start of the course, then the branch will be charged the full cost of the course.

We would urge all branches to contact us as soon as possible if they do have a cancellation, as we may then be able to offer the place to another activist or member.

Further Information
If you need any further information, or you have any queries about this programme, please contact:

Regional Education Administrator
UNISON Y&H Regional Centre
Commerce House,
Wade Lane, Leeds, LS2 8NJ
Tel: 0113 218 2330