Students anger after Barking & Dagenham College course put back by two months

A group of students are demanding answers from their college after a paid-for course they were due to begin in September had its start date delayed by two months.

The adult learners, who enrolled on Year Two of the AQA Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling course at Barking and Dagenham College, have accused bosses there of failing to properly communicate with them over the hold-up.

Their part-time evening course, which cost �1,350, was due to begin on September 6 but staffing issues led to enrolment being pushed back on several occasions, they say.

The college has now confirmed November 8 as the new start date.

Russell Bresgall, 36, an independent internet retailer looking for a career change, said: “I’m going to another college, I cannot waste any more time.

“I’m not confident they can put the course on and meet people’s learning requirements.

“I’m just disgusted with it. To postpone a course until November is unheard of.”

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As a result of moving to Epping Forest College, Mr Bresgall fears he may have to resit his entire first year.

The college has put the delay down to being unable to find a teacher to lead the course after staffing changes.

The college said the course will run longer and fit in extra sessions on Saturdays to allow students the same number of classroom hours.

A spokesperson added: “Rather than disrupt the students’ studies by starting the course with supply teachers, we decided that it was in our students’ best interest to delay it.

“Adult part-time courses don’t all start in September like young people’s full-time courses.

“It’s quite common for them to start in November and, indeed, all year round.

“As soon as we knew about the delay, we sent them a letter and also an email. This was before the course was initially due to start.”

Curriculum manager, Ann McDaniel, has arranged meetings with students to discuss any concerns. The college did not say whether unhappy students would be offered refunds.