Frequently  asked  questions

pre   programme

  • Who are Personal Best Education?

    Established in February 2012, Personal Best Education is the trading name for Mountbatten School Services Ltd. We provide coaching, tutoring and youth provision services to schools and young people across Hampshire.

    Our vision is to deliver services, skills, and experiences that best serve the local community and support individuals to achieve their personal best.

  • How can I apply for NCS?

    The quickest and simplest way to apply for NCS is online. Parents and guardians can do this at any time; the NCSYes application form is open now! As our limited places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, we recommend you sign up as soon as possible. Please note that parents or guardians need to complete the application for a young person. If you experience any issues completing the application please email or call 01794 510 225.

  • When do you need to sign up by?

    There is no fixed date for completing an application but our places are limited. Full applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. To sign up for NCS, please click here.
    If there are no available places when we receive your application, the young person will be placed on a waiting list.

  • Can I be in the same team as my friends?

    NCS is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Young people can sign up with friends, and if they apply for the same date they have a good chance of being on the same programme. You can submit your request to be in the same team as a friend by email.

    Once a young person has signed up, if not already stated on your application you can email with a request to be in the same team. We will do our best to take this into consideration. We cannot guarantee friends will be in the same team or programme, signing up early will increase the chances of this.

    Young people shouldn’t worry about going on a different programme or being in a different team from their friends, as this is the case for many participants. We only allow a certain number of young people from any one school on each programme, and therefore the programme will be the first time many young people meet one another. Throughout the programme, and particularly at the beginning, there will be many team games and icebreakers to ensure that everyone gets to know each other in their team.

    In addition, many young people say that one of the best parts of the NCS programme was meeting lots of new people and making new friends.

  • Does filling in the application form mean that my child has a place?

    Completing an application form will enable us to process your application, but does not guarantee a place. Please note that we cannot be assign a place to a young person until the parent or guardian has completed the application form and paid the £50 fee.

    As our places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, we recommend signing up as soon as possible, otherwise the young person may be placed on a waiting list.

    To apply for one of our limited places, the young person’s parent or guardian needs to complete an application form, including the medical and support information and payment. Our team will then be in touch either to ask for further information or to confirm the status of your application.

  • How will I know if I've got a place on the NCS programme?

    Once we have received a complete application (including payment), and further medical or support information is required, you will receive an email confirming your place on the programme,

    Approximately 2 months before the start of our programmes, we will email you an information pack and an invitation to our information evening. The parent information pack includes your key timings and dates for your programme, a packing list, and other essential information. If you have not received your programme pack by this time, please contact us.

  • What happens if I pay but my child does not get a place on NCS?

    To help prevent young people from missing out on this fantastic opportunity, they may be placed on a waiting list if places are not initially available for either of their preferred dates and locations.

    Although we can’t guarantee it, young people on a waiting list are likely to be offered a place. Places do become available due to others no longer being able to attend, for example due to family holidays. If a place becomes available, we will contact you as soon as possible.

    If we are not able to offer a young person a place on either of their preferred dates and locations we will issue a full refund of the fee.

    For further details about the waiting list process please see our terms and conditions.

  • I submitted an application and have received confirmation of my place, but have not heard anything since - what is happening with my application?

    Approximately two months before the first programme starts, we will send participants and parents/guardians an NCS information pack.  This will contain more information about NCS including a packing list, and drop off / pick up times and locations. If you do not receive an information pack please call 01794 510 225.

    Parents/guardians and young people will receive their programme information packs by email.

    If your place is confirmed later than one month before the start date (for example if you sign up late), we will email your information pack when we email your confirmation. However, please call 01794 510 225 if your NCS programme is starting soon and you haven’t received the pack.

  • How can I check the status of my application?

    Parents or guardians can check the status of their application by calling us on 01794 510 225 or by emailing us.

    We will contact you by telephone, email or letter if there is outstanding information we require.

  • I'm on a waiting list what does this mean?

    You may have been placed on a waiting list due to your selected programme date being fully booked.

    Waiting lists only apply to programmes which are already full. We will contact you if a place becomes available.

    Waiting lists are checked daily and places are allocated in application date order. We are however also obliged to consider other criteria when allocating a place on the programme:

    – Accommodation restrictions for boys and girls

    – The number of people already on the programme from any one school (we are required to provide a social mix)

    – If the date selected has a suitable place to meet the young person’s needs (see our inclusion policy for further details).

    You may also want to consider whether you are available for any of our alternative dates as this will increase your chances of securing a place. It is possible to be on waiting lists for multiple programmes to increase your chances of securing a place.

  • What if a young person changes their mind about taking part?

    If a young person no longer wishes to take part in NCS, please contact us via email or call 017945 510 225. Our friendly NCS team will talk through the options with you and your son/daughter to find out if there is anything we can do to support them.

  • I want to cancel my booking, what should I do?

    To cancel your booking please contact us via email or call 01794 510 225 with your reason for cancellation.

  • Why does it cost so little to take part in NCS?

    We believe that all eligible 15-17* year olds deserve to take part in NCS. Each place is valued at over £1000 but Government backing ensures that the full programme costs you no more than £50.

    The funding for each place ensures that cost will not be a barrier to young people taking part, with only a £50 (maximum) fee required to secure a place. For applicants unable to commit to this expenditure financial support is available. Financial support can be requested when a parent or guardian is completing a young person’s application or you can contact us on 01794 510 225.

    *Up to 25 for those with additional support needs.

     

  • Does NCS cost me anything?

    Yes. To successfully register for a place on NCS you must include a payment of £50.

    The total worth of this government funded programme is in excess of £1000. For applicants unable to commit to this expenditure financial support is available. Financial support can be requested when a parent or guardian is completing a young person’s application or you can contact us on 01794 510 225.

    Your £50 includes transport activities, food and accommodation during the 1st and 2nd phases of the programme. You will also get  2 t-shirts and a hoodie for free.

    Please note you will need to make your own travel arrangements to and from the phase 1 and 2 drop off and pick up locations, and your phase 3 hubsite location.

    You will also need to provide your own lunch on Monday and Friday of phase 1 and during phase 3.

  • Are all costs included?

    During phases 1 and 2 meals, accommodation and activities are provided. We will also provide transport to your residential location in phase 1 and 2 from our designated drop off and pick up locations.

    Our designated pick up and drop off location for phase 1 is Wide Lane Sports Ground, University of Southampton, Wide Lane, Eastleigh, Southampton SO50 5PE.

    On the programme you may wish to bring a small amount of spending money as there may be opportunities to buy ice creams, sweets, snacks, etc. We suggest a maximum of £20. We also advise that you bring some money to buy lunch on the Friday of phase 1.

    In phase 3, it will be become your responsibility to arrange your own transport to the regional hub site and provide your lunch.

  • I need to apply for financial support for the payment of the £50 sign-up fee, what should I do?

    If, due to personal circumstances you cannot afford the £50 sign-up fee, financial support is available.  Financial support can be requested when a parent or guardian is completing a young person’s application or you can contact us on 01794 510 225.

  • What methods of payment does NCS accept?

    Payment can be made by credit/debit card or cheque. Card payments can be submitted online or over the telephone.

  • What is your refund policy?

    If a young person withdraws from NCS powered by Personal Best Education within 14 days of our receipt of their payment, they will be eligible for a full refund.

    Please contact us by phone or email within 14 days to advise the young person is unable to participate in the programme.

    In the rare circumstance that we are not able to offer a young person a place on the programme on any of their selected dates, we will also offer a full refund.

    Refunds will be made in the same format as they were received i.e.

    – If you have paid by card we will refund your payment back to the card you paid with.

    Refunds will be paid within 4 weeks of the request having been received. If you have not received your refund within this timescale please contact us.

  • Where can I find a copy of your terms and conditions?

    A copy of our terms and conditions can be found here.

  • How do I make a complaint?

    We are committed to ensuring your child has a great experience but if you or your child is not entirely happy with their experience we do have a process to enable you to raise concerns with us.

    If you would like to make a formal complaint, you can email us. All complaints emailed to us will be reviewed by a manager.

    Please be assured that we take complaints very seriously and we will work to resolve your complaint as quickly as we can.

  • Who is eligible to take part in NCS?

    NCS Powered by Personal Best Education is open to all young people living in England who meet the age criteria. EU Citizens are eligible if being educated in England, Non-EU Citizens are eligible if they hold Indefinite Leave to Remain status (and would therefore normally be eligible for access to public funds), or have Discretionary or Time Limited Leave to Remain (and hence some level of access to public funds in some circumstances) or have Refugee status (with recourse to public funds) or are awaiting their status to be determined (i.e. in receipt of NASS payments).

    All eligible young people can only participate in the NCS programme once.

    AGE ELIGIBILITY POLICY

    Our standard age eligibility requirements are as follows:

    – Autumn – Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the current calendar year (and must not be 18 during any part of a residential phase, including travel days);

    – Spring– Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the previous calendar year (and must not be 18 during any part of a residential phase, including travel days);

    – Summer – Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the current calendar year.

    Note that this means that young people aged 15 may attend summer programmes, providing they turn 16 on or before 31 August that year.

  • Can someone apply if they are in year 11 but will be 15 when the programme starts?

    Yes, our standard age requirements specify that you can participate in NCS during the summer if you are 15, providing you turn 16 on or before 31 August 2019.

    Our standard age eligibility requirements are as follows:

    – Autumn – Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the current calendar year (and must not be 18 during any part of a residential phase, including travel days);

    – Spring– Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the previous calendar year (and must not be 18 during any part of a residential phase, including travel days);

    – Summer – Participants must be 16 or 17 on 31 August of the current calendar year.

    Note that this means that young people aged 15 may attend summer programmes, providing they turn 16 on or before 31 August that year

  • Can a young person participate if they are going to be 18 years old or over when the programme starts?

    If you will be 18 or over before 31 August 2018 (or 18 or over during any of the residential phases of the summer programme), you will not meet our standard age eligibility requirements to take part in NCS. However, you can apply to be a leader on the programme. Please visit our recruitment site to find out more about our summer recruitment opportunities.

    Please call us on 01794 510 225 if you would like further information about any opportunities. Equally, if you are unsure about your eligibility, please call us on the number above and we will be very happy to advise you.

  • What other schools in my area are involved in NCS?

    We work with the majority of schools and colleges within our region. Schools are generally very keen to be involved with NCS so it is likely that most schools with year 11 and/or year 12 students are already involved with NCS.

  • Can a young person apply if they do not attend a mainstream school?

    Yes. NCS is an inclusive programme and is for all eligible young people, whether in education, training or not, and regardless of income, background or ambitions. It focuses on personal and social development and offers young people the opportunity to gain real life experiences which can benefit them in their future in many different ways. We encourage all young people who meet our age eligibility and nationality criteria to take part.

  • Additional needs

    Where possible we provide equal access to our programme for all young people and will make the necessary adjustments to enable a young person to access, and get the most out of NCS.

    The only reason that we would not accept a young person onto the programme would be if we could not guarantee their or other people’s safety.

    We are able to accommodate a large range of support needs if we are fully informed of them in appropriate advance of their programme start date. Please ensure full medical and support information is disclosed within the application form. Our dedicated team may then contact you if they need any further information or to discuss any additional support we could provide.

    If you would like to discuss the possibility of support on our programme, please call us on 01794 510 225. To start your young person’s application, and provide details of their support needs, please apply online.

  • What dates does the programme run?

    The programme runs with 6 different start dates to choose from:

    Programme start dates

    • Programme 1: 17th June (3 week)
    • Programme 2: 24th June
    • Programme 3: 1st July
    • Programme 4: 8th July
    • Programme 5: 15th July
    • Programme 6: 22nd July (3 week)
  • How will I travel during NCS?

    During phases 1 and 2 participants will travel to and from the residential by a coach from our designated drop off and pick up locations.

    Our designated pick up and drop off location for Phase 1 is Wide Lane Sports Ground, University of Southampton, Wide Lane, Eastleigh, Southampton SO50 5PE.

    Please note participants will be responsible for their own travel to the designated drop off / pick up locations.

    Please be aware some drop off times are as early as 7.30am. This is to ensure that we have ample time to travel to the residential locations and take part in activities on the first day.

    During phase 3 participants will be responsible for their own travel to their hubsite and their social action projects.

  • How many people will I be going away with and how many will be in my team?

    In phases 1 & 2 you will go away with 70 – 200 young people aged 15 – 17. Your team will be made up of between 12 – 15 young people.

  • Where can I find a packing list?

    The packing list will be included in the NCS information pack that will be emailed to young people and parents approximately 2 months before the start of the first programme.

    If your programme start date is approaching soon but you have not heard from us about whether your place is confirmed, please call us on 01794 510 225.

  • Are there any rules about what can and cannot be brought on NCS?

    You are allowed to bring one suitcase/holdall and one day bag with you. Please try to avoid using a large suitcase due to limited luggage space.

    We send out a packing list around 2 months before the start of the first programme as part of your information pack. This is a suggestion for what participants should bring on NCS.

    Young people should not bring any prohibited items such as alcohol, illegal drugs, or penknives. We ask young people to respect these rules as there will be consequences if a young person is found to be in possession of any of these items.

    Please note that we are not able to insure personal belongings, for this reason, we recommend that you do not bring unnecessary expensive items or valuables.

  • Will there be an information evening for parents, guardians and participants before NCS starts?

    We will invite parents, guardians and participants to an information evening before the programme begins. Information evenings will take place in April/May where our staff will be available to answer any questions that you may have and give further information about the programme including drop off and pick up locations and times. If you unable to attend the parents information evening please don’t worry, all the key information you need to know is in the information pack that will be emailed to you.

  • What happens at the information evening?

    The information evening is an opportunity for participants and parents/guardians to gain more information about NCS and to ask any questions they may have about the programme. It is also an opportunity for them to meet other young people that will be participating in NCS.

  • Is it compulsory to attend the parents information evening?

    It’s not compulsory to attend the information evening, but we recommend that you do attend. It’s a great chance to gain more information about NCS, to ask any questions you may have, and to meet other participants and parents/guardians.

    In any case, we will email you a detailed information pack approximately 2 months before the start of the first programme.

  • What if I can't do part of NCS because of other commitments

    If you are not able to attend all of a programme, then it is best to select a different programme date. Please call us on 01794 510 225 or email us to inform us about your change of date.

    For any absence participant’s will have to make up the hours missed (1 day = 6 hours) to be able to graduate from the programme.

    A core aim of NCS is to build trust, responsibility and understanding between young people from different backgrounds. Absence from the programme is significantly damaging to this aim as it reduces the ability of the team to bond.

    However, we understand that absences are sometimes unavoidable. If an absence is unavoidable please call 01794 510 225 or email. All absences should be advised by the parent/guardian.

    If you need to request an absence for whatever reason, please email us.

    Lateness:

     Anyone arriving between 2-4 hours late on one occasion, will be encouraged to make up the equivalent of a half day (3 hours)

    Anyone arriving up more than 4 hours late on one occasion, will be encouraged to make up the equivalent of a full day (6 hours)

    ABSENCE APPROVAL CRITERIA

    Absences could be approved if they meet the criteria below:

    The participant cannot attend another programme date.

    The request is received from the parent or guardian via email.

    The request is NOT for the first day of NCS Get Active (Phase 1).

    If young people have to pick up their A-level/GCSE results they are required to be back by 1pm.

     

     

on   programme

  • Health and safety on the programme

    We take the health and safety of young people very seriously and have a stringent Safeguarding policy. As we are continually seeking to improve and keep up with industry best practice, our policy is updated regularly.

    During the programme health & safety is of utmost importance and our staff and activity provider staff are required to conduct regular risk assessments. Our requirement in obtaining full medical and support information from a parent/guardian is to enable us to produce accurate assessments and ultimately reduce risk.

  • What is the ratio of staff to young people?

    During NCS, we always meet the minimum staff to young person ratio of 1:15. We do however endeavour to have two members of staff for every 15 young people on the programme.

  • Where will I stay in phase 1 and 2?

    There are a range of accommodation options on NCS and the specific accommodation for each programme will vary.

    All our accommodation is single gender and comes with all the necessary amenities, such as access to showers. Some accommodation, including bathrooms, may be shared with other young people, but it will only be with participants of the same gender.

    In phase 1, young people stay at a residential centre for 5 days and 4 nights. The type of accommodation will vary depending on the location.

    Phase 1 Location & Accommodation

    Ultimate Adventure Centre (Devon) > Bunkhouse

    Croyde (Devon) > tents

    Newquay (Cornwall) > bunkhouse

    In phase 2, young people will experience independent living by staying away from home for a further 5 days and 4 nights.

    In phase 2, young people will stay at one of two residential venues. They type of accommodation will vary depending on the location you stayed in during phase 1.

    Phase 2 Location & Accommodation:

    Marwell Activity Centre > Tents

    Marwell Activity Centre > Safari style tents

    Tile Barn > Bell tents

  • What time do participants have to go to bed?

    Although there is no set time that young people need to be asleep by, all young people must be in their own rooms or tents by 10.45pm. We would recommend that young people get a good night’s sleep to ensure they fully enjoy the next day’s activities!

  • Will there be WIFI available during the programme?

    The availability of WIFI will vary at different locations and on different parts of NCS. Personal Best Education cannot guarantee access to the internet.

  • Will there be phone signal?

    The availability of phone signal will vary at different locations and on different parts of NCS. Personal Best Education cannot guarantee phone signal.

  • Will female and male participants mix?

    Most programmes are mixed gender for their daily activities, but young people sleep in single gender accommodation (e.g. separate dormitory rooms, tents,). If you have any concerns, please contact us.

     

  • What happens if I am homesick?

    Should you become homesick our main concern will be your long-term happiness. We will discuss the issue with you and your parent/guardian and do all we can to help you complete your NCS programme.

  • What activities will I do in Phase 1?

    There are a variety of different activities that you will participate in during week 1 of NCS. The type of activities will vary depending on your Phase 1 location.

    If you stay at Ultimate Adventure Centre (Devon) you will participate in activities such as (but not limited to): coasteering, surfing, total wipe out assault course, laser tag and high ropes.

    If you stay at Croyde Bay (Devon) you will participate in activities such as (but not limited to): coasteering, surfing, total wipe out assault course, laser tag and high ropes.

    If you stay at Newquay (Cornwall) you will participate in activities such as (but not limited to): coasteering, surfing, climbing, abseiling, kayaking, power boating and stand-up paddle boarding.

  • What activities do I do in Phase 2?

    In Phase 2 you will learn new skills via workshops delivered by industry professionals in the morning. In the afternoon you will deliver your new skills out in the community. Workshops may involve skills development in areas such as media, sport, coaching, enterprise, plus many more.

  • What does an example meal look like?

    Options will vary, but an example of the food the young people could receive during the programme is as follows.

    Phase 1 (residential):

    Young people need to bring a packed lunch on the first day and money to buy lunch on the journey home on Friday. High-energy food is then provided by the outdoor activity centre. Below is an example of the types of meals you will receive at Ultimate Adventure Centre, Croyde Bay & Newquay.

    Breakfast: Fruit, toast, cereal, cooked breakfast

    Lunch: Sandwiches, crisps, fruit

    Dinner: Hot meal (e.g. pasta, pizza, curry, chilli and jacket potato), salad, dessert.

    Phase 2 (residential): 

    Below is an example of the types of meals you will receive at Marwell Activity Centre.

    Breakfast: Fruit, toast and cereal

    Lunch: Sandwiches, crisps, fruit

    Dinner: Hot meal (e.g. pasta, pizza, curry, chilli and jacket potato), salad, dessert

    For young people staying at Southampton Solent University they will be cooking for themselves with the help of our trained staff (site coordinators and team leaders). We will make sure that all kitchens are stocked with plenty of food to see them through the week residential.

    Please see below for example meals that previous groups of young people have done:

    Breakfast: Toast, cereal, cooked breakfast

    Lunch: Sandwiches

    Dinner: Pizza, pasta, stir fry.

    There are always vegetarian options available where we provide meals, and we will do our best to cater for a wide range of dietary requirements. If you haven’t already made us aware of any dietary requirements or allergies in the relevant section of the application form, please contact us as soon as possible on 01794 510 225 or email us.

    Phase 3 (non-residential):

    Young people travel to and from the venue daily; young people will need to bring their own packed lunch. Young people will eat breakfast and their evening meal at home.

  • Can I share a room with my friend?

    NCS is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Young people choose who they want to share a room/tent with once they arrive at the residential location. Please note that we will try our best to accommodate young people’s requests but we cannot always guarantee them.

    Accommodation on NCS is single gender and so we cannot accommodate room sharing requests for young people of different genders.

    Please remember that the majority of young people’s time on NCS will be spent on exciting daytime activities, so please don’t let the accommodation arrangements stop you from taking up this unique opportunity!

  • Where will I be based for Phase 3?

    There are several different hub sites across the county that you can choose from. Confirmation of your hub site will be stated in your confirmation email.

    We will try our hardest to place you at your chosen hub site, however sometimes this is not possible. Please do let us know if the hub site you have been allocated is not suitable.

    Our hub sites are usually based at colleges or community centres.

    Hub sites summer 2019:

    Eastleigh

    Winchester

    Basingstoke

    Alton

    Havant

    Fareham

    Totton

    Ringwood

    Brockenhurst

     

  • What activities will I do in Phase 3?

    In Phase 3 and 4 you will have the chance to put your skills and experiences developed in Phase 1 and 2 into practice.

    Phase 3 is all about planning; as a team you will agree on a social action project that will make a difference to the local area. Leaders will be on hand to help, but it’s up to the teams themselves to decide what to do, plan how to do it and present the ideas to a dragon den style panel.

    In Phase 3 you will deliver your project out in the community. In the past we have had projects that have involved supporting the homeless, elderly and our environment. Many of our teams have planned amazing projects that have raised thousands of pounds for local causes.

  • What do I need to bring on the NCS programme?

    A packing list will be included in the NCS programme information pack that we send to young people and their parents or guardians. These are sent out by email approximately two months before the start of the first programme. If you do not receive your information pack please email or call 01794 510 225.

    Please note that we provide all specialist equipment for NCS activities. If you have any questions please contact us. Please remember to read your information pack carefully when it arrives as it contains a lot of important information.

  • Are mobile phones allowed on the NCS programme?

    Young people are allowed to bring their mobile phones with them on the NCS programme and will be able to use them when activities are not taking place (using mobile phones during activity time is not allowed). However, please note that there may not always be mobile phone reception, especially during Phase 1. Please note that we are not able to insure personal belongings so young people who bring their mobile phones do so at their own risk.

  • Should I insure personal belongings?

    Please note that we are not able to insure personal belongings, for this reason, we recommend that you do not bring expensive pieces of equipment or jewellery. If you bring a mobile phone or other expensive equipment, you do so at your own risk.

  • Do young people need to bring a sleeping bag?

    Yes, please bring a sleeping bag with you for all residential phases of the programme (phase 1 and 2) as we are unable to provide sleeping bags for all of our young people. 

  • When will I receive my NCS T-shirt and hoodie?

    Young people will receive their NCS T-shirt and hoodie on the first day of Phase 1.

  • Is there a code of conduct for NCS participants?

    NCS is all about young people challenging themselves, however, to make this happen safely, we have a code of conduct which we expect all participants to follow:

    Follow safety rules and the law

    Only leave the site with a leader

    No going into other people’s rooms, tents, or flats

    No alcohol, illegal drugs or penknives

    Respect and include other people

    Challenge yourself or, in other words, take part!

    If a young person seriously or persistently breaks this code of conduct, we will have to ask them to leave NCS. In this case, the young person will have to return home at their own cost.

  • Will some young people going on the programme have challenging behaviour?

    Personal Best Education aims to support those with challenging behaviour to allow them to take part and get the best out of NCS.

    As safety is our main concern, we review each young person’s application, particularly paying attention to the medical and support information provided.

    If we are told that a young person has difficulty with following clear rules and boundaries, we will contact the parent/guardian to discuss this. In some cases we will contact schools, professionals or other specialists for more information. We then come to a decision about the young person and how much support they may need on NCS.

    In all cases, we will make relevant staff aware of any challenging behaviour so they can support the young person, and the whole team. We also have a code of conduct which we expect all young people to follow; this will be explained to young people at the start of the programme. The code of conduct contains rules about the behaviour we expect on the programme, including safety rules, the law, and respecting and including other people.

    If a young person seriously or persistently breaks the code of conduct, staff will assess the situation and decide on the most suitable action. In some cases, we may ask the young person to leave the programme. In this case, the young person will have to return home at their own cost.

  • What if a young person is bullied on the programme?

    Our staff ratios help to ensure that bullying is extremely rare. However, if your child is feeling bullied or is worried about bullying, they should talk to one of our staff members who will address the situation immediately. We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying and will listen and support the young person. For more information, please see our safeguarding policy in our terms and conditions. If you’re a young person on our programme and are worried about bullying, please talk to a member of NCS staff and they will listen and support you.

  • Certain activities that may take place on NCS are worrying me. What can I do if I don't want to do certain activities?

    We will never force anyone to participate in anything they do not feel comfortable with. We encourage young people to challenge themselves to the point where they are comfortable. We will encourage young people to take part in every activity, but if you are concerned about an activity, please feel free to call us beforehand to discuss this or you can speak to a member of staff on the programme. You can call us on 01794 510 225.

  • Emergencies during the programme

    During NCS, you can get in touch with Personal Best Education by calling 01794 510225.

    If you are calling outside of our office opening hours, you will need to call our emergency line on 01794 330410.

    This emergency number is for genuine emergencies only. Please do not use this number for enquiries about your child’s programme dates, meeting times, etc.

    Contacting your child about routine updates:

    Please note, Personal Best Education will not provide routine updates, so if you would like routine updates whilst your child is away, you will need to arrange this directly with your child in advance.

    Young people are welcome to bring their mobile phones on the programme and will be able to use them when activities are not taking place.  Mobile phone use during activity time is not allowed. Please note that there may not always be mobile phone reception, especially during Phase 1.

    We are not able to insure personal belongings, so young people who bring their mobile phones do so at their own risk.

  • My son/daughter is unable to attend the programme today as they are ill, what should I do?

    If a young person is unable to attend the programme, please call 017945 510 225, where our friendly NCS team will be on hand to assist.

  • What happens if I am late for my programme?

    Anyone arriving between 2-4 hours late on one occasion, will be encouraged to make up the equivalent of a half day (3 hours).

    Anyone arriving up more than 4 hours late on one occasion, will be encouraged to make up the equivalent of a full day (6 hours).

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  • How do young people make up hours so they can graduate from NCS?

    If a participant has hours that they need to “make up” in order to graduate they can carry out any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or community (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to friends and relatives. Potentially this can be done through joining another NCS team during Phase 3, or it can be done independently with support from the NCS social action team. To discuss making up hours please call 01794 510 225 or ncs@mountbatten.hants.sch.uk.

    EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT CAN BE USED TO MAKE UP HOURS:

    Giving time to a local community member, group or charity, e.g. volunteering at local charity shop, volunteering in the office of a local charity, acting as a marshal at a charity fun run and street collections.

    EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT CANNOT BE USED TO MAKE UP HOURS:

    Giving time to a profit making organisation.

    Paid work for a local charity or community group e.g. being paid to distribute leaflets promoting a charity.

    Helping relatives or friends e.g. painting a relatives fence.

    Hours must be verified via written correspondence from the cause the hours were donated to. This can be sent via email to ncs@mountbatten.hants.sch.uk or by post to: Personal Best Education, Unit H, Eagle Close, Chandlers Ford Industrial Estate, SO53 4NF.

    It is greatly encouraged that all hours are completed whilst on programme. Personal Best Education, as the NCS provider, reserves the right to withhold graduate status for participants who have not completed hours within the time period stated.

  • How do I tell you about volunteering I've done to make up hours for NCS?

    To tell us about the volunteering you have done please ask the cause you have volunteered for to confirm your volunteering hours via written correspondence. The written correspondence can be sent via email to dudley.mason@mountbatten.hants.sch.uk or by post to: NCS Social Action and Legacy Coordinator, Personal Best Education, Unit H, Eagle Close, Chandlers Ford Industrial Estate, SO53 4NF.

    Please note that any hours that need to be ‘made up’ must be completed and verified by 31st October of the programmes calendar year. Personal Best Education, as the NCS provider reserves the right to withhold graduate status for participants who have not completed hours within the time period stated.

    When is the deadline for making up hours so you can graduate?

    We will let young people and their parents or guardians know if they need to make up hours by email. Please note that the 30th September is the final deadline to make up hours for young people attending NCS in the summer.

  • How do I know I need to make up hours?

    We will let young people know if they need to make up hours by email.

  • What are the benefits of being an NCS graduate?

    NCS graduates have access to a wide range of events, projects and other opportunities for personal development, building on their NCS experience. For example, you can attend skills workshops, planning your next steps and helping you to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs and universities. More information will be available during NCS and at your graduation.

  • Will there be any events or activities that take place after the NCS programme is complete?

    The opportunities available to our NCS graduates are accessed through signing up to the NCS Ambassadors Network.

    By signing up to our NCS Ambassadors Network, you will have access to a whole host of local opportunities, workshops and events designed to continue developing your experience, skills and impact on the community.  Through the NCS Ambassador Network you may also be able to access national graduate opportunities/events such as NCS Yes! Live, NCS Leaders and youth boards. These can be accessed through the NCS Opportunity Hub, which you will receive details of after completion of the programme.

    Following their time with the Ambassadors Network, many graduates opt to take part in International Citizen Service, (ICS), where they use their skills to benefit communities in some of the most deprived regions of the world.

  • How can I keep in touch with NCS, Personal Best Education and other graduates after the programme has finished?

    Completing NCS is just the beginning. As an NCS graduate, young people will be invited to exciting events during the following year. They’ll have access to ongoing activities in their area, as well as unique opportunities to develop their skills further.

    During NCS and at the graduation, young people will receive lots more information about the variety of options available to NCS grads and how they can stay involved.

  • When will I find out when my NCS graduation is happening?

    After you have completed NCS, you will have a graduation ceremony to look forward to where you can celebrate your achievements. Further details about the date and location of graduation can be found in your information packs and will also be emailed to you in September.

  • What does a young person need to wear for their graduation?

    There is no official dress code for the graduation. However, we recommend that young people wear smart clothing.

  • Can this count toward my Duke of Edinburgh Award?

    Yes, NCS can count towards certain parts of the Duke of Edinburgh award.

    The social action days in Phase 3 can count towards the volunteering part of the award for Bronze, Silver and Gold. Duke of Edinburgh requires participants to engage in regular, sustained volunteering over a number of months, so young people will need to continue their volunteering after NCS.

    For further details about how much volunteering you need to complete for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and the evidence you need to gather, please check with your Duke of Edinburgh leader.

    In addition, Phase 1 can also count towards the residential component of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Young people who want NCS to count towards their Gold Award must be at least 16 and will need to let us know before the start of their NCS programme. You can let us know that you want to use NCS for your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award residential by emailing us. For further details about how to use the NCS programme towards the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award residential component, and the evidence you need to gather, please check with your Duke of Edinburgh leader.

    In order for NCS to count towards your Duke of Edinburgh Award, you need to register separately with the Duke of Edinburgh Award charity prior to your NCS programme. If you have not registered yet, you can find out how to at dofe.org.