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The Deal

The advertised price of the course might seem a lot of money to you. On the other hand, it may look cheap compared to other courses advertised elsewhere. Here is a statement of what you can expect from us, what we will expect of you, together with an explanation of our pricing policy.

If the course still seems genuinely unaffordable to you, look at our creative ways to pay. We are also prepared to negotiate around "New Economy" payment systems such as Open Money and Bitcoin.

What can you expect from us?

We aim to provide you with the foundation skills necessary to do permaculture design, leading you through the course in the most efficient way possible. The over-riding aim of the course is to get you into action with your chosen projects, whatever they may be, and to use permaculture design to improve the "yield" of your activities. We design our courses carefully to this end, using the proven "72 hour" international syllabus.

The course is accredited internationally by the Permaculture Research Institute and if you complete the course fully you will gain a  certificate from the PRI.

All our staff, and most of our students, are busy people and we avoid time-wasting through the following economies:

  • minimal paperwork
  • no bureaucracy
  • flexible participation
  • no deadlines

Without all the clutter, we can concentrate on creating a relaxed and enjoyable learning experience for everyone involved.

Our tutors all have considerable experience of running projects and their guidance and consultancy will be continuously available to you throughout the course, at no extra charge. You also have access to the School's on-line library, both during and after the course, again at no extra charge.
 

What do we expect from you?

We ask for your co-operation in helping to create a relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone involved with the course.

We expect you to ask questions, also to discuss ideas with other members of the group. But we are not asking for any previous qualifications, nor any particular level of literacy.  We do not require you to attend any “introductory” courses. There is no hard physical work involved in the course. We have a number of observational walks and some outdoor sessions, but any physical activity is entirely optional. Most session time is spent sitting down and we are aware of differing comfort needs. We include several breaks and you are also free to stand and to walk about at any time.

We expect a certain amount of tolerance and respect of the dietary preferences of other people on the course. We have no dietary restrictions ourselves, most of us are omnivorous. But we are happy to accommodate and share other practices around the preparation, not to mention the consumption, of food.

We ask you to take responsibility for specific tasks on some courses, to share in some of the "house-work" during course days. This will depend on the particular course and its design. One example is, on the one-day courses, we often ask you to bring something to contribute to a group lunch.

We have found that the approach above  is a proven way of keeping costs down.

 

Why charge at all?

Our aim is to train you well, with as little money as possible changing hands.

We don't charge for course development, teacher training, development and maintenance of the on-line library etc. The staff at the Northern School have benefited from the investment of the people who taught us, and this legacy is something that we pass on to you without charging additional fees.

However, we ask you to recognise that all the Northern School staff are involved in projects that challenge the current stupidity and injustice that continues to spread round the world at an alarming rate. None of this work is resourced properly and sometimes it can be financially and emotionally draining.

The Northern School is not our "day job". Working here should be a positive experience for us. But we cannot afford the School to be a mere hobby. So, a monetary reward for the time spent organising and delivering each course seems only fair under the current economic conditions.

Much as some of us dream of a world without money, that probably won't happen any time soon. In fact, it is part of our work to manage the transition to a more sane economy, rather than wish for some post-apocalyptic future.

If you find yourself "hard up", then we can offer you creative ways to pay and to explore the "New Economy", Just talk to us about it.

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