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Returning to learning reaps rewards for GCSE students

Among the New College Nottingham (ncn) students collecting their GCSE results at the Trent FM Arena Nottingham on 24 August were many adult learners who had returned to education to change career or to improve their prospects.

When Clare Harrison, 33, became a mum nearly three years ago she decided to move away from her career as a chef and become a teacher. Clare enrolled at ncn to study GCSE English, Religious Studies, Biology, Psychology and Maths to achieve her goal.

Clare Harrison

To embark on a teaching course at NTU, Clare needed a C in Maths and English; so she was delighted to achieve an A* in English, C in Maths, and an A and two B grades in her other subjects.

Clare said: “I am delighted with my results, and I’d recommend to any older people thinking of going back to college to go for it ­– in my experience the staff and students are friendly, helpful and supportive.”

Matthew Richards, 21, left school with few GCSEs and went on to become a plumber. He said: “I felt that going to university was unachievable for someone like me. However, after being made redundant two years ago, I decided I would really like to go into Radiography, so completed a Pathway to GCSE course at ncn and progressed to GCSEs this year”.

He achieved A, A, B, B, C in English, Psychology, Biology, Maths and History and will begin an Access to Nursing course at ncn in September, with future plans to go to university.

Julie Ashton, Deputy Principal, said: “Many of our GCSE students will now progress onto Level 3 courses such as ‘A’ Levels and BTEC National Diplomas at the College. Some of our adult learners are continuing onto an Access course to prepare them for Higher Education – there are lots of options available.”

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