ACL Essex celebrate its adult GCSE learners this results day

ACL Essex / Fri 25th Aug 2023 at 11:03am

ALONGSIDE school leavers, ACL learners across the county have opened their GCSE results, which will help many continue onto further courses and step into new career pathways.

ACL Essex learner, Imogen, has been trying for her GCSE Maths since Year 11 in school, and finally achieved it this year. Imogen said: “I’m a Teaching Assistant in a primary school, and my next steps are to train as a teacher but I couldn’t start the training without a GCSE in Maths. I tried twice in college and two to three times in university, and I came to ACL for a last chance at getting it. It made a difference having adults around that want to learn. I really gelled with my tutor and felt more supported, and now I can start teacher training as of next September.”

Another ACL Essex learner, Kathleen, is a grandmother who wanted to prove to herself that she could achieve top marks in GCSE Biology. Upon receiving the top mark of a 9, Kathleen said: “Having retired, I was getting worried about my memory, so I decided to do a course and get my brain working again. I was hoping for a 9 and I got a 9. I’m really, really pleased that I’m still capable of achieving such a good grade.”

Melanie, another ACL Essex learner, has three children and has now achieved her GCSE English with ACL. When receiving her results, Melanie said: “This means so much, it’s fantastic. It’s been a long time since I’ve been at school and my daughter’s now starting her GCSEs. It was hard to get back into the swing of things and restarting it again. I’m hoping to go into teaching, so now I’ve got this one, I’m going to do my GCSE Maths in September.”

From September 2023, a range of GCSE and Access to Higher Education courses will be available at ACL Essex centres across the county. These include GCSE English, Maths, Biology and Chemistry, as well as Computer Science, Psychology and Sociology. 

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “GCSE and Access to Higher Education qualifications can increase employment opportunities, help people to build essential skills, and enable people to take the next steps in their learning journey.

“I’m proud that ACL Essex can offer a range of opportunities for the people of Essex. Not only does ACL Essex offer a wealth of GCSE and Access to Higher Education courses for residents, but they also advise learners of the progression opportunities that are available to them.”

GCSEs in English and Maths are free with ACL Essex if learners do not currently hold a Grade C or 4 (or above) in these subjects. There is also financial support available, including help with laptops, books, Wi-Fi and course fees. Courses are flexible, with online learning, fast track and intensive courses available for GCSE English and Maths. Childcare facilities are also available at ACL Colchester and Maldon. For residents who do not achieve the required GCSE grades, ACL Essex provides the opportunity to retake their exams and take on further study at their centres.

Residents can take the next step in their learning journey by enrolling on an Access to Higher Education course, which aims to get learners into university within 33 weeks to a year, or go into a wide range of subject areas from Level 2 to 5.

ACL Essex will also be hosting a series of tasters during their Festival of Learning: Have A Go Week, taking place 6-14 September at various ACL centres across the county. Residents will be able to speak to the teams at ACL Essex, sign up for tasters in various courses, enrol on a course and receive information and guidance about their next steps.

To find out more about the GCSE and Access to Higher Education courses on offer at ACL Essex, and how to apply, visit www.aclessex.com/gcses/ or www.aclessex.com/access-to-he/

To find out more about ACL Essex’s Festival of Learning, visit www.aclessex.com/have-a-go/

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