The number of GCSE adult learners across the county gaining GCSE qualifications has increased this year, despite another year of disruption caused by the pandemic.
110 learners attained their GCSE qualifications with Learn Devon this year, up by 15% from the previous academic year.
Under usual circumstances, adult learners at Learn Devon would meet at one of their learning centres, however, for the second year, they have met via a video link to celebrate with their tutors. The learners have completed the intensive ten-month maths and English GCSE courses and have been anxiously waiting for their results to be published.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the team at Learn Devon have worked tirelessly to ensure their adult learners are getting the most out of their learning via online delivery. While learning online has its challenges, many learners have benefited from the convenience of being able to learn from their home, and juggling work, family and life around their learning.
Qualifications for adult learners
Adults of all ages and background have enrolled on the 10 months-long courses to achieve the qualification to enable them to enter further education, progress their careers or to be able to take on a new hobby. Most of Learn Devon’s learners are starting a university or higher education course, many in nursing, health care, teaching or engineering. Learners are also hoping that their new qualifications will help them reach a new promotion or accelerate their career progression. Others simply want to expand their knowledge as a hobby whilst there are others who are looking for additional skills in order to help their children with their homework.
Extensive support for learners
Learn Devon has a dedicated learning support team on hand to work with learners to address their individual learning needs. They can assign a learning support assistant to work with a learner on a one to one basis, they can help with applying for extra time for exams, provide coloured overlays and much more.
Learn Devon Alumni, Andrew Morgan from Exeter, who has cerebral palsy, worked with a learning support assistant throughout the year who helped him as a scribe, someone who writes down his answers for him. Andrew said: “I would absolutely recommend Learn Devon, 100%. They are really good at helping people, looking at their different needs. After having completed my GCSE maths this year I will now go onto learning Functional Skills English with Learn Devon.”
Speaking of her time with Learn Devon, Alumni Sinead Clarke, from Ottery St Mary, said: “I found the course brilliant and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. A couple of weeks after the course had finished, I was a bit lost without it. I missed Wednesday morning maths. So I loved it, loved it so much! The course was free, and I can’t believe everything, the support, the books, the calculator, Learn Devon has put everything in place for us.”
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said: "Congratulations to all of the learners who have achieved their GCSE qualifications with Learn Devon. It's great to see that numbers have increased over the past year, despite the difficulties created by the pandemic. The online learning provided by Learn Devon has offered excellent support to learners, whether they're looking to gain a qualification to change career, help get a promotion or purely for the joy of expanding their knowledge."
Free GCSE courses at Learn Devon
Learn Devon, Devon County Council's adult education service, offers free GCSE English and maths qualifications and welcomes all. GCSE courses begin in September and spaces are limited so it’s recommended to start enrolment as soon as possible. For more information please visit learndevon.co.uk/free-gcse-courses/ or fill in this short inquiry form.