Northumberland’s adult learners sitting their GCSE exams this year have excelled in achieving a record number of top grades.
A total of 16 A*s and 13 As were awarded to learners who studied GCSEs in English, maths, French, history, science, psychology and Spanish, to adult learners aged 19 and over.
The learners studied through Northumberland County Council’s Learning and Skills Service and included those resitting English and maths for employment, accessing a university course or for entry to the armed forces.
Results showed a significant improvement in those studying maths with two A*s and four As awarded - up from two As given out to last year’s cohort.
A total of 70 candidates studied for the GCSE with 81.4 per cent given A*-C grades – a notable rise from last year’s group of 50, who achieved 70 per cent at A*-C.
Maths student Stephen Hopkins, 56, said: “I did the maths GCSE for personal fulfilment - a new challenge. I am absolutely over the moon with my A*. It’s the first time in my life I have achieved top grades in something. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
Learners studying modern languages surpassed expectations, particularly in French, with every student achieving an A*. Seven A*s and six As were awarded to those studying Spanish. A mixture of learners studied languages for leisure, and also for work purposes, when communicating with businesses overseas.
Brian Petrie, 64, who has served for 30 years in the ambulance service, achieved an A in GCSE Spanish. He said: “I have plenty of vocational qualifications under my belt from all my years of work, but I wanted to achieve something academic.
“I have always had an interest in languages, particularly Spanish and German. It feels very good to get my first academic qualification. I am very happy with the result and I worked very hard to get it. I thank Dennis Hill my tutor for his support and guidance on the course, and I congratulate all my fellow students for doing so well.”
Daljit Lally, executive director for wellbeing and community health services at Northumberland County Council, said: “I am delighted to see that all of our learners have achieved such excellent results this year. This is due to the high level of commitment from learners, who all study for an intensive one year instead of the usual two years, and because the service continues to offer a wider range of subjects.
“All of our tutors are highly experienced in delivering exceptional teaching which unlocks the potential of all learners.”
Enrolment is now open for courses starting in September. English and maths at GCSE level is free to anyone who has not achieved grade A*-C previously.
The service offers qualifications at its 12 centres in Alnwick; Amble; Rothbury; Berwick; Ashington; Bedlington; Blyth; Cramlington; Morpeth; Hexham; Haltwhistle and Prudhoe.
To find out more about adult learning and the courses offered through the Learning and Skills Service, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/adultlearning”