25th August 2022
Adult GCSE students from South Devon College are celebrating today as they collect their results. For many it’s the first step in the next chapter of their career journey.
35 year old Kelly Maddick from Paignton wants to be a dietician. The mum of two has worked as a health care assistant in the NHS for 15 years and decided that going back to college would open up more opportunities.
She studied GCSE maths, English, biology and sociology, achieving a strong set of grades (7,7,5,8) and is going on to do an access course before going to university to study Dietetics.
“I was a bit worried about going back to college as it’s been years since I was in education, but I gained so much confidence as the teachers were always there for us, they were all so helpful and supportive.
“I am in interested in being a dietician as working in the hospital you see the effects of poor lifestyle choice and I’m very interested in fitness and nutrition,” explained Kelly, who continued to work full time and study her GCSEs over the last year.
Each year GCSEs continue to open up new and exciting opportunities for adults returning to education with aspirations to progress into higher education or onto an access to higher education courses.
Like Kelly, 23 year old Audrey Cabral from Torquay is going on to do an access course before starting a degree in Nursing.
Audrey who has taken GCSE maths, English, biology and sociology and achieved excellent results (5,6,5,8) is working full time as a health care assistant in the NHS.
“It was hard working full time and then going home to study, but all the teachers were very helpful and were always there to answer any questions.”
33 year old Calum Smith from Paignton decided to study GCSE English Language so he could join the Royal Airforce. He’s currently a mechanical engineer working in design and development but needed this qualification before he could apply.
“I was expecting a grade 5 and came away with a 7,” he said. “It’s blown me away, I’m so happy. I chose South Devon College as it is local and I work just across the road so it was convenient to come across and join the evening class. The college has made it easy for me to learn. They’ve made it enjoyable, exciting and made me want to learn as well, that’s something I never got at school. It’s full of fun and inspiring to aim for the final result.”
Tahereh Khawari from Torquay is a step closer to her ambition of becoming an optician today having passed GCSE maths, biology, sociology and English language (5, 4, 6, 4). She was born in Afghanistan and grew up in Iran, where she studied a diploma in Persian Literature.
“The door was not open there for me to continue my education so eight years ago I moved to the UK. It was a challenging time but I am settled now. After getting a visa and citizenship, I was able to come to college and enrol to gain a level 1 qualification before beginning my GCSEs.
“It was really hard for me because of the English language but the teachers here are brilliant and all of them helped me to achieve. I’ve been working part time as a sales assistant in Exeter alongside studying my GCSEs. My aim is to become an optician. To achieve this I need to complete my Access to HE qualification here at college before I can complete a degree.”
There are many courses available at South Devon College across a variety of sectors including education, engineering, catering, counselling as well as professional courses such as accounting and bookkeeping.
“A huge congratulations to all our students,” said Matt Harbour, Vice Principal and Deputy CEO at South Devon College. “They can now progress onto the next important steps in their educational journey or career and everyone at South Devon College wishes them well. We hope these results inspire others to consider a return to education, whether you want to take the next step in your career, or you want to change direction, or you just want to learn a new skill or subject.”
There are many routes back into education and under the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, The National Skills fund offers a selection of fully funded Level 3 (A level equivalent) courses to adults aged over 19 who do not yet have a qualification at this level.
This offer is also available to adults in England who earn less than the National Living Wage annually (£18,525) or who are unemployed. This is regardless of their prior qualification level.
There’s also lots of financial help available for adults earning less than £35,000 a year, including bursary entitlement for childcare, travel, kit, equipment, IT, and materials.
For more information on adult courses at South Devon College go to Free courses for adults – South Devon College or register today for South Devon College’s Adult Advice Evening on 13th September, 4-7pm. https://www.southdevon.ac.uk/event/adult-advice-open-evening