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NEWS RELEASE: Residents encouraged to return to the classroom this September with ACL Essex

Residents encouraged to return to the classroom this September with ACL Essex

There are still places left to study a GCSE with adult education provider, ACL Essex, this September.

As children head back to school, ACL Essex is encouraging residents to take up the opportunity to study a GCSE with them this September. There are still places left on GCSE courses across the county, which could be fully funded for many learners. Studying a GCSE with ACL Essex enables adults to upskill, get onto an Access to Higher Education, level 3 or higher course that provides progression routes to university, or use the qualification as a stepping stone to switch careers.

Available courses include GCSEs in English and Maths, which are free for residents who do not currently hold a grade C or 4 (or above) in these subjects. GCSEs in Biology, Physics and Chemistry are also on offer, as well as Computer Science and Social Science.

Prospective learners will have the option to study in a classroom or online. Sessions are available on weekdays, evenings and weekends. ACL Essex has also invested in hybrid technology classrooms which allows learners to either join the course in the physical classroom or remotely live online. This combines the features of both settings, providing a shared learner experience that is extremely flexible for people with busy lives.

Lisa Jarentowski, ACL Essex Principal, is encouraging residents to take up this opportunity which could be free for many. She said: “We offer plenty of free and flexible courses for residents who don’t currently hold qualifications in GCSE English and Maths. We’re here to support learners with the next step in their learning journey, and we want to help them achieve their goals. We still have places left on our GCSE courses, so why not head to your local centre and see what you could achieve with us?”

ACL Essex’s GCSE learners achieved great things on results day last month. One learner, Imogen, has been trying for her GCSE in Maths since Year 11. After completing her degree and trying several times throughout her education to achieve it, Imogen finally gained her Maths GCSE with ACL Essex.

Upon receiving her results, 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 learner, Kathleen, is a grandmother who was keen to prove to herself that she could still achieve top marks in GSCE Biology. She 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.”

ACL Essex also offers progression and pathways information advice and guidance for all learners, supporting them to take the next steps in their learning journey or get started on their chosen career path. Learners who complete GCSEs with ACL Essex can or access a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities or go on to undertake an Access to Higher Education qualification, which helps them to get into university.

To find out more about the GCSE courses on offer at ACL Essex this September, and how to apply, visit

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