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Lewisham's adult learners celebrate significant GCSE successes

Adult learners in Lewisham celebrated life-changing GCSE results last week.

This year’s GCSE results in English and Mathematics – gateway subjects for many areas of employment, training or further study options – were the best ever for Adult Learning Lewisham.

Adult learners often need to juggle their studies with a job or care responsibilities – sometimes both. Many arrive at a course unsure of their chances of success, perhaps because they struggled at school, or because it has been decades since they last took on formal learning.

Of the 47 adult learners who took Mathematics GCSE this year, 83% scored grade 4 or above. Of the 31 adult learners who took English GCSE, 68% scored grade 4 or above.

Scoring at least grade 4 – comparable with the old ‘C’ grade and generally acknowledged as a ‘pass’ – has transformed the outlook of many of this year’s learners.

Wendy Kimberley said: "Forty-four years after sitting CSEs I am delighted to have passed Maths GCSE. I've had a numbers block for as long as I can remember and often thought about trying again. After some difficult family circumstances I thought I would have a go as a distraction. I am so glad I did. I'd love to continue with Maths study in one way or another. I've just started a part-time job and one of the first tasks is to get to grips with the budget and now I have more confidence to do that!”

Surrya Edwards had been out of education for several years and has aspirations to go to university. She got grade 5 in English GCSE in 2020, and grade 6 in Mathematics this year. “Since receiving my results I have not stopped smiling and celebrating as Adult Learning Lewisham has given me the main tools needed to achieve my next goal of going to university and studying business management.”

Mark Winslow left school 34 years ago with no qualifications. He works as a delivery driver and has been studying in the evenings and weekends. “Thanks to Adult Learning Lewisham I now have a grade 7 in Maths and a 6 in English. The zoom meetings were tough for me and I did contemplate quitting but thanks to my tutor Karen, who persuaded me to continue, I persevered and received a great result. I now have the studying bug so I’ve signed up for a French GCSE.”

Mabel Amadin is the mother of two young children and works as a complex carer. She said:

“Despite not having enough time to study as well as I ought to, due to a busy family life, I got a grade 5 in my English GCSE. I was blessed, privileged to be a learner at the Brockley Centre.”

Cllr Andre Bourne, Cabinet member for Culture, said: “This year’s results are a fantastic achievement for Lewisham’s adult learners and they should all be proud of their hard work, especially after such a difficult year. Adult Learning Lewisham’s tutors have greatly supported the learners to succeed this year and set them on the path to pursue their ambitions. Learning does not stop at school and it is never too late in life to start learning. I would encourage other residents in Lewisham to consider how Adult Learning Lewisham’s courses might benefit them.”

Do you need to achieve your English and Maths qualifications for work or further education? Find out more about Adult Learning Lewisham and how to apply.

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