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College celebrates successful GCSE retake results

Dudley College of Technology is celebrating another successful year of helping hundreds of learners to secure successful grades in their GCSE resits results with an overall success rate for all learners of 55% grade A*-C in mathematics, whilst under the new numerical grading system 71% of students achieved grade 9-4 in English. With the exception of a few adult learners sitting exams for the first time the majority of these learners had failed to gain a grade C/4 or above whilst at school. The overall achievements in English were exceptionally strong with a 30% improvement on the previous year, whilst the mathematics performance demonstrated a consistently high position with the previous year.

Commenting on the achievements Principal of Dudley College of Technology Lowell Williams said: “The majority of our students are young people who struggled at school to secure high GCSE grades, so it’s especially pleasing that we are able to support them to do so well – especially when most of them are taking these qualifications alongside other major programmes of study. It’s well accepted now that to access the widest range of career options students need to secure a grade C/4 or above in these key subjects – so we make it a key part of what we do here at Dudley College.”

“We are pleased to see that the change to the grading system in which A-C was previously regarded as the benchmark and now grades 9-4 are the equivalents hasn’t impacted on students’ performance.” explained Neil Thomas, Vice Principal for Curriculum at Dudley College. “What’s really amazing is that the majority of these students left school without their GCSE mathematics or English, but within a year of starting college they’ve secured a grade 4 or above, alongside their vocational studies.

Commenting further on the performance he added: “The number of students retaking GCSEs at the college has risen steadily from 159 in 2014/15, to over 1,000 in 2017. This increase is attributed to a change in government priority which mandates the college to help raise the level of English and mathematics skills in the UK, as our numeracy and literacy standards are substantially below that of other developed countries. So it’s even more satisfying that we are helping both young people and adults address their own and a national skills need.”

Commenting further Lowell Williams, Principal at Dudley College explained: “We are very proud that our expert teaching and support staff have given so many of these young people and adults a second chance to achieve a recognised set of GCSE results. For many it’s the difference between being able to take up a university place or move forward in their career or being held back, for some adults it’s the achievement of a life-long aim. The overall 71% success rate in English is a remarkable sector leading improvement up 30% on the previous year something I’m delighted about.”

Mature students Lixiang Ma (aged 40) and Kelly Messenger (aged 36) were just two of the many success stories with Lixiang achieving an A* in mathematics and Kelly both a C in Mathematics and a grade 5 in English. Both students managed their studies alongside busy family lives and work experience and are using their qualifications to further their career aspirations with Lixiang hoping to training to be a maths teacher and Kelly securing a place at Dudley College to progress on to an Access to Health pathway and then a degree.

Commenting on her experience Lixiang admitted: “It was helping my own son with his maths homework that made me realise I could help others with this difficult subject but I didn’t have any formal qualifications so I had to put that right.” Whereas for Kelly the decision to come back to college was spurred on by a sense of purpose to start on a new career pathway.

Friends Juliana Fonesca (aged 17) and Nusrat Shaikh (aged 18) also had plenty to celebrate securing a grade 8 in English which will allow Juliana to progress to A levels and Nusrat secure a place at Westminster University. For Leon Round (aged 18) it was his third attempt at the English exam and for Richard Hooson (aged 24) his second attempt – so both were delighted to secure a grade 5 which was what they had both worked so hard for.

Anyone wishing to find out more about how they can improve their own English and mathematics skills can call 01384 363 221 or visit the courses section of our website.