Looking back at 2016

Friday, 16 December 2016

A large gathering of people standing grouped together to form the shape of the number '2016' when viewed from above

2016 has been a full year at NEC. We’ve achieved some great things and have helped thousands more people to change their lives. In our blog this week, we take a look back at the year and make an exciting announcement!


Launch of three new Gold Star A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics – NEC’s range of STEM A level subjects increased to include maths, biology, chemistry and physics – the widest range available from any distance learning provider. These excellent new courses quickly proved to be a firm favourite with NEC students.


OBE for Outstanding Services to Education – Last year NEC’s CEO Ros Morpeth was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her outstanding services to further education. The ceremony took place in February at Buckingham Palace where Prince Charles awarded Ros with her medal.


January 2016 exam session results – Carrying on tradition, NEC students again achieved some excellent results. 100% of IGCSE Biology students achieved grade A* or A compared to Edexcel’s average of 23.1%. 100% of IGCSE Maths students achieved grade A* to C compared to Edexcel’s average of 66.7%.


A level practical endorsement – NEC formed a partnership with the Open Science Laboratory at the Open University to give an innovative solution to the challenges of learning about practical skills at a distance. Learn more about the partnership in our previous blog.


Working with UCAS to improve study skills – We started working with UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) on a series of study skills guides to help students make the transition from school or college to higher education. You can expect to see more of these throughout 2017.


Exam season draws to a close – While most of the country was deciding whether to vote in or out in the historic Brexit vote to determine the future of the UK, thousands of people were sitting exams to determine their own futures. Record numbers of students chose to enter for exams at one of NEC’s partnership exam centres this year.


NEA (non-exam assessments) – When we found out about a new change to exam regulations that would create barriers for private students, we responded by launching a campaign to change this. You can read about this in CEO Ros Morpeth’s blog.


Inspiring stories and great results from the June 2016 exams – NEC students achieved some great results in their exams. This summer, 100% of our students achieved A* to C in Religious Studies, including home educated Kathryn who is now studying English at King’s College London. Read her story here.


Launch of learn@nec – our new virtual learning platform – We launched a new virtual learning platform learn@nec which provides our students with the flexibility to be able to access their course online, on the go. The forums allow students to speak to others on their course and they’re able to easily access other resources to help them to succeed. Everything our learners need is in one learning environment designed with them in mind.


A place to get practical – Students who study science A levels with us are able to do the practical endorsement at our partnership exam centres in Oxford and Coventry. Students need to sit their exams and the endorsement at the same exam centre. To find out more about how this works, get in touch and talk to our Course Advice Team.

New courses – We launched some exciting new courses. The Award in Education and Training – Level 3 (formerly PTLLS). Ideal for anyone with training responsibilities, and two new Gold Star A levels: French and Religious Studies. We also launched GCSE English Language, the first of our new Gold Star GCSEs that support the new 0-9 specification.


NEA success – We have agreed an approach with leading UK awarding bodies and we’re now well on the way to an exam system that works for everyone.  You can find out more about the outcome in CEO Ros Morpeth’s blog.

New partnership exam centres – We added 2 new partnership exam centres to make it easier for even more NEC students to access exams and non-exam assessment – in Oxford and Stockton-on-Tees.


An excellent way to end the year – The TES FE Awards 2017 announced the shortlist today. We’re pleased to say that the campaign we have been working on since the summer, to give private candidates access to GCSE and A level qualifications on an equal footing with candidates from schools and colleges, has been shortlisted in the Marketing and Communications Campaign of the Year category!

We’d like to finish for the year with a huge well done to the thousands of students who have studied with NEC this year and a thank you to everyone who has supported them in their journey of life-changing learning.

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