About NEC

Over 50 years of pioneering distance learning

Founded in 1963 by Michael Young and Brian Jackson as a pilot for the Open University, the National Extension College (NEC) is an educational charity which is part of the Open School Trust.

NEC offers educational opportunities and second-chance learning to people for whom attending regular classes at a school or college would not be possible. Michael Young wrote about his vision when he set up NEC:

'We were searching for education without institution, learning while earning, courses which people of all ages could take in their own time, at their own pace.'

Today, lead by 2014 TES FE Leader of the Year award winner Dr Ros Morpeth, NEC continues to operate as a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing education that offers more choice for the individual.

As well as providing home study courses directly to students, we also provide learning materials and resources to schools, colleges and training providers, and learning programmes for companies, government and the rest of the public sector.

NEC works in close partnership with a wide range of organisations to promote and provide educational opportunities. We are are trusted by major partners and are members of well-respected organisations such as NIACE, the European Association for Distance Learning (EADL), and all the major awarding bodies.

At NEC, we are proud of our history and take our responsibilities as a learning provider very seriously. We work hard to ensure our learners complete their courses and achieve the highest grades they’re capable of.

The National Extension College, historical premises