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Flexible GCSE and A level courses specifically designed for online learning.

A proven learning platform where your child can access their learning materials and you can monitor their progress.

NEC has been helping people learn from home since 1963, and with over 57 years’ experience of helping home educators flourish, we’re dedicated to ensuring that every one of our students has the high quality course materials, support and guidance they need to achieve their best grades. We also provide a unique set of services to parents, to help them in supporting their child through home education.

Exams and beyond…

We have exam results to be proud of and are able to take on challenges as they arise. As a registered exam centre with decades of experience, we worked tirelessly throughout 2020 to provide centre assessment grades to all eligible students after the cancellation of the summer exams – more information on how we handled the ever-changing exams situation can be found here.

Some examples from the 2020 exam results:

  • 100% pass rate for GCSE English Language
  • 100% pass rate for GCSE English Literature
  • 82.4% pass rate for GCSE Maths
  • 100% pass rate for all A level subjects

Access to a career development platform and support in applying for university*

Whether you are already a home educator, or are researching the options for homeschooling your child, NEC offers the support your family needs to ensure that your child achieves the qualifications they need to go on to college, university or the first step in their career. As well as high quality course materials, written carefully to cover awarding body specifications, each course includes regular tutor marked assignments giving the student an opportunity to receive formative and summative feedback as they progress through the course. Students under 18 years of age are also provided with the following additional support:

  • Parent Portal login to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
  • Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support.
  • Emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team.
  • Dedicated Parent Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.
  • Your child will gain free access to the Kudos career development platform for young learners to explore career choices. Kudos can help your child navigate a complex career and academic landscape. With over 700 career profiles your child can easily explore the world of work and link their course to future careers.
  • The option to purchase additional services including our UCAS service, revision sessions, past paper marking and optional tutorials.

*Additional service.

Study with NEC and get 10% off your first year at the Open University

The Open University (OU) and The National Extension College (NEC) are working together to make progression from FE (further education) to HE (higher education) a lot more affordable.

Here is the offer: Current NEC students or alumni within three years of progressing their studies with NEC, will be eligible to claim a 10% discount on all Open University Level 1 undergraduate courses*.

Online learning can open the doors to students of all ages and backgrounds, providing the flexibility and framework to achieve academic success.

More than 40% of NEC students plan on going on to university, with many choosing to study with the OU after achieving their GCSEs and A levels with NEC. This is a fantastic opportunity for all those students who  appreciate the flexibility of distance learning and wish to continue their studies into higher education; whether it’s to pursue a career goal or simply just to study the subject you love.

*Average saving of £619.

NEC guide to home schooling your child

Drawing on over 55 years’ experience, and thousands of successful students, we’ve put together the NEC Guide for Home Educators.

Parents are legally entitled to homeschool their children up to the compulsory schooling age (currently 16 in England and Wales), and that includes children with special needs.

Our guide will help you to understand what’s involved in successful homeschooling, outline how much it’s likely to cost you, and signpost you to additional sources of information and advice.

Download your free copy here. [PDF]

Sources of useful information for homeschoolers

There’s a plethora of information for home educators out there so as well as our NEC Guide for Home Educators, here are some other websites that we would recommend. Please note that we cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of these third-party sites.

Fees for NEC courses for home educators

If you’re looking into home educating your child, you’ve probably been doing a lot of research into different providers.

As an education charity dedicated to helping independent learners to achieve life-changing qualifications, NEC wants to maintain value for money. To keep our course fees as low as possible and ensure that they are affordable for individual students, who are often paying their own fees, we set course fees on a cost recovery basis. Any surplus we make is reinvested in improving the quality of our courses and developing our student support services.

Although our courses cost more than some other providers’, it’s important to be aware that we offer decades of experience in distance learning, course materials developed by subject experts, and have been advocating for private candidates and the accessibility of education since 1963.

As a result, NEC’s fees for GCSEs and A levels offer some of the best value on the market, with multi-buy options, seasonal special offers, and affordable finance options. Learn more about fees and finance options.

For specific fee information, visit the course page.

Additional support included for home schooling

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience, learning online works best when the parents are involved, so when you enrol your child with NEC, you’ll have a unique set of services to help you to support your child.

This includes:

  • Your own login to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
  • Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support.
  • Emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team.
  • Dedicated Parent Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.
  • Access to the Kudos career platform for young learners to explore career choices.
  • The option to purchase additional services including our UCAS service, revision sessions, past paper marking and optional tutorials.

Hear from a home educating family about their experience

Are you a school looking to support students under 18?

With increasing pressure on secondary schools and colleges, through the impact of Covid-19, growing student numbers, shrinking budgets and staff shortages in some subject areas – as well as pressure on the curriculum making non-core subjects difficult to accommodate – many are looking beyond their own boundaries in order to offer additional subjects to their most ambitious and able students.

As well as supporting home educators and adult distance learners since 1963, NEC has been working with secondary schools and colleges for over 20 years.

Read more about how NEC can work with your school to extend subject choice, help to overcome timetables clashes and provide flexibility to help your students succeed.

Wide range of courses

NEC offers one of the widest ranges of online courses at GCSE and A level in the UK, with 16 subjects at GCSE level, (including English language, English literature, maths, astronomy and sociology), and 20 subjects at A level, (including modern foreign languages, physical and social sciences, and the humanities). Most of our A level courses can also be studied to AS level.

Your child can enrol on any NEC course whenever it suits them (and you), and start studying straight away.

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Contact us for more information.