NEC French A level students go against the national trend of falling registrations

As teenagers across the country receive their A level results, NEC wants to be a reminder of the other students who also received their results today.

We’re talking about distance learning students, those who need or want an alternative way to study.

Thousands of students each year study A levels with NEC and we are proud of their achievements. The difference between NEC students and students at a school or college, is that they are often studying around other commitments and come from all over the world.

We are often asked ‘who is a typical NEC student?’ Our answer: They will typically live anywhere and are male or female between the ages of 9 and a half and 86. They are often being educated at home rather than at school, working full time, have a young family to raise, or are retraining to become a teacher, midwife or nurse.

As diverse as NECs students are, they all have three things in common: hard work, dedication and the desire to change their lives.

An area that has been of particular interest to Ros Morpeth, CEO of NEC are the A level French results. ‘This year we have had more students register to sit their French exams with us - 40% more in fact - which is surprising as the trend nationally has declined.This decline was also reported in the Times Educational supplement today.’ She explained:

‘I was delighted to see this morning the excellent results in this subject. 93.33% of our students who sat their French A level exams with us achieved a C or above, compared to the national average of 87.12%. This is even more impressive when you consider that most of these students will be studying around other commitments such as work and family life.’

‘A level French is a good example of a subject that is often difficult to do as a private candidate because of the oral exam requirements. As a registered exam centre ourselves, we are able to offer a solution to our students. They can come and take the oral exam with us or at one of our partnership exam centres.’

‘Following on from this success, we’ll be launching A level Spanish shortly as well as launching a new A level French course in line with the revised 2016 specification. Both of these will be delivered online through our new learn@nec platform and feature engaging and interactive content designed to provide a flexible solution for our students.’

Student case studies

Results are still coming in, but early signs are good. We’ve heard from some of our students who have achieved excellent results. Here’s what some of them say:

‘I got my A-Level results today for Religious Studies and Politics and I got an A* in RS and a B overall in Politics. I am now progressing onto university to study English Literature at King's College London.’ Kathryn Corrall, NEC Religious Studies and Government and Politics student.

33 year old full time mother Tabetha Scott was featured in the Guardian article ‘I just want everything to be perfect’ on Tuesday (17th August 2016). In the article she described how she planned to go on to study midwifery and needed a grade B to do so. “I achieved a B grade overall which is what I was hoping for so I am very happy. It means I can go on to study midwifery at university.’ She confirmed on results day.

‘After cramming a two year course into 7 months, I have achieved an A* for my English Literature A-Level! Fantastic study materials and my tutor Colin was so incredibly helpful in steering me to getting a higher grade.’ Tamara Martinez, NEC English Literature student

‘I have just received my result for A level biology and scored a grade A which I am obviously very pleased with. Assuredly I managed this, thanks in no small part, to my tutor Donal's support over the past eighteen months. His responses to all of my inquiries were prompt and insightful, and I was always notified well in advance of his unavailability dates.’

‘I will be staying with the RAF for another year but this September I'll be applying to study microbiology at university in 2017, hopefully at Nottingham Trent as I'd like to return home after three years in the north of Scotland. I'll be sure to keep you updated!’ Frazer McCuaig, NEC Biology student.

NEC exams expert Louise says ‘This year we’ve had more people than ever sitting exams with our partnership centres and submitting coursework for the subjects that require it. This is because of the new A level specifications coming in for popular subjects like Biology and English and 2016 was the final opportunity to take the legacy specifications.’

‘I’ve spoken to a lot of students who are worried about the deadlines that the reforms have created and are convinced that they have done poorly. I would like to reassure those students that even if they have not achieved the grade they hoped for, there is a chance to resit in 2017. Do get in touch if you have any questions or want to talk through your options.’

Media enquiries: Elizabeth Underwood, Policy & Communications, telephone 0759 0848783. Or Carly Mason 01223 400358

Notes to editors

1. NEC offers more than 80 courses in subjects covering science, maths, the humanities, professional skills, book-keeping, education and training and creativity and the arts. Learners can choose to work towards GCSE, IGCSE, A level and accredited professional qualifications.

2. NEC was set up in 1963 by social entrepreneur Michael Young (Later Lord Young of Dartington) as a pilot scheme for the Open University. It was funded by small grants from the Calouste Gulbenkian foundation and Elmgrant Trust and £1,000 contributed by Guardian readers.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The National Extension College (Part of the Open School Trust), on Friday 19 August, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow

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NEC French A level students go against the national trend of falling registrations