Thursday, 10 January 2013

NEC: Poised for the Year Ahead

The next 12 months are set to be a very exciting time – for both the National Extension College and education in general.

With possible changes on the horizon for childcare, A levels and secondary-level education, as well as exciting developments here at NEC, 2013 is shaping up to be a fascinating year.

This week it was reported that education minister Elizabeth Truss is looking to make changes to the law governing childminder-to-child ratios. Mrs Truss wrote in her blog that she wishes to move towards a less bureaucratic system, with fewer, better-paid staff caring for more children.

A reduced need for childcare staff could create more competition in the marketplace, making being well-qualified even more important for people wishing to work in childcare. NEC continues to lead the way providing childcare qualifications through distance learning, and anticipates working with increasing numbers of learners in the coming year.

There are possible changes ahead for A levels too. With January exams being scrapped and a return to the old two-year A level cycle being talked about, as well as the government developing an “Advanced Baccalaureate” combining key subjects at advanced level, it’s clear that there could be major changes ahead in further education. NEC is ready to react to any developments as they happen.

This year will also surely see more progress on Education Secretary Michael Gove’s plans to replace GCSEs with the English Baccalaureate, announced in September last year. The trend for schools to move away from the qualification and towards IGCSEs, as advocated by Mr Gove, is likely to continue as well. Having had a full range of IGCSEs available for distance learning for years, NEC is in a fantastic position to continue to provide up-to-date, relevant secondary education.

We’re very excited about 2013 at NEC. It’s our 50th birthday this year and we’ve got a lot of exciting plans lined up, details of which we’ll start revealing soon. We’re also on the verge of unveiling our brand new website, which we’re absolutely thrilled about.

We’ve begun the new year by launching a series of new courses in creativity, the arts and counselling: further increasing the breadth of our service and catering for an even greater variety of learners.

As well as all this we continue to make improvements to our service and listen and react to all the feedback we receive. We’re always happy to hear from our learners. Perhaps there’s a service you feel you’d like us to provide? Or a subject we don’t offer that you’d really like to learn? If there is, just drop us a line – leave a comment here, post on our Facebook wall, Tweet us, email us or even give us a call. We promise to do whatever we can to meet your needs.

With so much going on in the world of education, and so many developments here at NEC, 2013 is certain to be a great year – for both the team here at the College and for all our learners alike.

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