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Further afield

Maths GCSE finally adds up at learner's 23rd attempt

An adult learner at West Nottinghamshire College has finally passed GCSE maths - at the 23rd attempt. Pam Donohoe (pictured) failed the subject at school, and has unsuccessfully resat the exam 22 times since then. But, after moving to the college, this month the 35-year-old found out that she had gained a grade C. "Maths was the only GCSE I hadn't got and I was determined not to be beaten," she told the Nottingham Post. "When I realised I'd passed I was really shocked but it's finally starting to sink in. I can't believe I don't need to study maths again."

Combined careers helpline offers advice to all ages

A new all-age careers helpline comes into operation next week. From Monday, young people and adults will be able to access the Next Step service. Young people have previously been able to access a Connexions Direct number, but the two helplines are being combined. According to the Skills Funding Agency, the "alignment brings together the high-quality service of both helpline services, and allows for a seamless and consistent service, irrespective of age".

Hartlepool's scaled-back campus opens for business

Hartlepool College of Further Education's new campus (pictured above) has opened its doors to students for the first time. Work on the pound;53 million site started in 2009 after the original pound;62 million design was scaled back. It was one of just 12 projects out of 144 that were given the go- ahead by the former Learning and Skills Council. College principal Michael Bretherick said: "The building is more spacious, brighter, greener, and more advanced than our previous building. The new college has been designed with a huge amount of input from students, industry and business partners to provide the very best resources for education, training, business and lifestyle."

Campaign launched to boost apprenticeships

Following pressure from learning providers, a campaign has been launched to promote apprenticeships. The National Apprenticeship Service is to publicise the qualifications, and will carry out telephone and direct marketing aimed at getting more employers on board. The campaign has been given the go-ahead in spite of the Government freeze on communications. Paul Warner, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers' director of employment and skills, said: "Once again, it is encouraging that the Government is listening to the voice of providers on this crucial issue, particularly when one in five young people are out of work."

College of West Anglia's pound;35 million makeover

A pound;35 million development project has got under way at the College of West Anglia. Building work has started on new technology facilities at the college's campuses in King's Lynn, Norfolk, and Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, and another block at the King's Lynn site is also being redeveloped. The work is due to be completed by 2016. In May, the college opened new facilities for animal-related higher education courses at its campus near Cambridge.

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