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Norfolk is officially the best place in the UK to learn as an adult

01 June 2021

Norfolk County Council’s Adult Learning service has been named the UK’s leading adult education provider at an awards ceremony this weekend.

The service took home the ‘Adult and community learning provider of the year’ award at the Tes (Times Educational Supplement) Further Education awards, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of education’.

Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council said:

“Many congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard throughout a uniquely challenging year. It is important that Norfolk comes out of the pandemic stronger and our award-winning Adult Learning service will be a real asset for those who want to retrain or reskill.”

Ceri Sumner, Director of Community, Information and Learning at Norfolk County Council said:

“This award is down to our staff and students who have maintained an exceptionally high standard throughout the last year. The work they put in is now officially second-to-none and is something everyone in Norfolk should be proud of.”

The award recognises providers ‘whose imagination and passion’ have shown ‘excellence in providing a high-quality curriculum with excellent student outcomes’.

Sue Pember, Lead judge at the Tes Further Education Awards, said: “Norfolk County Council is a worthy winner for its amazing ability to do what’s right for its community. In life before Covid, 98% of provision was delivered in 200 venues across the region, but by April 2020 everything had changed and all provision moved online. As a result, learners remained connected with education and, crucially, with each other."

Norfolk’s Adult learning fought off competition from hundreds of other providers to make the final 7, before taking home the most prestigious award in adult education.

Norfolk’s adult learners bucked the national trend throughout the pandemic with improvements in test scores and participation in qualification courses, which fell across the rest of the country.

Norfolk was also one of the first counties to move their adult learning completely online and saw over 3000 people learn virtually last year.

Anyone seeking to refocus, retrain and Reskill can find a course for them on our Adult Learning pages.

The live stream of the event can be found of the Tes YouTube channel. The Adult and community learning provider of the year Award is announced 32 minutes into the stream.

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