Student Success Stories

Lucy Jones

The Access course has been a challenge for me but I am slowly growing in confidence and thoroughly enjoying the new experiences it offers.

Lucy is a single mum with a goal of going to university to provide a better future for herself and her young daughter. After little formal education, Lucy has plunged into the demands of our Access programme with enthusiasm and determination.

“Learning is still hard work, as it was at school, but now I have a reason to learn and goals to achieve. The support from my tutors and fellow students is great and I find myself looking forward to Monday and Wednesday evenings!”

Susan Bowes

Susan is currently studying on our Access programme and has been offered a place at university to study forensic biology in September.

Susan had not been in education for a long time and found the thought of being in a classroom environment daunting. However she was determined to achieve her goal of getting a degree in forensic biology. Initially Susan lacked confidence on the course but as she has successfully completed modules her confidence and self belief has grown.

Susan is a role model for anyone wanting to join the Access programme. Good luck at university, Susan.

Ruwani Holdsworth

Every course I have done helps me get to know the English language better and also make new friends. I look forward to getting my first job in England.

Courses taken include ECDL, ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), NVQ Health and Social Care, and Level 2 First Aid.

Ruwani is from Sri Lanka and began taking courses at Prior Pursglove to meet new friends and increase her understanding of speaking English as a second language. She has had to overcome communication issues due to a disability from contracting meningitis as a teenager which has effected her speech, however she does not let this get in the way of learning new skills and meeting people.

Michael McGregor

Coming to Prior Pursglove has helped me to progress in my job and I am now thinking about doing a university course. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to think about this before.

Courses taken include Level 1 Literacy, Level 1 Numeracy, Level 2 Key Skills, NVQ Level 2 & 3 Health and Social Care, and NVQ Level 2 Team Leading.

Michael works full time in a demanding job role and has attended evening classes at Prior Pursglove for one and a half years. He found subjects such as English frustrating at school but it wasn’t until he joined a Skills for Life class at the college that he was found to be ‘at risk’ of dyslexia. More importantly, he received help to find strategies to minimise this barrier to his learning and he has since successfully completed several courses and is working towards others.

Beverley Nixon

This course has given me the chance to learn new skills and I can now make a calendar and Christmas cards. It’s fun learning new things and doing art work on the computer.

Beverley attends Upsall Hall Centre for people with learning difficulties. She has an illness which affects her breathing and has to spend 16 hours a day on oxygen. For some people this would inhibit their life, but Beverley is determined to live a normal life and always commits herself to everything she does.

She is a great example of someone who can enjoy adult learning regardless of any obstacles that get in her way.

Kay Francis

I had always been terrified of technology as it was never readily available when I was at school. Doing this course has taught me to not be afraid of a machine. It has allowed me to access the internet at my leisure and given me the confidence to do research online.

Courses taken include Using a Computer, CLAIT, and ITQ.

Kay began her learning at Prior Pursglove by taking a computer course for beginners as a social activity. She then progressed to CLAIT and is now taking an ITQ course.
Since attending these courses Kay’s skills and confidence have grown significantly and she now produces a community newsletter distributed to over 600 people.


Sue left school in Year 10 due to serious illness and did not manage to return as she felt that she had been out of school for too long. She had tried alternative education but it was not suitable for her needs. A Connexions advisor then referred her to the ELITE project.

Sue was looking for a vocational course and after several weeks on the ELITE programme she joined an NVQ course in one of our outreach centres in the community. She completed NVQ Level 2 and 3 which then gave her the confidence to move on to study A levels.


Stephen left school at the age of 14 with no qualifications and no interest in attending college. His confidence and self esteem were low and he lacked the motivation to try and progress. Starting on the ELITE programme and attending twice a week, he began to work through the levels of English and Maths, finally achieving Level 2 in both.

Stephen was then referred to a national company who were offering Motor Vehicle apprenticeships and took part in the three day selection process. He was successful, and has now started his apprenticeship. Eventually, he hopes to secure employment in a local garage.