Chesterfield student left in limbo by college closure

Jordan Stephens is appealing to anyone who can help her complete her GCSE English course.
Jordan Stephens is appealing to anyone who can help her complete her GCSE English course.

A young woman from Chesterfield says she has been left high and dry by the education system after the college she was attending unexpectedly closed down.

Jordan Stephens, 19, of Lings Crescent, North Wingfield was studying for an English GCSE at Age UK Training on Hady Hill when it received an inadequate rating from Ofsted and lost its government funding as a result.

She was then told she could complete the course at another college, Acorn Training, also in Chesterfield, but, after attending an enrolment day, she got an email to say it could not accept her.

She said: “When we were told Age UK Training was closing down we were all panicking.

“But we were told there was no need to worry - the only thing that would change would be the location.

“At the enrolment day last Monday they took my bank details but then I got an email saying they couldn’t take me because of my age.

“Now Acorn are telling me one thing and Age UK another.

“All I want is to finish my course - I didn’t think it would be this much hassle to get an education.”

Jordan has already done two thirds of the GCSE English course she needs to get a level 3 childcare qualification and is now appealing to anyone who can help her complete it to get in touch.

“I could quite easily now go into the job centre and claim but I want to do something with my life,” she says.

“I’m not looking for pity or sympathy - I just want my GCSE English.”

Jordan is returning to education after a number of years away from formal study.

When she was 16 she was permanently excluded from Tupton Hall High School and spent some time at the Bolsover Support Centre.

But now, after working hard to get her life back on track, she says she feels let down by the system.

Underperformance ‘unacceptable’

A Government spokesman told the Derbyshire Times: “This government is committed to spreading educational excellence everywhere, and any time spent in an under-performing institution is unacceptable.

“The Skills Funding Agency and the Education Funding Agency have terminated their contracts with Age UK Trading’s training division following its rating of inadequate by Ofsted.

“We are now working to ensure all apprentices and learners find alternative quality providers with minimal disruption.”

A spokesman for both Age UK Training and Acorn Training said that it was a matter for the Education Funding Agency and as such they were unable to comment further.