National Extension College out of administration Friday, December 23, 2011 - 09:46

The Open School Trust logo

The education charity, the Open School Trust, is the new owner of The National Extension College (NEC), which has been bought from the Learning and Skills Network after it went into administration last month.

Dr Ros Morpeth, who was the NEC's Director from 1987 to 2003 and who is leading the partnership to run the new NEC, said:

"Crucially, the values and mission of the reborn National Extension College will remain true to its founding father, Michael Young (Lord Young of Dartington) who founded both the Open School Trust in 1989 and the National Extension College in 1963. Equally important to the whole undertaking has been the consideration of the thousands of students who are enrolled on NEC courses. The administrators, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), have ensured that the learners continue to have the student service and tutor support they need."

The Open School Trust is bringing an experienced management team to NEC. The new NEC is partnered by NIACE, who has worked alongside it to move the college out of administration.

This is great news. The National Extension College always had a reputation for innovation in distance learning, pioneering approaches the Open University went on to develop so successfully. The NEC was also a long-standing member of NIACE and shared our commitment to widening participation for adult learners.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE

Dr Morpeth continued:

"NIACE's support has been a significant factor in this success story and is continuing to give generous support in helping us get our systems up and running again. We share, of course, the broad aim of making it easier for people of all ages to return to learning and fit learning into their lives."

David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

"This is great news. The National Extension College always had a reputation for innovation in distance learning, pioneering approaches the Open University went on to develop so successfully. The NEC was also a long-standing member of NIACE and shared our commitment to widening participation for adult learners."

"We're delighted that Dr Ros Morpeth has been successful in recovering the legacy of one of Lord (Michael) Young's inventions by using another - the Open School Trust - and we wish them every success in re-establishing NEC as an independent charity."

Sarah Jones, Chief Executive of learndirect, commented:

"This rescue package for NEC from the Open School Trust is an important development in the sector and importantly secures the future for thousands of learners. We support the Trust's aims to bring more variety into the delivery of learning and, like us, offer alternative solutions to people wanting to transform their lives. This is why learndirect has committed to working with Open School Trust, utilising content and materials which we believe will benefit our learners."

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