Former Langley College students take title honours at national learning awards

Former Langley College Access to Higher Education student Joe Davies has won first prize in the national Laser Learning Awards, Commitment to Study category. Joe is joined by fellow Access student Kelly Harman who also impressed the judges, coming runner up in the Academic Excellent award.

Joe and Kelly were nominated by their Langley College course tutor Lesley Classick. Joe, with a fierce determination to better himself and improve the quality of life of others, enrolled on the Access to Social Work course in 2015. With no prior qualifications and some very challenging personal circumstances it took Joe three years and an incredible amount of hard work and determination to successfully complete the course. Joe was also awarded Langley College’s Student of the Year 2018.

Commenting on why he chose the Access course to turn his life around Joe said: “I wanted to improve my life and improve the quality of life for others, as I know what it feels like to grow up in the care system. My dream is to become a social worker and thanks to the course I now have a place to study this at university. I overcame all my challenges by dedicating myself to my studies and working hard to achieve my goals, but without the high level of support from all of my tutors I don’t think I would have been able to complete the course.” Joe is now in his first year at Bucks New University studying a BA in social work.

Kelly joined Langley’s Access to Social Sciences and Social Work having previously attempted and dropped out of both A Levels and BTEC courses. Lesley explained why Kelly warranted the nomination: “It quickly became apparent that Kelly was an unusually able student regularly impressing her tutors with her ability to comprehend and analyse complex ideas. As she developed into an extremely motivated and independent learner, she widely extended her knowledge through extensive research and with a genuine enthusiasm and fascination for the subject, became instrumental in helping others.”

Having applied to study Psychology, English and Creative Writing and receiving offers for all three, Kelly opted to study English at Bournemouth University.

Access to HE courses are aimed at those want to go to university but don’t have the relevant qualification, they provide the foundation learning needed for degree level study in just one year. Langley College offers six specific Access pathways; Business, Computing, Construction and Engineering, Nursing and Healthcare Professions, Social Work and Mental Health Professions and finally Social Sciences and Education.

Lesley Classick is one of the Access tutors and a member of a close-knit team which Laser acknowledge is part of the success of these courses. Explaining why she finds Access particularly special she said: “As a tutor in further education I know how education can make a difference to people’s lives. Since we started offering Access courses in 2013, over 250 students like Kelly and Joe, have been enabled to go on to study in higher education both here at Langley and at university. Some of these students have progressed through from other courses and many of these students are now in jobs that a few years ago they could only dream about. Access courses, along with our other course provision, are instrumental in opening up a wealth of opportunities, to those who may not have previously considered they have the skills, know-how or the self-confidence to go university. As Joe and Kelly have demonstrated, Access is genuinely a life changing opportunity!”

For further information on the full range of Access courses offered at Langley College, go to

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