← Older posts

Online payments: essential information

Posted on: 14 March 2016

Pixabay keyboardIf you are claiming a discount on one of our courses or making a payment that is less than 100% of the full cost of the course, due to technical issues this service is currently not available through our online payment system.

Instead, please phone or visit one of our centres with your course information to hand, and our team there will be able to apply the discount and take payment for your course.

We are working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Posted in news |

Featured five: upcoming courses not to miss

Posted on: 21 August 2017

Here’s our latest pick of courses starting soon across Devon. They include GCSE English and maths, photography, ESOL, watercolours, and French.

If you see something you’d like to do but it’s not on in your area or the times or dates don’t suit you, find more courses using our online search or contact your local centre – if there’s enough interest in your area, they may be able to put on your course.

GCSE maths and English

Various locations, times and days

Time is running out to enrol for our maths and English GCSE courses, so if you are interested in joining one, contact your local centre today. If you haven’t got a GCSE grade C or above in maths or English the course will be free. Find out more about learning maths and English with us.

Digital Photography

The Mansion, Totnes, Wednesdays 6 September to 4 October, 7-9pm

If you’re interested in photography and would like to take better photos using your digital camera, this is the perfect course for you. You’ll learn how to make the most of your camera as a tool, and take meaningful pictures. Find out more about our digital photography course.

French conversation

The Alexander Centre, Tavistock, Mondays 11 September to 16 October, 6-8pm

This course will help you brush up on your existing French skills, and learn further French vocabulary, phrases and grammar to be able to hold a conversation with a native French speaker. Find out more about French conversation. We run French classes throughout Devon and you can see our full list of language classes across all levels here.

Creative watercolours

The Kennaway Centre, Exmouth, Tuesdays 19 September to 17 October, 10am-12noon

A great course if you’re a beginner to help you start experimenting with colours and effects. You’ll be working on both landscapes and still life, in both watercolour and mixed media. All you need to bring is your own small watercolour pad! Find out more about creative watercolours.

ESOL: English for speakers of other languages

Passmore Edwards Centre, Newton Abbot, Tuesdays 19 September to 9 January, 9.30am-12.30pm

ESOL classes are a great way to help improve your spoken and written English. Learn new words, pronunciations, and basic grammar to help you in your day to day life – going to the shops, booking a doctors appointment, and much more! Find out more about ESOL: English for speakers of other languages. We run ESOL classes across the whole county, and you can see the full list here.

Posted in news |

Video: our apprentices talk about their first year

Posted on: 21 August 2017

Watch our video to find out how our five apprentices Emily, Harry, Lewis, Marcus and Paige have found their first year on the job. They talk about what they have enjoyed, what they have learned and what they are looking forward to in year two.

Posted in news | Tagged , |

Our new Autumn term courses are here!

Posted on: 1 August 2017

Our new Autumn term courses are now available to browse and enrol on! You can use our course search, drop us an email, give us a call on 0345 155 1014, or pop in to your local centre to enrol.

If you see a course you’d like to do on a poster or leaflet, but you can’t find it on our website, please call your local centre and they will be able to give you further details on it and enrol you.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest updates.

Posted in news |

“At Learn Devon my life and confidence have improved”

Posted on: 19 May 2017

Two learners from courses at The Kennaway Centre in Exmouth write about how their learning has improved their lives…


My reason for learning

I started going to English classes because when I left school back in 1983 I left with very low pass marks. In the subjects I took, which were maths, art and English, I only got CSE passes.

New people

When you go to Learn Devon at the Kennaway Centre you get to meet different people with different learning problems and different reasons for wanting to learn English.

I found being older makes it much easier than when I went to school. Then, the teachers had no discipline and most of the pupils disrupted the class and nothing was ever done about it.


At Learn Devon you’re given a fair chance to be able to obtain skills for life. I started learning English with a tutor called Sim. I learnt comprehension and punctuation. I managed to pass entry level 3. Now I am in Fiona’s class and I am working towards a huge leap in comparison to where I started.

Quotes from the class

Matthew, a member of the group, said: “When I come to class I feel everyone’s happy and it’s good doing English as it makes you use your brain!”

Kim, the learning support worker, said: “It is a joy to come to the English class as I enjoy helping people improve their writing as it is a skill for life.”

In a class of its own

I never used to enjoy schooling as I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere. At least at Learn Devon my life and confidence have improved as now I write letters and I can fill in forms which used to be a problem. All of my improvements have been noticed by my parents who used to worry because I have always struggled.


Learning with a reason

My name is Matt, I attend the Kennaway Centre twice a week. I started off doing my level one English and maths. With the help of my teachers I have passed both English and maths.

My achievements

Soon after I passed my level one English and maths, I moved on to start my level two. After I pass my level two English and maths I will start a course at college.

My English group

In my English group we are always busy doing articles or other amazing tasks. I like it that every time I walk into my English class, everyone is happy, chirpy and always eager to start the tasks the tutor Fiona has planned.

I have asked Fiona what she likes about our English group and she commented: “I love it that every character is different and the group is supportive to each other. They work well together as a team and as a class.”

Why should I join the Kennaway?

The Kennaway helped me up my grades when the college would not accept me because my grades were too low. One of my friends said: “When I first started at the Kennaway I had little skills but since joining I have achieved skills in writing letters and other basic skills and now I can write a formal letter with confidence.”

This could be you!

You could be in the same situation as most people here at the Kennaway, but everyone is here to learn and achieve skills they might not have learnt before. Your life could change here at the Kennaway and you could achieve the same skills as others have in the past.

So don’t hesitate, come and sign up now.


Posted in news |

We maintain our ‘Good’ Ofsted rating

Posted on: 3 April 2017

We are celebrating after maintaining our Good rating from Ofsted, following an inspection on 28 February and 1 March.

Over the two days, HM inspectors met with managers, tutors and other staff, visited lessons, talked to learners and reviewed key information such as evidence of safeguarding and reports on learners’ satisfaction with their courses.

In his report, HM Inspector Steven Tucker praised our “clear focus on improving the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Devon.”

He continued: “Inspectors found that teachers deliver courses that improve people’s literacy and mathematical skills, improve their chances of progressing into employment and contribute to improvements in health and well-being.

“Managers evaluate new initiatives well and take bold steps to find ways of using education and training to improve people’s lives.

“Most learners on English and mathematics courses make good progress and develop a range of skills that improve their lives. Learners who are studying or planning to get a new job reported how the English courses have developed their writing skills. Several employed learners, who had previously been unable to complete forms or record their work, explained how they can now fill in the forms their employers require.”

This inspection was the first one carried out since we were judged to be good in April 2013.

Following publication of the report, Learn Devon’s Operations Manager Nicholas Child said:

“We’re delighted by Ofsted’s report, which highlights the many ways our courses help improve the lives of people in Devon. It is confirmation of the excellent and innovative work staff and delivery partners carry out to support learners in achieving their goals. We look forward to continuing to develop the service to further benefit individuals and communities across the county.”

You can read the full inspection report on the Ofsted website.

Posted in news |

Barber from Learn Devon-funded trainee scheme is ‘shining example’

Posted on: 1 March 2017

Deaf barber Joel, who has graduated from a Learn Devon-funded trainee scheme at Hair@Academy in Exeter, has been hailed a ‘shining example’ to other deaf young people for his mentoring of budding deaf hairdressers.

Read the full story on the Exeter Deaf Academy website. Please note, Learn Devon is not responsible for the content on external websites.

Posted in news |

“I am enjoying my time working in an office”

Posted on: 17 January 2017

Exmouth-based Apprentice Paige Dempster tells us what she’s learned in her first few months with Learn Devon…

Sitting on the front desk in reception of The Kennaway Centre, I’ve gained so much experience.

I’ve quickly got the hang of daily duties, from enrolling learners to producing posters to promote new courses.

I have learned how to use software to process our learner’s information, deal with payments and prepare course folders for new courses starting.

I also recently had the opportunity to redesign the spring 2017 courses guide that we give to the public to inform them of our courses.

My daily responsibilities include answering the phone to customers and partners we work with, providing tutors with paperwork they may need for their learners and running reports to show our current courses.

I have loved learning on the job so far. As I am completing a Customer Service NVQ, I have been able to interact with customers face to face and quickly get an understanding of how we work and what sorts of things are expected of us.

I would like to give a big thank you to the rest of the team and my line manager in reception for guiding me through my first few months. I feel like I have gained a lot of confidence and am enjoying my time working in an office. I am sure I can only progress further.

Interested in apprenticeships?

Read more blog posts from our apprentices.

Find out more about apprenticeships with Learn Devon.


Posted in news | Tagged |

Have your say in our Learner Survey

Posted on: 22 December 2016

have-your-sayHave you been on a Learn Devon course? Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback about your learning experience in our survey.

Your answers will be very helpful to us as we continually look to improve the service.

Start the survey

The survey will remain open – you can fill it in whenever you like, and as many times as you like, throughout the academic year. Many thanks for taking the time.

Posted in news |

Celebrate your learning at our special events

Posted on: 20 December 2016


Award winners at our 2016 Bideford Learner Celebration

Have you been on a course with us this term? Join us at one of our Learner Celebration events next summer to celebrate your learning!

We are holding the events in Tavistock, Totnes, Bideford and Exmouth.

You’ll be able to enjoy a presentation of awards to learners nominated by our tutors for their outstanding progress or achievements. There will also be an exhibition of learners’ work and light refreshments.

Contact your local Learn Devon centre to register your interest in attending. There are limited places available, and we will confirm your place in June 2017.



Posted in news |

Trainee hairdressing scheme changes lives in Exeter

Posted on: 20 December 2016


Left to right: Mary Pugsley (Hair@theAcademy owner), Vicci Wood (Traineeship Workplace Link Adviser), Abbey Peach (Apprentice), Nicki Mills (Hair Boutique Style Director and Company Founder), Shaun Thornburgh (Hair Boutique Managing Director) and Nick Child (Learn Devon Operations Manager)

Two long-term unemployed young mums from Exeter are embarking on new careers in hairdressing thanks to Learn Devon.

Both Nik Langmead, who is working at Saks in Princesshay, and Abbey Peach, who is at The Hair Boutique on Musgrave Row, started as trainees and have now been offered full-time apprenticeships.

They were offered the apprenticeships after graduating from a traineeship scheme run by Hair@theAcademy, a salon at Exeter Deaf Academy that provides training to disadvantaged young people.

The scheme is funded by Learn Devon.

To complete the scheme, the trainees achieved level two diplomas in hair and beauty, and spent 100 hours at their salon placements learning on the job.

Nik Langmead said:

“Doing a traineeship with Hair@theAcademy has changed my life. I have learned hair and beauty skills in such a friendly and encouraging environment, and found confidence and professionalism within myself.”


From left to right: Mary Pugsley (Hair@theAcademy owner), Tom Wilson (Saks owner), Nik Langmead (Apprentice), Vicci Wood (Traineeship Workplace Link Adviser), Annie Raine (Learn Devon Quality and Performance Manager)

Tom Wilson, owner of Saks in Exeter, said:

“We are lucky to have found a talented apprentice in Nik. I cannot praise her highly enough. From day one, she has had an incredible work ethic and such a positive impact on our team. We thoroughly enjoy having her as part of our permanent team.”

Abbey Peach said:

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have received from doing my training at Hair@theAcademy, and also that The Hair Boutique has offered me an apprenticeship. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to work in a salon environment and learning new things.”

Shaun Thornburgh, Managing Director at The Hair Boutique, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Hair@theAcademy and Learn Devon to help young people who are looking to work in the hairdressing industry. Attracting the right staff is critical to our success, and apprentices are fundamental to the future growth of our business. Seeing Abbey come through this programme and become an employee has been very rewarding.”

Four other long-term unemployed adults have also graduated from the traineeship. They have since gone on to apprenticeships, study for maths and English qualifications, work part time or undertake a higher qualification.

Mary Pugsley, who owns Hair@theAcademy, said:

“Life-changing work is being done in Exeter to re-engage adult learners into a recognised training programme and enable them to get back into work. With the support of their salons, Nik and Abbey have made a seamless journey from education to employment and are well on their way to becoming successful hairdressers.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learn Devon, said:

“Congratulations to Nik and Abbey for completing their traineeships and starting their apprenticeships. I wish them luck in their careers.

“This successful scheme shows how dedicated Learn Devon, Hair@theAcademy and the salon teams are to providing opportunities for young people to gain workplace experience, develop skills and take their next steps into employment. Without their commitment, these opportunities would not exist.”

Learn Devon will be funding more courses at Hair@theAcademy in the future. Anyone who is interested should contact Learn Devon and we will pass their details on to Hair@theAcademy.

Posted in news |

← Older posts