You’re never too old to learn

Jealous of your children starting an exciting new term? Well, don’t just sit on the sidelines – get learning too and exercise your grey matter and creativity

200470267-001This time of year sees first school pupils and then students heading off for a new term. But the educational new year isn’t just for youngsters – night classes in subjects as diverse as sewing to circus skills are springing into life around the country. Here’s what you need to know.

Community or leisure courses

These are more likely to be learning for the fun of it rather than towards a qualification. Yoga, language and art classes have always been popular subjects, but recent years have seen the arrival of bellydancing, creating websites and making your own hats while the Great British Bake Off has seen an explosion in the popularity of baking classes. Generally, these are short courses, usually lasting about ten weeks, and don’t cost a fortune. To find out what courses there are near you, check out the websites of your council, library or, if there is one, your local education provider.

Gaining qualifications

You may want to improve your maths and English or gain computer skills to improve your chances of getting a job or a promotion, and course like these are often found at Jobcentre Plus as well as on council and library websites. And check out the National Careers Service website to search for courses and for tips of how to get the right course for you.

Learning online

Of course, learning doesn’t have to be in a classroom these days. Thanks to the internet, you can learn in the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you. Take a look at the BBC Learning website for a whole range of adult learning courses; see Alison [] for free certificate and diploma courses covering everything from business studies to carpentry; and if you’re considering an Open University course, why not try a free taster course to see if it’s for you.

And if you still haven’t plucked up the courage or found the time to learn next May’s Festival of Learning in the run up to Adult Learners’ Week!

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