Suffolk great-grandmother targets master's degree after GCSE English Language success

Credit: Suffolk New College

Anne Blowers who achieved a grade eight in her English language GCSE at Suffolk New College in Ipswich
Anne Blowers - who achieved a grade eight in her English language GCSE at Suffolk New College in Ipswich. Credit: Suffolk New College

A great-grandmother who achieved a high grade in a GCSE English exam says it shows age should not get in the way of learning new things.

Anne Blowers, 74, from Nacton near Ipswich got a grade eight in English Language on GCSE results day on Thursday.

The widow decided to return to work after spending time at home alone through lockdowns and got a job as a learning support practitioner at Suffolk New College in Ipswich.

She decided to refresh her qualifications, having sat her O-levels in 1965, saying she needed to have new skills to support children in classrooms.

“I absolutely loved it because I’m a creative person,” said Ms Blowers, who has five children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

“I do write a little bit. I’ve not had anything ever published but that might change, who knows?

“I loved the creativity, loved being able to express yourself and I loved getting that out to the students I support too.

“It’s great to see them be perceptive and think outside the box.”

Ms Blowers' success follows on from Cambridgeshire's Derek Skipper, who last year passed a GCSE in maths at the age of 92.

She said that alongside work at the lorry park restaurant, she had worked in education “on and off since I was 18” including for 25 years as a lab technician.

“After being locked down and in the house on my own I really needed to get back to work,” said Mrs Blowers, who was widowed in 2014.

“I have skills and I do enjoy working with young people particularly, I really do.

“When we had the lorry park I employed a lot of young people and it was great to see them blossom and move on to other things.”

Mrs Blowers is hoping to go back to complete a previous master's degree in art and design, which she stopped after "life got in the way".

Asked what advice she would give to prospective mature students, she said: “Go for it! The courses are really tailored to help older people as well.

“I was the oldest person in the college to get my English, but not the oldest one in the country, I understand.

“Somebody in their 80s got GCSEs this year. It’s never too old.

“Every day’s a school day and we’re always learning.”

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