Education Worries

I had 3 operations during my time in high school, years 8-11. I didn't get the chance to take my GCSE's but I want to get some qualification's so I can get a job in the future. What would be the best way to do this?


Thank you for contacting Wicid Nan. It sounds like from year 8 to 11, you experienced a lot both physically and emotionally, and at the same time you were juggling school work and exams.  This must have been very challenging for you, but I sense that you’ve been very resilient and that you’ve realised that you can still achieve your goals, despite health issues. It’s great that you’re motivated to make changes to improve your future.  I hope you’ve managed to make a full recovery and that the operations were successful.  

It’s great that you are now able to reach out to us so that you can hopefully get a chance to explore potential qualifications.  There are several options which you can consider, and I can provide further details below.

You haven’t mentioned your current age or circumstances but it appears that you did not sit your GCSE’s in year 11, and I’m assuming that you’ve now left school. If you are considering and are in a position to re-visit GCSE’s ,  the options for sitting them would involve going to college or possibly studying with an online course. The following link by ICS Learn, gives you further information about what to consider when deciding on re-sitting your GCSE exams (the advice is written for UK students generally and refers to level 4 (which is grade C in Wales), and it also gives you the option of completing the exams online, but this would involve a cost (depending on the exam centre you’re sitting them at): 

GCSE Re-Sit Guide

There are lots of other qualifications available and routes into education/study or training for adult learners. Depending on your age, your personal circumstances and your preferences as to how you would like to learn, there are lots of different routes available to you, a few examples are -access to higher education courses for those over 21, and apprenticeships which give you the chance to learn (gaining qualifications) and earn (whilst working).

Did you know that the Youth Engagement and Participation Service (YEPS) have a dedicated team of staff who work with young people to support them with education, employment and training post 16. These workers can work one to one with you to help you identify routes ahead into gaining qualifications and into appropriate training courses or employment.  If you would like to receive this support there are multiple ways you can get in touch with YEPS.  Please get in touch and explain you would like to receive 121 support related to education, employment, and training, using one of the contact details below:


Telephone: 01443 281436

Facebook: YEPSRCT

One example of options you could access is attending a college. Coleg y Cymoedd is a further education college in South Wales with campuses in Aberdare, Nantgarw, Rhondda & Ystrad Mynach. They have regular open events and it might be an idea to take a look at what college might be like and speak to them. You can attend one of their open events or call in at any time for advice and information.

They have a well-established well-being department, where you can access support like Counselling and a Learner Support Team, where you can access additional support with exams and course work.  This may be very useful in your situation, especially if your health issues are ongoing, or that you feel you would benefit from some extra tuition with a particular subject, ie Maths or English:

Support For Learners

In the time being, remember that it can take time, and a lot of perseverance to pass exams and course work.  I’m sure that with a positive attitude, along with support and encouragement you will be able to achieve whatever you put your mind to.

I wish you all the best,

Take care

Wicid Nan.