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Pass rate tops 50pc for November NCE

The pass rate for journalists sitting the National Certificate Examination has risen above 50pc for the first time since summer 2008.

More than half the 209 trainee journalists who sat the exam on 6 November at 14 centres across the country achieved success in all four papers.

The certificate was awarded to 106 candidates who passed in each of the four areas of news interview, news report, newspaper practice and logbook.

  • Click through to read the examiners’ comments.
  • Find out here who won the November NCE Awards.
  • The chief examiner said: “The overall pass rate of 51pc was to be applauded after three successive NCEs in which the pass rate was below half.”

    The pass rate for both the previous set of exams in July and the equivalent set of exams last November was 48pc.

    The last time the pass rate for a set of exams was above 50pc was in July 2008 when 66pc of the candidates passed.

    Despite the downturn in the industry and the contraction in the number of regional press jobs, more trainees are entering the exam than ever.

    Last month’s November exam brought the total number of entries for the year to 640 – an increase of 35 per cent over the 474 entries in 2008.

    The full list of trainees who passed the November NCE is below.

    Kirsty Barton, Salisbury Journal
    James Beal, Bridgwater Mercury
    Daniel Binns, Epping Forest Guardian
    Jonathan Birkin, Derby Telegraph
    Samuel Blackledge, Surrey Advertiser
    Laura Bowyer, Leeds Weekly News
    Kevin Bradford, Hendon Times
    Winston Brown, Market Drayton Advertiser
    Lucy Helen, Buckland Courier Newspapers
    Richard Burin, Harrogate Advertiser

    Craig Burnett, Wimbledon Guardian
    Sarah Calkin, Echo, Basildon
    Lauren Campbell, Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald
    Daniel Carden, Matlock Mercury
    Samantha Chetwynd, Press and Journal, Aberdeen
    Alexander Christie-Miller, Crawley Observer
    Becky Churcher, West Sussex County Times
    Laura Churchill, North Devon Journal
    Julian Cooper, Kentish Times
    Kerry Coupe, Rutland and Stamford Mercury

    Charles Crabtree, Kidderminster Shuttle
    James Cracknell, Freelance
    Felicity Crump, Bath Chronicle
    Sarah Dale, Worthing Herald
    Catherine Dalton, Express and Star, Wolverhampton
    Lucy Dickinson, Romford Recorder
    Ian Duncan, Scarborough Evening News
    Tara Dundon, Evening Telegraph, Peterborough
    David Elliott, Scunthorpe Telegraph
    Samantha Emanuel, Norwich Evening News

    Sara Fenton, Leamington Spa Courier
    Hannah Finch, Herald Express
    Sarah Firth, Nottingham Evening Post
    Oliver Florence, Surrey Advertiser
    Jennifer Foster, Worksop Guardian
    Gemma Gardner, Royston and Buntingford Mercury
    Carla George, Barnsley Chronicle
    Robert Gibson, Hexham Courant
    Neil Graham, Grantham Journal
    Jennifer Grant, Essex Chronicle

    Emma Greenhalgh, Hartlepool Mail
    Eleanor Harding, Wandsworth Guardian
    Bryan Henesey, Nottingham Evening Post
    Nicholas Hitchens, Freelance
    Lauren Hockney, Maldon and Burnham Standard
    James Hoy, Mansfield Chad
    Andrew Hughes, Shields Gazette
    David Hurley, The News, Portsmouth
    Timothy Joesbury-Clarke, Worcester Standard
    Timothy John, Daily Echo, Bournemouth

    Emma Jones, South Wales Evening Post
    Emma Kasprzak, Shropshire Star
    James Kershaw, Echo, Basildon
    Tristan Kirk, Harrow Times
    Ruby Kitchen, Harrogate Advertiser
    Emily Koch, Evening Post, Bristol
    Frances Leate, Gazette, Colchester
    Victoria Leggett, Eastern Daily Press
    Craig Lewis, Luton and Dunstable Express
    Owen Lock, South Wales Guardian

    David Lumb, Banbury Guardian
    Tyrone Marshall, Lancashire Telegraph
    Ian Mason, Richmond and Twickenham Times
    Colleen McDonnell, Freelance
    Richard Mennear, Hartlepool Mail
    Thom Morris, Kentish Express
    James Nadal, Bucks Free Press
    Katherine Nelson, Kentish Times
    Laura Nesbitt, Bridgwater Mercury
    Miranda Newey, Warrington Guardian

    Patrick O’Kane, Westmorland Gazette
    Tanya O’Rourke, Telegraph and Argus
    Benjamin Perrin, Swindon Advertiser
    Daniel Phillips, Harlow Star
    Michael Purton, News Shopper
    Nicholas Reinis, Evening Telegraph, Peterborough
    Julia Rodgerson, Matlock Mercury
    Alexander Ross, Weston and Somerset Mercury
    Jacob Rusby, Hemel Hempstead Gazette
    Marina Soteriou, Kentish Times

    Richard Spillett, Thanet Gazette
    Emma Streatfield, Swindon Advertiser
    Laura Stuart-Cook, Express and Star, Wolverhampton
    Matthew Taylor, Westmorland Gazette
    Paul Teed, Hounslow and Brentford Times
    Rhys Thomas, Hucknall and Bulwell Dispatch
    Marina Thomas, The Docklands
    Holly Thompson, Surrey Mirror
    Benjamin Truslove, Melton Times
    Suzan Uzel, Cambridge News

    Matthew Viney, Wolverhampton Chronicle
    Joe Walker, Kentish Gazette
    Kirk Ward, West Sussex County Times
    Verity Ward, Shields Gazette
    Jonathan Ware, Wiltshire Gazette and Herald
    Matthew Watts, Streatham Guardian
    David Wiles, Stroud News and Journal
    Christopher Wilkinson, Wigan Evening Post
    Max Wilkinson, Weston and Somerset Mercury
    Claire Wilson, Somerset Standard

    James Wilson, Northwich Guardian
    Christopher Wood, South Wales Argus
    Richard Woodall, Banbury Guardian
    Kathryn Woodhouse, Western Telegraph
    Helen Woods, Northumberland Gazette
    Christopher Young, Congleton Chronicle


    Roger Jones (18/12/2009 10:07:46)
    It is good that more and more trainees are being positive in these dismal times by taking – and passing – the exam. Congratulations to those who have passed; lots of encouragement to candidates who need to retake.
    Maybe the next positive thing to do (if of course you are not a member already) is to join the NUJ. The subscription payment will, I’m sure, more than pay for itself over the years. Strength in numbers, and plenty of professional help in times of need and difficulty, is what counts.

    cleland thom (18/12/2009 10:42:14)
    Well done these guys.
    But wouldn’t it be great if people who passed the NCE could have letters after their name – just like people in other professions? Maybe NCTJ (Cert)?
    It would be a good incentive, and hopefully raise journalists’ credibility.
    Any supporters out there?

    Neil Speight (18/12/2009 11:16:01)
    That is a great idea and it would be nice if the industry and NCTJ took up the cause to recognise the benefit of this qualification and the effort put in by the trainees.

    Colin Young (21/12/2009 15:34:39)
    I’m definitely in favour of giving the NCE greater recognition with designatory letters. Other professions – including the CIPR – add value to their qualification by doing this, so why not journalism? If you’ve got it, flaunt it, I say…