Pensioner, 84, returns to school after 66 years to pass GCSE physics exam

An 84-year-old care home resident is returning to school after 66 years with the hope of fulfilling a lifelong wish of completing his secondary education.

After five failed attempts at passing his GCSE physics exam while at school, Ernie Puffett, from Chichester, West Sussex, is now hoping to succeed on his sixth try next summer.

"I wanted to retake my GCSE as I failed it so many times when I was in school", said Mr Puffett.

"I really think I can pass it this time with all the help I am getting and I would be elated if I did.

"I am amazed that youngsters today can take it all in because physics is such a vast subject."

Mr Puffett takes weekly physics classes at his local school, Chichester College.

His course fees have been waived, with the help of his care home, Care UK's Chichester Grange, to help him achieve his wish.

Chichester College principal Helen Loftus said: "We've been absolutely delighted to welcome Ernie to the college.

"As soon as we heard Ernie would like to study physics with us, we didn't hesitate in saying yes.

"We all have ambitions and aims and we're proud to be supporting Ernie to achieve his."

'No age limit on studying'

Ryan Harris, home manager at Chichester Grange, said the care home are "so proud" of Mr Puffett for the effort he is putting in to reach his goal.

"Most people would have given up after the second attempt, but this never stopped Ernie in completing his dream."

Ms Loftus added that there are "so many benefits of having people of different age groups and backgrounds learning together", since "they bring a range of experience and knowledge to the classroom which can add to their learning development."

"We often say there is no age limit on studying, and it has been fantastic to see that in action."