I am 38 years old and married with four children. My earlier career (spanning 15 years) was focused around learning and development, having worked in a variety of training-related roles, delivering consultancy projects and working at senior management level. I worked for a number of large organisations including BSkyB, Asda/Walmart and HBoS. I had considered teaching for around three years, since my children started primary school and I saw the kind of work they were doing. My biggest challenge would always be financially supporting the family whilst changing careers. I was fortunate that my wife Katie was happy to return to teaching herself while I completed my Initial Teacher Training and PGCE. This still meant lots of change in our household but I was starting to see this as a ‘now or never’ opportunity and the best decision for our long term future!
Why did I train with Educate (formerly EM Direct)?
With a number of routes into teaching and the Graduate Teacher Programme being replaced with Schools Direct, it seemed rather challenging to find the most suitable route into primary teaching for somebody changing careers! I had done some research and found information across a number of websites and spoken to various people about my situation, but I still hadn’t managed to find something that would work. Although I had the required grades in Maths and English GCSEs, I also needed to achieve a grade ‘C’ or above in science, which made things a little more complicated!
Then I found Claire and Sue at Educate. I’ll never forget speaking to them while I was staying on a caravan site in Filey, eating an ice cream and watching my kids play in the sea! At this stage, I had almost given up on starting the training in September 2013. However, they knew all the answers I was looking for, could help with me re-sitting the GSCE science equivalency test, organising the numeracy and literacy skills tests, arranging an interview with Educate for the School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme, explaining some of the financial implications and opportunities and generally supporting me all the way throughout the process. Fabulous!
Part 2 of Stephen’s blog will be out on the 9th March!