Two students who couldn’t get out of school quick enough in their teens, are now careering their way back into the classroom as they pursue rewarding teaching professions.

Nicolle, 24 from Orpington and Lilli, 24 from Mottingham, both left school aged 16 to start earning a wage as quickly as possible. They soon found themselves in a variety of unfulfilling jobs that have so far led them to very little in the way of job satisfaction or future prospects.

For Nicole, her work as a customer sales assistant at a leading high street retailer includes the daily grind of demonstrating domestic electrical appliances, checking stock and working the till.

Nicolle says: “I didn’t want to study for A levels when I left school and only wanted money in my pocket. As the years have gone by, I’ve realised that I want more than this. I don’t just want a job, I want a career.

“Last year, I took the plunge and enrolled onto this fabulous Access to Higher Education Diploma in Humanities and Social Sciences. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to hold down my job if I did this. The amount of work each week is very demanding and I don’t get a lot of time to myself anymore. However, I’m loving it; the subjects covered are truly fascinating and the teaching is brilliant. I’ve learnt so much and equipped myself well for the road ahead. Next September I will enrol at the University of Greenwich for a BA (Hons) degree in Physical Education and Sport. After this, I aim to do a PGCE in Primary Education."

Lilli also hopes to step into the role of a primary school teacher but will be heading to the University of Brighton to study a BA (Hons) in Primary English with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) first. She has worked as a health and safety assistant, a customer services advisor and even an ice cream seller.

Lilli says: “This course gives its students a really good, general education and through the number of optional units it covers, you have a great set of options for progression.

"While I was visiting universities around the south east, I spoke to quite a lot of admissions tutors who all told me the same thing; they actually prefer Access students because they are more mature, are still educationally active and have had more of a grounding in essay writing and research techniques rather than just being good at sitting exams.

“All of the other students on this course have different but equally as bold ambitions as myself. Our ages range from 19 to 40 and we all learn from each other as well as our great teacher Stuart. I can’t recommend this course highly enough if you want to make something of yourself.”

If you have a burning ambition to completely change your career direction and go to university, we’d like to hear from you. Come along to one of our open events during June and July. Click here to learn more.

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