Category: Stories of transformation

Curtis: teacher & Illustrator

Curtis compares being an FE teacher to spinning plates.  Not only do FE teachers have to meet the needs of their students but they have to gather data about individual students and always be mindful of funding. Curtis thinks it is vital that FE teachers are active in their approaches and that they bring themselves…


Nyomi’s partner had a long term illness and when she had a child she became depressed and felt locked in a spiral of despair. Encouraged by her health visitor, she attended a course at college. She felt accepted for who she was and a year later has begun studying a Podiatry degree. Now her partner…


Pippa’s journey is an inspiration. Overcoming personal difficulties, Pippa studied to become a teacher. Now she works to create a learning environment for her students in which she can offer the kind of opportunities for transformation that she herself has experienced.


Claire has rediscovered the drive, enthusiasm and confidence she had when she was 18. She particularly values the equality she found in the way her course was run at college. There, she was listened to and found her own voice. FE has changed the way she sees herself and the way she views the world.…


Saira is a newly qualified teacher. As a parent herself and a carer, studying at college took her outside her family and boosted her confidence and paved the way to her gaining her Cert Ed. The course challenged her but she came out a different person, a person with hope and enhanced opportunities. Saira: ‘I’ve…

Herbert: photographer

Herbert is a photographer who has had his work exhibited all over the country. Leaving school at 16, he trained as bricklayer before returning as an adult to college where his dyslexia was identified for the first time.


Jimmy works with 14-16 year olds in college – some of whom have been excluded from school and feel school is not for them. He brings a lot of life experience to his teaching job… He doesn’t give up on his students. He refuses to write them off.

Alan: Construction teacher

Alan is a bricklayer and builder with decades of industry experience. He sees his work in college as providing more than just skills and knowledge about the construction industry.


Dean arrived at college with few formal qualifications but with years of experience of labouring on building sites. He was new to technology, found it daunting to use a computer and used a pen and paper for written tasks; but he could put his hand to many jobs in the building trade.


16-year-old Adam found it hard to control his anger in school and felt he was making no progress. He likes the calm environment in college. Now, he is gaining qualifications, becoming more confident and has a clearer view of what he wants to do in future. Now, he has hope and self-belief.