GCSE support from union helps Tina follow her dream

Support from her union in attaining a GCSE qualification helped Tina change career and follow her dream of becoming a teacher.

Tina gains a GCSE and changes a career thanks to support from her union

Tina O’Brien is now twenty-seven, back in 2014, she worked in the finance sector as an Assistant Account Handler. Although Tina was not unhappy in her job role, as she was seriously thinking about going back into education to become a teacher.

Tina approached Aegis, the staff union at her workplace, and they discussed with her what qualifications she would need to attend an Access to teaching course. She had attended college after leaving school but did not achieve the grades the she would need to go straight to university.

Tina Started her access course in Guildford college in September 2014 which she attended full time, however the Science exam she required to become a teacher was not part of the curriculum there, so Learn with Aegis Project Worker Mary O’Brien researched another college that Tina could study and sit the exam for the science GCSE she needed. That was an evening class in Basingstoke College of Technology.

Tina attended the class once a week alongside the access course at Guildford college.

Mary said:

As a project worker for Learn with Aegis I was able to use my knowledge of the education system to find Tina the best way for her to achieve her goal of becoming a teacher.”

In my everyday role I work with various finance companies that are part of the Aegis the Union recognition agreement, currently I am working with one company that will be closing one of their head offices in Cheltenham,  which will close at the end of 2019 I have been working very closely with the staff there to assist them in upskilling their own transferable skills and one of this has resulted in a few leaners up them signing up to retake their Maths GCSE starting in September 2018.”

Tina sat the science exam May 2015 at Basingstoke college after completing her evening classes weekly for nine months, unfortunately once again she did not gain the C grade she needed to go onto be a teacher.

Mary said:

Tina came to me for some advice and guidance, how could she achieve the GCSE pass she needed. We discussed ways of learning was it that she was struggling because of all the work she was putting into her degree or was just that she was trying to learn to much about the subject she needed to pass.”

I researched her requirements and found the Equivalency Testing Company, they are specialists in Equivalency Testing for Career Development offers GCSE Equivalent Correspondence courses and examinations for Mathematics, English and Science.”

Equivalency Testing gives learners the option to study at home the information can be sent to by post or email then they are returned and marked with feedback, on completion of the home work they should be ready to sit the exam.

Tina said:

I found learning though the Equivalency test, was such an easier way of learning they provided me with the exact amount information I needed to study in bite size chunks and provided me with the right amount of knowledge I needed to pass my exam.”

I would like to thank Mary for all her ongoing support and help.”

Tina passed her access to teaching course, which allowed her to start in September 2015 at St Marys University Twickenham her Degree in Bachelor of Arts in Education and Social Science, which she completed and graduated with a 2.1 in June this year.

She also passed her GCSE Biology with Grade B.

Tina will start the final part of her journey and complete a SCITT course that will allow her the dream she had to become a teacher.