New teacher at 49 in south Shropshire primary
A worker at a primary school decided to take the plunge and train to be a teacher at the age of 44.
And after going back to the classroom herself, Sally-Anne Jones, who works at Norbury Primary School in the village near Bishop's Castle, is almost there, having bagged the top possible grade in her Education Studies degree from the University of Worcester.
Sally-Anne, from Asterton, near Church Stretton, is one of two students from south Shropshire that are celebrating first class degrees in teaching-related subjects from the university.
Charlotte Hodnett, 22, from Ashford Bowdler, near Ludlow, a former pupil at Ludlow CE School and Herefordshire and Ludlow College, has achieved a first in her BA (Hons) in Primary Initial Teacher Education with qualified teacher status and secured a job at a school in Worcester teaching Year 4 pupils.
But her fellow student Sally-Anne is 27 years her senior, now 49.
Sally-Anne said: “Five years ago, the headteacher at the school I work at – Mr Les Ball, at Norbury Primary School – encouraged me to consider training to become a primary school teacher.
“After much soul searching I decided it was now or never. I stated a degree at another university, but was disappointed with the experience I was receiving.
“I considered giving up. But after looking at the University of Worcester’s website I phoned and left a message on lecturer Gareth Dart’s answerphone. Within minutes he called me back and from that moment on the support and encouragement I received was incredible. Making that call was undoubtedly life-changing for me.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have the full support of the school community throughout the process – the governing body, Mr Ball and colleagues, the wonderful children and their families. Furthermore, none of this would have been possible without the ongoing encouragement and support from my loyal family and friends who never stopped believing in me and gave me the time and space to hide away and study.
“The process has been challenging at times and tested my levels of resilience. However, it has enabled me to develop professionally whilst putting theory into practise. Achieving a first class honours degree is a truly wonderful and fulfilling outcome.”
Sally-Anne is now working towards qualified teacher status at Norbury Primary School.