A mother-of-two who started her career in schools as a lunchtime supervisor is on her way to becoming a fully qualified teacher.
Angela Sturgess, from Bromsgrove, found her way back to education after leaving school with disappointing grades and not knowing what she wanted to do.
Today she graduates from the University of Worcester with a First Class Honours degree in Integrated Working with Children and Families.
The 39-year-old had worked part-time as a barmaid after having her first child, then 10 years ago got work at Chadsgrove School, starting out as a lunchtime supervisor.
She then progressed to casual Teaching Assistant (TA), full time TA, specialist TA supporting pupils with visual impairment, and then was offered a job as an unqualified teacher, which is her current role.
Wanting to do her best to support the pupils to reach their potential, she enrolled on courses and attended as many training sessions as possible and this led on to a Foundation Degree in Learning support at the University of Worcester, from which she graduated last year. She then decided to top-up to a full BA (Hons) degree.
“Completing the BA Hons degree to a high standard has been the hardest thing I have done so far,” she said. “I worked full time as an unqualified teacher and studied the course online, which meant I had to be organised and dedicated. I attended the University one Saturday a month and had to balance home life, schoolwork and study. My family have all been brilliant and understanding when I have missed out on family days out and have had little time to spend with them. They too are glad it is all over for now but are super proud of me.”
She added: “The headteacher, leadership team and my colleagues have encouraged me and supported me throughout this process and I could not have completed my full BA Hons degree without their continued support.”
The former North Bromsgrove High School pupil is now applying for a place on the School Direct training programme. “I would like to gain qualified teacher status so that I can continue to teach at Chadsgrove School and progress further in a vocation that I am so passionate about,” she said.