Dad-of-three Barry Meaden, who quit his job in business development to follow his dream of becoming a teacher has graduated with a BA (Hons) Children and Young People’s Learning and Development degree.
Barry, 40, has already secured a place on a Schools Direct PGCE which will see him teaching in Catholic primary schools in Wigan.
He said: “I’ve always dreamt of going to university and becoming a teacher but I got a job, got married and had three children and the years just passed by.
“I’d told myself by the time I was 30 I’d look into becoming a teacher, then more time passed and it was only after attending an open day at Edge Hill and seeing the stunning campus and meeting the course tutors that I decided to take the leap.
“Being the main earner in the house this was a massive change for all my family and I was really nervous about things going wrong and other students thinking I was too old at 37.
“Luckily it was one of the best decisions I ever made and the course proved ideal for my career goal.”
Aside from understanding all the theories underpinning teaching and learning, Barry was able to run a beach school for a day and did his dissertation on how children view SATS exams.
Barry, from Ashton-in-Makerfield, said: “I’d seen how SATS exams had affected by own children so I asked pupils in Year 6 to draw a picture of what the exams would look like if they were a creature.
“Some children drew horns, creatures with sharp teeth, coloured them red, all the typical negative illustrations you might expect.
“But one thing that was particularly interesting was the inclusion of numbers on many pictures, suggesting a link to anxiety about maths that I was able to pass on to teachers.”
Barry added: “I’ve always doubted myself and lacked confidence but thanks to the encouragement of my tutors I’m delighted to have completed my degree and have a place teaching from September.
“I hope my children will see that they can do anything they want to do at any age and if they want to go to university one day that they can get there too.”
If you want to train to teach, Edge Hill offers a range of courses, visit the website for more information.