An Edge Hill University graduate who quit his day job to fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher is one step closer to achieving his dream. 

Dad-of-three Barry Meaden, from Ashton in Makerfield, graduated from Edge Hill’s BA (Hons) Children and Young People’s Learning and Development programme in 2019 and returned to the University’s campus in Ormskirk this week to attend his graduation ceremony in-person. 

Since leaving Edge Hill, Barry, 40, has completed his PGCE to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) and currently works for supply agencies for primary schools in Wigan and Newton-le-Willows. 

He said: “I always dreamed 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 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.