An Edge Hill University student is one step closer to achieving her dream of becoming a primary school teacher after overcoming family obstacles and caring responsibilities to earn her degree. 

Maryam Survery, 21, had no choice but to step up to care for her two young nieces after tragedy struck her family in December 2020, when her brother and sister-in-law’s car crash left them unable to care for their daughters.  

Maryam, from Blackburn, made the decision to move back home to become the main carer for her nieces, aged one and two, while also continuing with her degree in Childhood and Youth Studies

She said: “It was a very traumatic time for my brother and sister-in-law because they’d never experienced anything like that before. Fortunately, they have since made a full recovery, but they lost their car in the accident. It was a very stressful time for us all. 

“Trying to juggle caring for my nieces and helping my parents, who are both elderly, while also concentrating on my studies was a challenge at times.” 

At first, Maryam admits that she found it difficult to ask for support.

She explained: “I’m the type of person who finds it hard to sometimes express their feelings and I just wanted to get on with the situation.  

“Edge Hill made it clear very quickly that they would offer me any support that I needed, including extensions to deadlines, which was a great help. Looking back now, it was very hard to manage but I’m so glad that I asked for help and prioritised my university work, while also making sure I could be there for my family.” 

Despite the many hurdles, Maryam remained committed to completing her degree and now plans to go on to study a PGCE in Primary Early Years Education with QTS at Edge Hill. 

“During my time at Edge Hill, I’ve realised that primary education is my passion and I know that the university is one of the best in the region for teacher training. I’m really looking forward to the next step.” 

Whether you’re looking to train to teach or already working in the children’s workforce, Edge Hill offers a range of PGCEs in early years, primary and secondary education, as well as a PGDE in further education. Our PGCEs and PGDE are complemented by a comprehensive professional development portfolio for teachers, those supporting teaching and learning, and others working in schools and educational settings.