Where it all began...
Having left school with very few qualifications, all I wanted to do was to go out to work. Initially I wanted to be a chef, but quickly realised that I would be in a sweaty kitchen working anti-social hours and that idea disappeared as quick as it came! I then realised that policing might the way forward for me, so I visited the careers officer at Wiltshire Police who basically told me I was too short and should go off and do something in the community until the height restrictions had been lifted. So, I became a scout leader and thankfully a few years later I got a job as a civilian working in the control room at Salisbury Police Station.
In addition, I decided to try out a uniform role alongside my day job and served as a special constable for several years. I enjoyed my day job learning the behind the scenes stuff and then rolling around the town centre wrestling drunk people on a Saturday night. I had various roles over the years but finally ended up in crime prevention and community safety.
At the age of 40 I found myself facing redundancy amidst police cuts, so when a friend mentioned a part time teaching role that he was about to give up and I would be suited for, I jumped at the chance. That was over 10 years ago, and I have not looked back since. I started studying for my degree with the open university before I left the police, but I continued to study and achieved a degree in Criminology and Social Policy; I have since completed my teaching quflicaition and a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice. The combination of academic credentials and 20 years of practical policing allow me to teach lessons with passion, confidence and personal knowledge.
Last summer, my son Will kindly offered my services to his friends who were applying to university, but didn't know where to start. One afternoon, between lockdowns, I had about 8 young adults come over (socially distanced) and we set about getting their personal statements ready. However, most of them had not even decided what they wanted to do or where they wanted to study, so I had a brief chat with each of them and set them different tasks. By the end of that afternoon, everyone had narrowed down what they wanted to do, and which universities could offer them what they wanted. All these amazing young people have subsequently received offers for their chosen universities and I hope they have a great time at university.
In September, my Stepson started in college and having missed quite a bit of school at the beginning of his crucial final secondary school year due to COVID-19, he was struggling to find his feet in relation to what was expected of him in terms of content, quality, and layout of his new course. After receiving some referrals for his work (criteria not achieved) we sat down and worked through a plan and an assignment layout that would allow him to breakdown the assignment and cover all of the criteria needed. Due to his hard work, and newly found organisation and planning skills he is routinely achieving merits and distinctions; I could not be prouder of him.
Both these events got me thinking, and I started to research whether there was anyone out there that catered for this age group in terms of educational coaching and support. My research found many amazing tutors that were offering support to primary and secondary learners but nothing for those between 16 and 18 that had moved into further education (FE) or those that needed the tools to get themselves from FE into higher education (HE). I realised that there are so many skills and resources that I have gained over the years that have helped the young people I have had the privilege of teaching, and that I could share them with students, their family and even lecturers new to the field of teaching.