Single mother Fran left school at 16. At 19 she was pregnant and living in a hostel, with no job and few qualifications. When her daughter was old enough for nursery, she decided to return to education, enrolling on a part-time Foundation Degree in Computing at City of Bath College. The course was affordable and gave her the flexibility to fit around childcare.
At first she struggled with the course. Only when she was referred to the college learning support group was she found to have dyslexia. With extra tuition to improve her reading and writing, her grades improved and by her third year she was achieving distinctions.
While working part-time to support herself, Fran also did unpaid work experience at engineering company Babcock Marine. They were so impressed they offered her a full-time job at the end of her course. She is now an information systems engineer, and has since returned to college to give inspiring talks to young students.
“I have learned so much about myself and achieved goals I never thought I could,” she says.