Amanda began learning as an adult some years ago, gaining a Certificate in Archaeology, but as a single parent of four children, childcare issues prevented her from finishing the Diploma course. For two years Amanda yearned for the learning that had given her such fulfilment, so when she learned about a Belly Dancing evening class at a local learning advice centre, she grabbed the opportunity. In 2006, after a year of attending the Belly Dancing classes once a week, one of the centre’s advisors suggested Amanda join a New Career Options for Women course, designed to help women access university. Despite having to overcome a number of family difficulties, Amanda passed the course and started a degree in Contemporary History at the University of Sussex in 2007 – something she never imagined would happen. Amanda graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in 2010 and decided that she wanted to help others achieve their dreams by becoming a teacher.
After passing GCSE Maths, Amanda now works as a support assistant at a local school, is studying for an English GCSE, and will begin a PGCE teaching course this year. “My journey so far has been long and hard, but immensely pleasurable,” said Amanda.