Debbie Jenkins stood in a school corridor

Debbie Jenkins - PGCE Primary

Studied: PGCE Primary.

As a mum of two in her thirties, Debbie Jenkins decided to completely change tack with her career – and retrain to teach children with special needs. She’s now doing a job that suits her and her family brilliantly.

Starting a fulfilling new career

“I think like a lot of people, my priorities changed when I had kids. I’d been working as an advocate before having a family, representing people with learning disabilities. But while on maternity leave, I just knew I didn't want to go back, as it was quite a stressful and all-consuming job."

“So I decided to take the plunge and retrain, and go for my dream role of teaching children with special needs in primary schools. I did a Masters in Special Education Needs near where I live in Wales, and then applied for the PGCE teacher training course at UWE Bristol.”

“It was a full-time course and I had to travel back and forth from Wales every day, so it was full on – and I had to get a lot of extra help looking after my four and five year old daughters."

“It was a big thing for me changing careers as a mum in my thirties. But I loved every minute of the PGCE, and I’m doing a job I love now, teaching children with special needs.”

“I was lucky that my husband was right behind me and really wanted me to follow my dream. And everyone was so friendly and supportive throughout – both the lecturers on my course, and the people studying with me, who became close friends. "

“I got a lot more from the learning experience as an older student.  I was doing something I really wanted to do – and we had to make it work for us as a family, so that was an added incentive to really throw myself into my assignments and the course as a whole. I really enjoyed using my brain again.”

“If you’re thinking about postgraduate study, I would absolutely say to go for it. There’s loads of support at somewhere like UWE Bristol. It doesn’t matter how old you are – if you really want to follow your dream, you can make it happen.”

Begin your postgraduate journey

If you're considering the right time to start further study, the answer's now.

Find out about postgraduate study at UWE Bristol

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