Former hairdresser Leanne Vincent has begun a new career as a teaching assistant, with a helping hand from Telford College of Arts and Technology.
Leanne, 35, from Madeley, trained as a hairdresser at Francesco’s Academy when she left the Abraham Darby School, and went on to work at KLF in her home town for 18 years.
But when a routine smear test diagnosed cervical cancer and resulted in an operation, Leanne decided to rethink her career, and enrolled on a Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools level two programme at TCAT.
As part of the course, she arranged a placement at Woodlands Primary and Nursery School in Madeley – and that’s exactly where she has now ended up getting a new job.
Leanne says: “I enjoyed my level two course so much that I enrolled on a level three course in Learning Difficulties and Behaviour Disorders at TCAT – and this was the course which helped me to secure a job interview at Woodlands.
“I was able to relate a lot of the interview questions to things I had learned on the TCAT course, and was offered the job as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant.”
Yvonne Crilly, deputy head at Woodlands, said: “Yvonne was a super volunteer whilst on placement with us – she had worked for a while at Woodlands and really wanted to update and develop her skills so she enrolled on the TCAT courses.
“It’s been a great pleasure to know Leanne, and we are all looking forwards to welcoming her as part of the team at Woodlands.”
Leanne added: “If you’re thinking about going back to college to retrain, I would definitely recommend TCAT’s courses. Go for it – your confidence and knowledge will grow and you will be able to achieve new and exciting things.
“It’s a big step to change your career . . . but I did it.”
TCAT tutor Paula Costin said: “Leanne has been a committed student and this has obviously paid off.
“She will have a wonderful career in the education sector and she deserves it; she works hard and the feedback from Woodlands has been exemplary.”