Posted: Sun 10th Jul 2022

Postgraduate course in education gives local students a “new lease of life” for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jul 10th, 2022

A hairdresser and former airline pilot have described how Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PCET) has given them a new lease of life.

The course offers training to become a teacher in the post-compulsory sector, which offers a variety of routes in to teaching at colleges, universities, charities, private companies, the NHS and other education settings.

A current student on the course is Granton Evans, 26, from Chirk, who has been a hairdresser for 10 years but last year decided it was time to take his career to another level.

Enrolling at Wrexham Glyndwr, while embarking on teaching at a social enterprise, he says he now feels confident in using his skills and experience to educate others.

He said: “I’ve been in hairdressing for 10 years now. I just wanted to do something else with my life.

“I’m teaching people with additional learning needs, working with people with autism, Down’s Syndrome. What I’m learning through my PCET course is helping me to adapt my teaching.

“You are treated like an adult here at university, whereas with previous experience in college I found that you are a bit more spoon-fed.

“I’ve learned not just how to teach, but about myself too. It’s made me a stronger person. Because I’ve gained experience it has made me wiser and opened my eyes a little bit more, and improved my communication skills.”

PCET Senior Lecturer David Crighton added: “Granton is really dedicated and really supportive of the individuals he teaches, connecting with them on a one-to-one level and that is what teaching adults and post-16 education is about.

“As well as teaching them skills you need to take into account their individual needs and give them confidence.”

Another student on the course, Mark Padley, 58, from Overton, found himself at a career crossroads in his 50’s.

After his wife enjoyed a positive experience as a student at the university, Mark decided to enroll on the PCET course which he combines with delivering online maths tuition.

He said: “My wife attended the university on this very course, spoke positively about it and suggested I look at it for myself.

“I had found myself at something of a loose end, and the option to do a meaningful course, funded by the Welsh Government seemed like a good idea.

“The university was very helpful, especially when providing guidance during the application process.”

Mark worked in commercial aviation for 25 years as a flying instructor, then joined British Airways as a co-pilot, going on to become a captain, then taking on an instructional role.

But a health issue turned his life upside down and he found himself having to change direction.

“Unfortunately I developed a medical problem which meant I was unable to continue”, he said.

“Overnight I found myself unemployed, having been in a career with a clear path, suddenly having to re-invent myself in my early 50’s. It was difficult, but I’ve always looked for a challenge.”

He added: “One of the highlights has been the people, both the staff and fellow students. There is a really good dynamic here. Compared to my experience in academia as a young man, when it was much more elitist and sink or swim.

“If people do not think they are particularly academic but are encouraged and given an opportunity, it’s amazing to see what they can achieve with a bit of direction and facilitation.”

If you are seeking a new challenge, looking to get into teaching and are interested in following in the footsteps of Granton and Mark, visit the university website for more information about the PCET course.

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