Going to university simply wasn't an option when teaching assistant Caroline Keeton left school in the 1980s. But, more than 30 years on, the 51-year-old mum of two is about to start a top up degree course after completing a foundation degree in Children's and Young People's Services with Derby College. Caroline, who left school at 16 with just a handful of CSEs, discovered her interest in learning when she began work as a TA and took a course in childcare. Encouraged by how well she took to studying, she enrolled on a level 4 diploma at Derby College and a PTLS Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) course. Caroline – whose two adult daughters both studied for their A levels at Derby College's Joseph Wright Centre – now plans to use her degree to enhance her current role at a Long Eaton primary School. Rather than train to be a teacher after graduation she wants to become more involved in educational research projects within the existing TA job she loves. Going to Derby College has given Caroline the self-belief she needed to go on to higher education.
She added: "Caroline Friel, our lecturer, played a major part in my decision, and that of other students on my course, to go on and get a degree.