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Mature student celebrates NQT success after long-term career change

Posted on 17 July 2019

news, news:Alumni, news:Childhood and Education, news:Employability, news:Graduation

​Leeds Trinity postgraduate student Catherine Newman graduates today with a distinction in Primary Education after leaving behind her long-term career to pursue a career in education. ​

Local to Horsforth, 38-year-old Catherine spent almost 15 years working in the arts and charity sectors including Arts Council England where she developed creative partnerships between schools and artists. Her work at International Service (as part of the United Nations Association) involved training volunteers aged 18-26 for overseas placements as part of the International Citizen Service Scheme.

Catherine, who has a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Theatre Studies and an MA in English Literature, has always been passionate about education and subjects that foster a creative mind. After working on projects at the Arts Council to inspire creativity amongst schoolchildren and equally becoming a parent in 2014, she realised her desire to become a teacher and support the growth, development and progression of children.    

After finding her first school placement challenging, Catherine persevered and has been described by her lecturers as “an incredibly enthusiastic and professional student”. She has completed her PGCE study whilst changing career and looking after a young family.

Catherine said: “The PGCE at Leeds Trinity University was my first and only choice; training with a smaller institution was important to me as I was returning to education, it is close to home which has been important for managing family life, and it is one of the most long-standing and highly-regarded Initial Teacher Education training providers in the country.

“I am fortunate to have secured a job for September 2019, teaching Year 3 at a local primary school. I am really excited about my year as an NQT and hope that I will be able to stay in touch with LTU as I am so local.”

Megan Stephenson, Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Childhood and Education at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Catherine had a very difficult first placement but buckled down and persevered, taking on board all advice and has got a job locally. She’s been incredibly enthusiastic and professional throughout her time on the PGCE programme. I’m sure we will hear much more form her as the years progress.” ​

Catherine has secured a job at a local primary school starting in September and will be teaching Year Three. She is looking forward to her year as an NQT and due to her locality, plans to stay in touch with the University.​