PGCE student perseveres through the pandemic to secure new role


A Leeds Trinity University student who suspended her studies due to struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic graduates today with a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages.

two images, one of leeds trinity campus on the right next to female with blonde hair and glassses.

Raquel Parra, a 47-year-old mature student from Spain, was due to start a placement in a local school during her second year but it was postponed because of COVID-19. Raquel was advised to suspend her PGCE and resume it at a later date to be successful.

Supported throughout her journey by her lecturers at Leeds Trinity, Raquel returned to the University in January 2022, excelling in all areas to graduate with a PGCE.

Raquel also secured a graduate role whilst completing her course and will start at Royton and Crompton Academy in Greater Manchester as an Early Career Teacher (ECT) in September, where she will be teaching Spanish.

Raquel started her journey at Leeds Trinity University in September 2020, having chosen it due to its strong reputation for training future teachers.

Prior to studying at Leeds Trinity, Raquel achieved a BA in Law in 2006. She gained experience working in a number of schools before applying to Leeds Trinity University to get the qualification she needed to pursue a career in teaching.

She said: “Coming to university as a mature student, I was excited to make new friends. Leeds Trinity has really given me a confidence boost and I’ve made friends with other students who have made my experience even better.

“Leeds Trinity has given me the qualifications and skills that I need to become a teacher, and I can’t wait to start my new role later this year.

“I am so glad I decided to join the University as you never know what might be waiting for you, as COVID-19 has proved to all of us. I’ve learnt not to take anything for granted, and to always make the best of a situation because anything can change.

“University has taught me to accept every possible situation, to keep growing as a person and find your strength within.”

Ed Podesta, Associate Professor (Professional Practice) in the Institute of Childhood and Education, said: “Last year Raquel’s second placement was disrupted due to COVID-19, and she decided in the end to suspend studies in order to return this year. Raquel resumed her PGCE in January and made great progress and has now completed her qualification successfully.

“We are very proud of Raquel for her determination to come back and complete university and wish her all the best in her new role.”

Leeds Trinity University recently achieved an overall student satisfaction score of 80% in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2022 results, making it joint top in Yorkshire and the Humber and joint 25th in the UK for this measure.

The NSS 2022 results follow the recent publication of the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s Graduate Outcomes survey. This places Leeds Trinity University top in Yorkshire for employability, and 15th in the UK, with 97% of its graduates in employment or further study within 15 months of finishing their studies.

Read more about studying for a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages on the Leeds Trinity University website.