Spotlight on Talent: Ray Simmons
Moving to the UK from Jamaica, primary school teacher Ray discovered his qualifications did not make him eligible for a similar role here and he needed to retrain.
“I found the course here very tailored to the needs of learners, especially mature students like me. The teaching is also of a very high standard and enjoyable”
He saw this as an opportunity to upskill further. Studying an access course at Walsall College not only gave Ray a route to university and a career in social work, it also helped him progress on to a Masters and gain experience in higher level teaching. He is now working to help unemployed people across the region to get back into education and improve their lives.
“I found the course here was tailored to the needs of learners, especially mature students like me. The teaching is also of a very high standard and enjoyable, which motivated me to continue my learning.
After completing this course, I was offered a place at the University of Birmingham to study a degree in Social Policy. During this time, I was awarded the Stanley Howard Hardy Memorial Prize for my academic achievement, a scholarship to complete my Masters in Migration, Superdiversity and Policy and also given the opportunity to teach the Social Policy module to undergraduates.
Starting again at Walsall College helped me to develop my analytical skills in preparation for university and gave me the confidence to go on and achieve my goals.
“After seeing the opportunities I’ve gained from getting back into education, I am now keen to help other improve their situations. I am a Project Co-ordinator for the Pre-School Learning Alliance, a specialist education charity that also provides unemployed people with access to education, volunteering opportunities and routes into work.
I find helping people to start the process of securing their futures very rewarding. I enjoy telling people who I work with that it is not too late to go to college and often use myself as an example to inspire them.”
Ray did it. You can do it too. Come to our next Open Day to find out more about our Higher Education courses.