Working at a Shropshire primary school is a world away from her previous career as a high-flying London advertising agency director – but Sarah Kennils is loving her change of career.
The 41-year-old is now combining a supporting teaching and learning course at Telford College with a part-time job at Much Wenlock Church of England School.
Sarah, who now lives at Brockton near Much Wenlock, has previously worked across a range of media including TV, digital and print, and held senior posts at large advertising agencies.
Whilst her daughter was growing up, she was invited into William Brookes School as a cover supervisor – and it was during this time that she realised working at a school was something she’d love to do.
Once her daughter reached school age, Sarah began looking into formal supporting teaching and learning qualifications, with support from the Telford College team.
Her previous qualifications, combined with experience at William Brookes School, meant she was able to go straight into the level three supporting teaching and learning in schools course.
And she hasn’t looked back. As part of her studies, she was fixed up with a work experience at Much Wenlock Church of England School, and the school ended up offering her a job.
Sarah’s work-life balance now includes 15 hours a week at the school, alongside her Telford College studies. She says it has given her a career which she loves, with new experiences where every day is different.
“The course at college goes hand-in-hand with my job, as I can see a way of putting everything I learn into practice. We cover a lot of safeguarding too, and this is a very important topic in schools.”
She added: “Some of the students at school have special education needs, and I’ve been able to understand their conditions more. I’ve learned why some students need more time and different learning techniques than others.
“By doing the course, I got the placement, and by doing the placement I was offered the job.
“The model Telford College has helped me start the career of my dreams – I’m happy and I love going to college and work.
“I’d recommend it to anyone thinking about changing careers or if you’ve always wanted to work in schools, give the college a call and they’ll help you.”
Telford College is launching a new level three diploma in supporting teaching and learning course in January, aimed at employed teaching assistants.
To find out more about this, or any of Telford College’s other education-related courses, see www.telfordcollege.ac.uk, or call 01952 642237.
You can also register for the college’s next open event, on January 20, at www.telfordcollege.ac.uk/open-events