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Supporting young people’s mental health

Andrew Greenwood

Working in a primary school in Andover, Hampshire as a learning support assistant convinced 28-year old Andrew Greenwood that teaching was the right career for him.

Although he has a first degree in psychology, he needed a GCSE in a science subject at grade C or grade 4 to study for a teaching degree.

Being a student again has prompted him to rethink his career plans. With a grade B under his belt, Andrew is off to do a doctorate in psychology. He plans to spend almost half his time as a post-graduate student treating children and adolescents. His combined science IGCSE will give him a head start in understanding the biological effects of anxiety and stress reactions and subsequent hormone response.

Once he has completed his doctorate, he intends to return to working with children, as an educational psychologist, for example, or working with CAMHS, the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

Andrew came across NEC when he was researching routes into teaching on the government’s Get into teaching website. Open and distance learning was recommended for people who, like Andrew, are working full time and need extra qualifications.

Andrew began his course in April 2016. He liked the clear way in which topics are presented in NEC’s course materials and says that they did a great job in teaching the syllabus. Unsurprisingly, as he was working in a primary school and studying to become a primary teacher, his employer was very supportive of what he was doing, giving him time off to sit his exams in June 2017.

Andrew says: ‘Once you’ve completed a distance learning course, you know you have the motivation and self-discipline to go further. I am the first to admit I was resistant to learning when I was younger but now I find education empowering. Courses like NEC’s give people autonomy in changing the course of their lives while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.’