Anna Davey, Education Studies
What are you doing now?
I work at Derby College as the Learner Voice Champion and have been in this post for three years. I’ve worked at the College for 15 years and have held other roles including: Intervention Support Worker, Learner Services Co-ordinator, Professional Mentor and Education Support Worker.
What were the main reasons you took the course?
I left school and moved on to college when I was 16. But, following a skiing accident, several operations and broken kneecaps, I had to leave college. When I recovered, I decided to go straight to work.
Fast forward ten years or so and my daughter was approaching secondary school and I thought it’s time for me to get the qualifications to match my job role. I completed the Foundation Degree in Children’s and Young People’s Services at the University of Derby and then did the “top-up” stage 3 of Education Studies to complete my degree. Education Studies was the right course for me because I work in education but have no interest in becoming a teacher, but do enjoy working with young adults.
Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?
I was born in Derby, live in Derby and work in Derby so the University of Derby was a natural choice. It was a bonus that the University had, and still has, an excellent reputation for Education Studies with high National Student Survey (NSS) scores. It was also a recommendation from friends who told me its reputation was well deserved.
What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?
Education Studies has given me academic confidence in collating and reporting on qualitative and quantitative data that are both so important in championing the learner voice. As my knowledge and skills have been developed at the University, so have my roles at Derby College.
How did the lecturers inspire you?
All the lecturers had the “can do” attitude towards students. There are times when you are juggling work, home and study and you start to think “I can’t do all this!” but the lecturers encourage and support you. They were so friendly and approachable – it was like we were working as a team with the same goals.
What are your future plans?
After supporting my daughter’s transition to college and A-levels, I will be thinking about a Master’s in Education Studies or Special Educational Needs (SEND). But, for now, my daughter is my priority.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?
Go for it! Education Studies develops your confidence to form opinions based on academic research. It covers a broad range of modules around the policies of education but also allows you to specialise – I took modules in Special Educational Needs and Disability to develop my understanding of this increasingly important aspect of education, and my Independent Study was about the learner voice to support my work at Derby College.
Who are you still in touch with from the University of Derby?
I’m still in touch with several of the lecturers – Trevor Cotterill who was brilliant for Contemporary Debates where I researched mental health issues, and Jen Marshall as I have co-written a chapter on Self Harm for Jen’s book on Contemporary Issues to be published in 2017. And my best University friend, Susie, who I’m sure will be a friend for life.