Ashley works in the College’s Teacher Education department. He teaches and manages the PGCE programme along with a number of other higher education courses run in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire. With his background in Performing Arts, Ashley always knew that teaching was what he wanted to focus on.
“I was working at another college before I started here, as a Head of Department for Music and Performing Arts. I knew I wanted to teach and in 2014 I applied for my first teaching role here at Bedford College because it had a good reputation for teaching and could allow me to take a change of direction. I am part of a team of three, but also part of the much wider College team.
Alongside teaching I observe lessons across all subjects both in the College and out in the community, including in schools, prisons and work-based learning environments. There is some admin work involved and I interview new students for the Teacher Education courses too.
The College gives you flexibility in terms of how you want to work and deliver your work – there is an ethos of trust because they believe people come to work to do a good job.
I feel supported, valued and listed to in my role. There was also great support when I started here. I was assigned a mentor, and the College’s Big Picture event is a great introduction to the College as a whole.”
Laura joined the team in September 2015 as an English Teacher. English and maths are part of every full-time student’s study programme, so if they come to College without the required GCSE grades, they have to study and resit their GCSEs here at College. Laura is based in the Centre for the Creative Arts department at the College.
“I was keen to work within the Creative Arts department as I really liked the ethos when I came for interview. You could tell the whole College was going in the right direction and there are also plenty of progression opportunities, which is very attractive.
I studied for my degree in Education & English at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln before completing my PGCE (teaching qualification) at the University of Huddersfield. I had worked at another College before moving here and I have found there to be an open and supportive environment – you can approach anyone and it is acknowledged when you put extra work in.
That’s probably one of the best things about working here – having your efforts recognised. A ‘well done’ or a ‘thank you’ makes all the difference.”
Richard came to Bedford College from another FE college, but has not always been in education. His passion for working outdoors has seen him enjoy a number of exciting roles and he is now passing his passion on to his students, teaching all levels of Public Services students here at the College.
“I had taught Outdoor Education for some time, before a break in instructing saw me work on the construction of the Go Ape courses and also live and work out in Bermuda. Back in England I took a job teaching Outdoor Education and Sport at another FE college.
I was keen to apply for this job at Bedford College as I had heard good things about it from some friends. I am based in the sports department and frequently take students out for canoeing and kayaking.
The team here is more relaxed than I have experienced before, so it was easy to fit in and everyone was very welcoming, but also really keen about what they do which is great. Another thing that has stood out for me is that the College invests in their staff which makes you feel more valued and appreciated. For instance, I’ve already been put through my minibus training and first aid training. It’s a place where things talked about in your interview do actually become a reality.”