How do our education graduates inspire communities?

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Three of our School of Education and Social Work graduates are having a positive impact on the Birmingham community and inspiring the next generation. Read the stories of Birmingham Live’s “30 Under 30” nominees Abed and Casey, and also Joseph who was invited to meet the Prime Minister at Downing Street.

Abed Ahmed – The Stammer Teacher

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How did you achieve your “30 Under 30” nomination?

I was nominated by a local youth initiative in my local area who recognised the work I have been doing with pupils at my school who stammer.

I work at Holte School in Birmingham and I myself battle a stammer so I understand how pupils are feeling and what they are experiencing. I decided to run my own stammer support sessions at my school to help.

I actually made an inspirational video with some of my pupils to show how they are all overcoming their stammers which has nearly 3,000 views.

How did your time at BCU influence you?

I absolutely loved my time at BCU training as a teacher on the PGCE course. I met so many people with the same ambitions and it was nice to be with a small cohort of trainees who understood the struggles teachers face.

My maths mentors were amazing and incredibly supportive. All of the tutors in the maths department had open door policies and were so supportive when we had to start our job applications.

They would not only train us to be great teachers but trained us for our interviews and lessons that were part of the interview too. They really did prepare us for life after training.

BCU encouraged me and made me realise that my stammer is not a hindrance.

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What are your plans for the future?

I have also been shortlisted for New Teacher of the Year (TES) and I am attending a tea party at the House of Commons next week and then the ceremony at the award venue in London.

Now that I am a teacher, I want to one day become a head teacher. I want to make a massive difference in the world of teaching and I want teaching to be a desirable career again. I hope I can make this happen.

Casey Bailey – The Freelance Poet/Assistant Vice-Principal

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How did you achieve your “30 Under 30” nomination?

Nominations are submitted anonymously but I think my nomination for the Birmingham 30 Under 30 came from my work and the ultimate decision to include me in the 30 Under 30 was based on the fact I have achieved success in a number of fields, the main two being poetry and education.

I’m assistant vice-principal at Q3 Academy in Great Barr and spend my free time holding poetry workshops and performing my own raps and poems. My debut full collection of poetry ‘Adjusted’ was published in April.

I was born and raised in Nechells and saw first-hand how easy it was for peers to make one wrong move and slide into a life of crime. I try to look at some of the issues we have in Nechells and explore them from a positive point of view rather than glorifying the negativity.

How did your time at BCU influence you?

My Masters in Education provided space, time and purpose for me to extend my knowledge of education and specifically educational leadership. I would not be able to perform as effectively as I do at work without the knowledge I developed and secured during the completion of my studies.

The support I received from my tutors was fantastic and insightful just when I needed it and Lenny Henry’s speech at graduation was phenomenal.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m not sure what the future hold for me, but I think more working with young people, further study of Education and more writing poems.

Joseph Darnley – The Assistant Principal invited to Downing Street

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BA (Hons) Primary Education (with QTS) graduate Joseph Darnley recently visited Prime Minster Theresa May and Education Secretary Damien Hind at Downing Street in recognition of his huge contribution to Oasis Academy Hobmoor’s success in raising pupil progress and attainment. Joseph, who is currently Assistant Principal, graduated from his undergraduate degree in 2011.

How did you achieve this nomination?

I was nominated to represent the Oasis Community Learning multi-academy trust’s 5,000 teachers across the UK. Oasis Academy Hobmoor’s pupils last year made above average progress in reading, writing and maths, and 72% of pupils met the expected standard in all three subjects, far above the national (61%) and Birmingham-wide (57%) average.

It was an absolute privilege to attend 10 Downing Street and to be one of a select few to talk to the Prime Minister about my role in providing a first class education for all.

It was great to see that teachers’ efforts were being acknowledged by the Prime Minister and I feel that it is imperative that within the teaching profession, we all feel wanted, needed and appreciated for our efforts in transforming the lives of our young learners.’

How did your time at BCU influence you?

The course itself and the support I received fully prepared me for life outside of the University and in gaining a full time teaching position in a school of my choice, which was one of my placement schools.

Gaining an insight into pedagogies and theories around teaching and how to get the most out of the pupils you teach has been paramount to my teaching.

The placements I completed each year allowed me to develop my confidence, subject knowledge and craft in delivering first class lessons.

The personal development tutor allowed for open and honest discussions to take place and allowed me to feel supported on my journey to achieving short term and long term goals.

Birmingham City University also has an excellent reputation for its campus and the high numbers of full time employment once trainees have completed the course.

Growing up in Birmingham I knew that the city had wonderful things to offer and studying at a university that offers top quality education as well as staying close to friends and family was an ideal choice for me to make.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently in the middle of completing my NPQH Qualification (National Professional Qualification for Headship) and I’m very much looking forward to starting my new job role of Deputy Principal at another Oasis Academy from September.


If you are interested in studying an education related course at Birmingham City University just visit our School of Education and Social Work website to view our courses.

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