Posted on 21 May 2003
Sandra, 58, of Acomb, York has just won an Adult Learners Award for outstanding achievement on a University of York Continuing Education course. The Award - a certificate and £100 prize money made by NIACE, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education - was presented at a special ceremony in Harrogate. Sandra plans to spend the money on books and course fees for her next set of studies.
Sandra had no qualifications when she decided to study history on the University course. She'd left school at 14, and worked in an office until she married. Then she started working as a midday supervisor at Hob Moor Primary, and has been there for 25 years.
She was one of the first-ever students to enrol on the Continuing Education programme at the University, which is specifically designed for adults who have been out of education for a long time. The tutor is sympathetic to those who need study skills or help in boosting their confidence about tackling a course.
She said: "I've always loved history and this course was just right for me. I loved the studying and I had a lot of help from one of the teachers at Hob Moor, Mrs Dickinson, who did all the word processing for me because I don't have a computer."
Lesley Booth, co-ordinator in the Centre for Continuing Education, said: "Sandra was terrified of the whole idea of studying and the assessment involved when she came here. But she's sailed through the work and she'll be one of the first groups of students to complete their studies this summer. We're all delighted for her - she is a fantastic lady.
"The University prides itself on its community-based education and we don't expect students to have any formal qualifications. The Centre works closely with community-based projects to help those who have never aspired to Higher Education achieve success. Widening participation and raising self-esteem are intimately linked. We hope that this will inspire others to have a go and unlock their potential."