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Case Study

James Gittins

Northumberland, UK

BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS


James Gittins failed to achieve his grades, but a call to the Clearing helpline changed everything and landed him a place on the BA (Hons) Primary Education course. When he graduated, he landed a role as a primary school teacher in Washington, and has now moved to Dubai to teach there alongside his girlfriend.

I only missed out by ten UCAS points with my A Levels and I seriously began to consider that I’d have to do something else, and it would just take me a bit longer to get to where I wanted to be. I called the Clearing helpline at Sunderland on the off-chance they'd offer me a place, and they put me through to the programme leader of the BA (Hons) Primary Education course. She said they were willing to take a chance on me. I think it paid off!

Studying at Sunderland was the best three years of my life. It was great learning in lectures, but being able to apply that learning in the classroom was what I enjoyed the most. I was first placed in an inner-city school in Newcastle, then a rural school in Stockton, then one in Chester Le Street, which really helped me meet a whole range of kids with different backgrounds. The placements definitely convinced me that teaching was right for me.

After graduating, I was offered a role as a primary school teacher in Washington, but since then I've moved to Dubai with my girlfriend where I'll continue to teach.

The expression “Shy bairns get nowt” is one you should remember when applying to university through Clearing! You’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there and the opportunities will come. You can only lose if you don’t try."

Published 19 August 2019

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