13 August 2021

Builder constructs new career

Former builder and stay-at-home dad, discovers his "calling" and returns to education.

Richard Jackson, 41, from Benfleet, was a builder for 20 years before becoming a stay-at-home dad to his two children.

“I’ve always been the biggest kid wherever I go.

“When I’d take my kids to pre-school, I’d always end up playing games with the kids and didn’t want to leave.

“The staff there told me that this was my calling and that I should consider going into early years.”

“It was a big decision, but my wife and I talked about it and decided it was now or never.”

Richard left school unhappy, not achieving what he could have in his exams, so went back to study GCSE English and Maths at USP College’s Seevic Campus in Benfleet.

He found going back to college a big change, and, with Covid, it was a challenging time to do it. However, he found a passion for English, especially creative writing, something he didn’t envisage.

Richard passed both his GCSE English and Maths, achieving grade 8 for English and grade 5 for Maths.

Speaking of his achievement, he said:  “I’m feeling over the moon with my results.

“It’s not anything I ever expected. I thought I’d come back and only be able to scrape through my GCSEs.

“The teachers were so supportive; they were always available and got back to us as soon as possible if we had a query.”

Richard, who has a particular interest in supporting students with Special Needs, is now looking to study a Level 3 Early Years Qualification, which will allow him to go into a primary school setting and work with children up to the age of 7.

“Career-wise, I’m looking at doing a support role in the first instance, but getting these results today has got me thinking that maybe I can do more, perhaps I can train as a teacher.

“It’s given me a real confidence boost.”

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