Teacher Training student up for Learner of the Year Award

25th June 2024

A student from Solihull College & University Centre has been nominated for a special NCFE Aspiration Award to highlight the challenges he has overcome to complete his course.

Cameron Bagley, 26, has just finished his Supporting Teaching and Learning level 3 Diploma in Schools course and will continue his studies at the Open University with a BA Hons Degree in Education Studies.

He left school with no GCSEs after being bullied due to him being a carer for his mum and being gay. He was working nights in a supermarket when he decided to improve his chances and get into education. He enrolled at Woodlands and completed his Functional Skills Maths and English courses which enabled him to progress on to Level 2.

three people standing with arms crossed at front: Alison Gale - Education & Childcare Lecturer, Cam Bagley, Lucy Upton - Education & Childcare Coordinator
Left to right: Alison Gale - Education & Childcare Lecturer, Cameron Bagley, Lucy Upton - Education & Childcare Coordinator

Cam says it was important to keep aiming high. He comments: “I wasn’t fulfilled stacking shelves and wanted to do something more with my life. You must keep moving the goalposts and keep aiming high otherwise you will be stuck.”

However, in November, Cameron was struggling. He loved the course, but with a 2-day placement at a school, study time, being a full-time carer, and helping to take his 6 nieces and nephews to school, it was taking its toll.

Course leader Lucy Upton stepped in and signposted Cam to support groups which could help with his home life. Cameron found he was being encouraged, there was no judgement and although it was hard juggling everything, he was determined to find a way through to complete his course.

The College team were backing him all the way and nominated him for the Learner of the Year award. Lucy comments: “We were delighted to hear Cam had been shortlisted for this award. We think the world of him. He’s our only male learner in class and he has a natural gift to bring everyone together, he brings out the best in them. His peers have been incredibly supportive too and we know they rally around him. Being a full-time carer, and juggling studies is incredibly difficult.”

Staff at his placement school are also 100% behind him. Headteacher of Yorkswood Primary School, Andy Tunstall, says Cam is a great asset: “His unwavering dedication and remarkable ability to juggle multiple responsibilities while maintaining a positive attitude make him stand out. Cam’s commitment to excellence is evident in everything he does. His passion for education and his genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of those around him are truly inspiring.”

Cameron is delighted to have been nominated for the Learner of the Year award: “I’m in disbelief! I had no confidence, no self-esteem and to be put forward for this award is incredible. I’m so grateful to my tutors for believing in me and for letting me have this safe space at college, where I was able to be Cam the student. I’ve loved my time here and excited about what the future holds.”

The College wishes Cameron all the best in the NCFE Aspiration Awards and for his future studies!

Find out more about the College’s Education & Teacher Training courses: Education & Teacher Training