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“One of the main reasons I chose Bradford is because, for training purposes, you couldn’t ask for a better environment – what you get from training in Bradford would prepare you to work anywhere in the country.”

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Tech to teaching for career changer Will

It’s not unusual for a newly qualified teacher to feel a combination of excitement and apprehension as they look ahead to the start of their professional career.

But Will Morris, who starts at Bradford’s Horton Park Primary in September, has more reason than most to wonder what getting to grips with his first fully fledged class will feel like.

To begin with, he’ll begin work in an uncertain Covid-19 world that will inevitably change school life as we know it today.

And secondly, at 40 years old, Will is embarking on a completely new chapter in his working life.

“It’s certainly a strange time and all the ideas I had in my head about going into a new career as a teacher are likely to be a bit different,” explains Will.

“I had all these images of being stood in front of a class of 30 children and everything just being normal. Now I’ve no idea what it’s going to look like come September. That said, I’m really looking forward to having my own class and getting to know the children.”

Long before the pandemic crisis hit the headlines, Will decided that working as a science technician in a secondary school wasn’t allowing him to make the contribution to education that he felt he wanted to.

“I’d always been interested in teaching but when I was younger, I probably lacked the self-confidence to believe I could make a success of it,” he admits.

“As the years went by it became an itch that I felt I had to scratch so I decided to take the plunge and start looking around at the various options open to me.”

As a married father of two, Will was delighted to be able to land a salaried place on a training programme run by Exceed Academies Trust, which allowed him to give up his job and hone his classroom skills at district primary schools including Crossley Hall in Bradford and Oakworth in Keighley.

“I’m so glad I did it that way because the training has been absolutely fantastic,” he says. “Learning on the job in a school is just so valuable because you get so much experience – you’re thrown in the deep end, which admittedly can be a bit daunting, but the support has been amazing and I’ve loved every minute.”

The training also enabled Will to get a broad view of the many different types of school there are across the Bradford district.

“As part of training across the Exceed partnership we get to train in and experience schools around the area.” He says. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to see the range of communities. There are so many schools in Bradford in such a small area and they’re all completely different, reflecting the very different communities they serve. It’s a rich tapestry of teaching experience and the schools are really energetic and innovative places to work, which again is a massive draw to someone entering the profession.

“One of the main reasons I chose Bradford is because, for training purposes, you couldn’t ask for a better environment – what you get from training in Bradford would prepare you to work anywhere in the country.”

Having qualified in the city, Will is keen to remain and build his new career there, starting with his first qualified post at Horton Park Primary.

“I’m massively excited by the opportunity because the school serves quite a deprived community and one of the reasons I was attracted to teaching was because I wanted to be in a position to offer children a chance to learn and experience the things I had as a child that I know they might not have access to.

“To actually make a difference in their lives is one of the things I’m most excited about.”

Staying in Bradford also allows Will to continue to tap into Exceed’s ongoing support network and to take full advantage of Bradford having been chosen as an early adopter pilot site for the new national Early Careers Framework.


Find out how you can train to teach in Bradford >>

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“One of the main reasons I chose Bradford is because, for training purposes, you couldn’t ask for a better environment – what you get from training in Bradford would prepare you to work anywhere in the country.”

Find out how you can train to teach in Bradford >>

Will Morris pic (Large)

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