Ann Scannell met her husband, Mike, in Germany whilst they were both serving in the Army. She explains how she has juggled Army family life to train to be a teacher…

I LEFT the Army when I had my first child in 2002 and then went on to have another three. I have wanted to go in to teaching for quite a few years and had made enquiries previously, but had been unable to find a course that would allow me to train in Germany.

However, once my youngest child was able to go to nursery full-time, I started looking again.

I found out that Canterbury Christchurch University offered a Flexible Modular PGCE Course for primary school teaching.

The course allowed me to do my teaching placements at SCE schools in Germany, with my tutors travelling to observe me.

I started the PGCE in January 2012, we moved back to the UK in 2013 and I passed the course in January 2014.

I am currently on my NQT year in an SCE school back in Germany and once I have completed this I will be qualified as a teacher.

I’ve really enjoyed the school placements and the weekend study periods that were held at the university. The course was flexible and relatively easy to fit in around family life.

The placements did require forward planning to make sure that I had the support needed to look after the children.

The most challenging part was the limited opportunities to have face-to face time with the lecturers and my fellow students.

This meant that the weekend study periods were extremely important learning opportunities. My husband’s six-month tour in Afghanistan, which coincided with my final school placement, was an extra challenge.

Fortunately, I had a good network of friends and was able to get family members to come out to Germany to help.

If I had been able to do my training in the UK, I would have had better access to the university and learning resources.

I also didn’t get any funding for travelling back to the UK for my study periods, so it’s worth factoring in these additional costs when looking at studying overseas.

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