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Andrew Heaney-Merryweather

January 21, 2020
Andrew Heaney

Before becoming the Head of Teaching and Learning for A Levels, Andrew Heaney was a A Level Business and ‘Mix it up’ Business tutor at Middlesbrough College Sixth Form. After studying for a Marketing and Management degree at Newcastle University, Andrew worked as a Marketing Assistant at GQ Magazine in London.

Andrew said “I was fortunate to land a great graduate job at GQ Magazine. It was really interesting and a fantastic start to my career, however I missed home a lot and the London lifestyle wasn’t for me so I decided to move back to Newcastle.”

When Andrew moved back to Newcastle he quickly found work at the Newcastle Next branch. After just a few weeks Andrew was promoted to Assistant Manager of the menswear department and eventually became the Area Manager for the North. However, despite progressing in his career, Andrew had a desire to go into teaching, so he quit his job, took a leap of faith, and enrolled onto the PGCE Business Education course at Sunderland University.

Andrew said “Teaching was something I knew I always wanted to do ever since I did a module at University called ‘students into schools’. It was just something that I always had in the back of my head, so I decided to study to become a qualified teacher.

“I was offered a job during my placement year of my PGCE qualification so I found work straight away- even before I had qualified! It was fantastic. I worked in a school and sixth form for 6 years and worked my way to the Head of Business and Enterprise. Whilst I loved the everyday challenges of teaching secondary education, I particularly enjoyed teaching further education, so I decided to apply for a role at Middlesbrough College.

“I began at Middlesbrough College teaching on the BTEC/ Extended Diploma course and the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Business. It was a huge change for me as I was used to teaching 11-18 year olds but the Access class was full of mature learners with most of them being older for me.

“I really enjoyed the challenge and decided to start from scratch with all of my resources. It was a massive change but incredibly rewarding and enjoyable.

“I’m now in my second year of teaching A Levels and the Mix it up programme and I love it. I love bringing in my experience in industry as it brings the subject alive for students and helps them to better understand the subject.

“The best part of my job is when you see the ‘lightbulb moment’. Some parts of Business theory can be complicated and students don’t understand it at first but when they finally do you can literally see that ‘lightbulb moment’ and it is so rewarding.”

As well as teaching at Middlesbrough College, Andrew also teaches on the Sunderland University PGCE specialising in further education studies. He also offers placements at Middlesbrough College to aspiring teachers to pass on and share his knowledge and passion. As well as this, Andrew is a Teaching and Learning mentor at College. As part of his role, Andrew works with the teaching and learning team, mentoring staff and helping to improve teaching across the College.

Looking for a role at the Middlesbrough College Group? Take a look at our latest job vacancies here