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Claire Donachie  

October 19, 2023
Claire Donachie

Meet Claire, a Learning Support Assistant working in our Inclusive Learning team! 

Before beginning her career in education, Claire worked in a range of roles including working in factories, banks and agency work. After several years working across different sectors, Claire decided to open her own business specialising in holistic therapy. It was during this time that she found a passion for supporting and helping people. So, Claire decided to go to University to study for a Foundation Degree in Counselling.    

After completing her foundation degree, Claire decided to take a career break to after her children.  

Claire then returned to education to fulfill her ambitions of working in education. She studied the Level 2 and Level 3 Supporting Teaching & Learning qualification with us at Middlesbrough College. During this time, she also worked in the Prison Service where she supported young people who have parents in prison. Claire said: “I loved working in an emotional support role, and I found the job really rewarding. I’ve always enjoyed working with people and supporting them the best I can.”  

 “I decided to return to education as I wanted to become a Teaching Assistant and work in education. I’ve always loved helping young people and I wanted a formal qualification to expand my skillset and improve my confidence. Middlesbrough College was an amazing place to study. The tutors, who are now my colleagues, were incredible. The staff are so supportive and helped me during my studies.  

“The course itself is studied on a part-time basis, which is great if you have other commitments in your life. I would definitely recommend studying the Supporting Teaching and Learning programmes. I gained the knowledge and skills I needed to work within education and the courses boosted my confidence levels. I was so proud when I was put forward for and offered the Learning Support Assistant role at the College.  

“I’m now a staff member at the College working with students aged 14-16 who can no longer stay in mainstream education, providing social emotional and mental health support. My role is challenging but extremely rewarding.  

“I’m proud to be working at the College and proud of what the College stands for. I’m the wellbeing champion in my department and I listen and support my colleagues with any issues they have. We have a great community here. 

“I’m hoping to progress to University next year to study part-time for a degree in Psychology, whilst also continuing my role at the College. The College have been so supportive of this decision and are wanting me to upskill and bring the skills and knowledge I’ll be learning at University into my role. My career ambition is to become a qualified Educational Psychologist and I’m grateful to the College for encouraging me to pursue this ambition.  

“My advice to anyone considering coming back to education is to do it. It’s never too late. With the right support and good teachers, all your fears will disappear. Middlesbrough College is the perfect place to step back into education and fulfil your career ambitions.”  

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