Sophie Barwick started her journey at Middlesbrough College over 10 years ago, having secured an apprenticeship delivered by Middlesbrough College (formerly Kirby College) at Glamour in Hinderwell and then Enrico’s in Guisborough.
Working as a qualified stylist at Enrico’s for 6 years, Sophie aspired to go into teaching and used her days off to return to the classroom, completing a Foundation Degree in Leadership & Management at the College.
When she progressed onto a PGCE, Sophie jumped at the chance of becoming an hourly paid lecturer at the College. And she made such an impression that this quickly turned into a full-time position teaching Level 2 & 3 Hairdressing students.
During her time at the College, Sophie continued to upskill in the workplace, topping up her FdA to a BA (Hons) in Business Management and completing an Assessor Award to deliver apprenticeships.
She said: “Since joining the College it has been great to see the department grow.
“We now have seven state-of-the-art, professionally equipped salons, including a commercial spa suite, modern hairdressing salons and barbershop.”
After a successful stint coordinating the College’s Hairdressing provision, Sophie was promoted to Curriculum Team Leader for Hairdressing, Beauty and Catering courses.
She has also taken on a cross-college role as Awarding Body Coordinator. Working within the Quality Department, she is responsible for ensuring curriculum is delivered under the framework guidelines.
Sophie said: “I work with staff across the College to organise visits and assessments from awarding bodies. Following these, I’ll provide support with any actions or recommendations that are given.”
Sophie has a wealth of experience working with awarding bodies, as she is also an End Point Assessor for City & Guilds during her time off and holidays. This involves working as part of a national team to monitor final assessments as part of the new Apprenticeship Standards.
She has also supported City & Guilds with the development of their new Hairdressing Technical Certificates, acting as a Lead Moderator for the practical assessments and helping to write the theory examination.
Sophie commented: “It has been fantastic to take a lead on the development of these new qualifications.
“They really challenge the students’ knowledge and skillset within industry, and are based on feedback from employers.”