Three sisters are aiming to follow in their parents’ footsteps by training as teachers at University of Cumbria’s London campus.
Twins Almas and Raisah Patel and their elder sister Aisha are doing the same Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme, specialising in delivering lower primary education to children aged 3-7 years olds.
They have been inspired by their parents Makbul and Nazznin Patel. Their father Makbul was an economics lecturer in India and their mother Nazznin works in a primary school, helping pupils with educational needs.
Aisha, Raisah and Almas, who live in Ilford, are among more than 500 students at the university’s site in East India Dock Road.
East India Dock Road in Tower Hamlets has been delivering teacher training courses since the University of Cumbria was formed in 2007 yet links stretch back even further from the time when St Martin’s College provided training courses.
University of Cumbria’s Institute of Education is one of the largest providers of teacher training in the UK and has a long and prestigious history of providing training and professional development programmes for teachers. Its founding institutions include St Martin’s College in Lancaster and Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside, situated in the heart of England’s Lake District. Its Learning, Education and Development (LED) research centre is also recognised nationally.
Today University of Cumbria is proud that more than 70 per cent of schools in Tower Hamlets currently employ at least one of its graduate teachers.
As well as providing its own teacher training programmes, University of Cumbria also supports more than 2,000 schools and partners, largely in the north west of England, as well as 28 School Direct Alliances.
Aisha and Raisah, who have both previously worked in children’s nurseries, are doing their PGCE after completing BA (Hons) Education Studies degrees with University of Cumbria in 2018.
Aisha, 24, said: “Our parents are proud and our mother consistently boasts to others that her three daughters are completing their PGCEs together at the same university.”
Raisah, 23, added: “It is handy having my two sisters doing the same course. We can compare notes and check if we've missed any information. It’s nice too, during these uncertain times with Covid-19, doing our online lectures together. I’m looking forward to graduating with my sisters to end a milestone in our education.”
Almas, who herself has a first-class honours degree in education studies, said: “With Mum working in a primary school and Dad also having experience working with students in India teaching economics, teaching is always something I’ve wanted to do. It is such a rewarding job. Our family is proud of how far we’ve all come and love that we’re following the passion that we have and doing it together at the same university.”
Farhat Ibrahim, principal lecturer (education) at the university’s London campus, said: “We’re delighted that Aisha and twins Raisah and Almas have returned to continue their development through their PGCE with QTS with us. It is particularly pleasing because it means that we’re able to continue to see Raisah and Aisha progress after having completed undergraduate programmes with us.
“The personal approach at University of Cumbria allows us as tutors to support individual students well and it’s rewarding when we’re able to see them flourish in this way.”
Ruth Harrison-Palmer, director, Institute of Education, University of Cumbria, said: “University of Cumbria is proud to play a crucial role in training and supporting key workers.
“The Covid-19 crisis has thrown a spotlight on the work of our essential key public services staff – particularly those in areas including health, teaching and policing. We know that such professions will be increasingly vital as the country looks ahead to the months and years ahead. The university is determined to continue to do all it can to provide immediate support to these sectors and to support their longer-term resilience and recovery.”
Those interested in teaching can find out more at one of the university’s virtual ‘Getting into’ teaching events taking place soon. Visit our events listings here for details and to reserve your place. Alternatively visit https://.cumbria.ac.uk/teachertraining/