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Andy Thurlow - Diploma in Education & Training


What was your role before starting your course? What did it involve?

Before I started this course I was a fully qualified bricklayer, I started by doing an apprenticeship with my dad and attended college at the same time to achieve my City & Guilds qualifications. Over the years I’ve worked for companies, or been self employed working on sites as well as domestic small builds. I returned to college part time in 2000 to train as a plumber, and went on to get my Corgi registration. After being on the tools for over 30 years I decided that I needed a change - and a job that would be kinder to an ageing body! So I applied for a job in teaching my trade and was very lucky to get the job I have now. 

What did you learn on the course? 

The course has been extremely helpful. Coming from a technical and very hands on career, teaching is so different. This course has given me the tools to be able to teach and also assess. 

How did the course help you with your role/career?

Training is given on the job, but it's not really on how to teach. This course has equipped me with skills I need and the confidence to use them. 

Jacqui mentioned that you have progressed since the course, can you share a little about this please?

That’s very kind of Jacqui to say that! Yes I do believe that I’ve grown so much on this course BUT it wouldn’t have been possible without the support, guidance and encouragement from Jacqui. Being on site I did not have the need to use technology, I had never spoken in front of a group to give a presentation, so the IT side of the course was a big issue for me. Jacqui was very patient and helped me enormously which gave me the confidence to keep going. I also found the assignment writing very hard, I had never done referencing before or academic writing, Jacqui went through it all slowly with the group but was also there at any time if needed. Without Jacqui’s support I would have given up within the first year. 

Why did you choose to return to education? How did it fit in with your home and work commitments?

As part of the job we had to complete the DET course to obtain the qualification. My employers allow me to leave work to attend the course, but assignments and any coursework has to be completed in my own time. Luckily, as my family are all grown up now, it was easier than before. 

What was your tutor like?

Jacqui is absolutely amazing, her teaching style keeps you engaged. She is always there to help, she will give you great little tips on how to tweak your teaching to get the best out of your learners. Nothing but great praise from me!

Why did you choose MidKent College specifically?

I didn’t get a choice in choosing a place to study, as it was all arranged by my employer. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your company? And how your role fits into this?

I work for the Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) at Brompton Barracks. My title is brickwork lecturer so I teach the Royal Engineers the DAO level 2 in Brickwork and Concreting. 



If you're a skilled worker and want to move into teaching in the post-16 sector, you can find out more about the DET programme and make your application here.