Student case study: Megan, HNC Childhood Practice

A UHI Argyll student has demonstrated unwavering commitment to her studies and career goals by having her second child alongside studying for her HNC Childhood Practitioners award.

Megan, who studies from the UHI Argyll Arran centre already had a busy home life, with a partner and toddler at home. Upon discovering she was pregnant with her second child Megan did not let the news deter her, but instead found it enhanced her motivation.

Throughout the course Megan’s work ethic was commendable, consistently producing work of a high standard, passing all her assignments, often submitting work before it was due, and having excellent attendance.

Only days after having her second child, Poppy, Megan returned to class linking in remotely from home, joined by the new addition.

Megan’s lecturer, Kyla Steele, describes her as ‘a true inspiration to female students and parents who wish to study.’

An NUS report found that 60-65% of student parents have considered leaving their course. However, stories like Megan’s demonstrate that with determination, resilience and the help of an inclusive learning environment, success is achievable.

Megan’s lecturers were so impressed with her commitment to her studies, and how she has inspired her peers, that they have nominated her for the UHI Argyll Student of the Year Awards.

UHI Argyll Arran Centre Manager, Judi Worthington, said:

‘With the support of her lecturers, Megan has embraced the challenges she’s faced, juggling parenting, childcare, pregnancy and new learning, facing each one with a positive attitude, a smile on her face, and an unwavering determination to succeed. It has been exhausting and difficult at times, but through maintaining an ongoing dialogue with her lecturers, placement provider and centre staff, it has allowed the flexibility she required to continue to study.’​ 

Megan’s short-term plan is to enjoy her young children, before gaining a role as a childhood practitioner on the Isle of Arran. She also hopes to return to studying in the future to gain a degree.

UHI Argyll offers a range of Early Years Education courses. Students in the past have gone on to work or further study in the following areas and roles:

  • Early Years Practitioners
  • Police Scotland - family liaison
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Teaching
  • Additional Support Needs Assistants
  • Child Development Officer
  • Social Work Assistants
  • Play Practitioner with NHS
  • Community Play and Learning advisors
  • Family worker - Scottish Prison service