Being made redundant turned out to be a blessing in disguise for mum-of-two Cheryl Hudson, 42. The former ballet dancer seized her chance to return to study, and this week joined 650 graduates from Kingston University’s School of Education, to receive her degree in a ceremony at the Rose Theatre.
Cheryl, 42, from Sutton, Surrey, graduated with a First Class Honours in Primary Education and has already secured a job as a teacher at Parish Church junior school in Croydon, South London. Her parents Bill and Wilma Messer travelled from Wales to see their daughter receive her award, and while Cheryl’s children Emily, 6, and Adam, 5, were a little too young to sit through the ceremony, they were as pleased as punch for their mum.
"My dad had been telling me for years to go back to study, and when I was made redundant it gave me the perfect opportunity," Cheryl said. "Kingston was such a friendly, stimulating university and I’m so glad I chose to study there. Having Emily and Adam meant I had to carefully prioritise my time, but I’ve shown that it can be done. When I opened the letter and saw I’d got a First, it was the icing on the cake."
The event marked the first time that the School of Education has held the ceremony on home soil. "Having such a marvellous theatre here in the heart of Kingston means we can showcase the success of our UK and International students," Andy Hudson, Head of the School of Education, said. "We’ve forged close links with local schools and communities, and launched a wide range of courses to attract people of all ages, and from a variety of backgrounds. Children from early years nursery age right up to secondary school benefit from being taught by people like Cheryl who bring interesting life experiences into the classroom."