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Sarah Hargreaves - Design and technology trainee

Year of study


Tell us about your route into teaching...

After graduating from Cleveland College of Art and Design, I got a job in London as a hand-embroider for couture fashion designer - Ralph and Russo. I would make the finishing touches to evening wear, bridal dresses and couture collections that were shown in Paris. I then came back to the north east to work as an embroidery machinist.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I had always thought about teaching but I decided I wanted to get more experience in the industry first. While working, I learnt a great deal about the fashion industry, from exploring concepts and the design stage to adding the finishing touches – detail, flexibility, hard work and long hours were the norm! As a teacher, part of my job is to prepare students for life after school and I feel that because of my experience, I have valuable knowledge to pass on.

Why did you choose Shotton Hall SCITT?

I had heard lots of good things about Shotton Hall SCITT from ex-trainees and current teachers. I attended a back to school day at The Academy at Shotton Hall and got a really good feel for the place and the teachers. I didn’t hesitate to apply after that.

What would you say to anyone else thinking of becoming a teacher?

Do it - I wish I had done it sooner!

What has been your favourite part of training so far?

Mini placements have been my favourite and most rewarding part of training so far, particularly the pastoral and SEN placements. They made me realise just how important my role is; not just to educate, but to support students in whatever way I can.

How does teacher training differ from your previous career?

It’s very different! Although I am still using the same skills and techniques, the environment is a complete change.


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