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Former Preston solicitor who lost job in the pandemic re-trains as primary school teacher

Posted on - 6th April, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, People, Preston News, Schools
Christina Grainger is a former solicitor training as a teacher

A former solicitor who lost her job due a pandemic related redundancy is training as a primary school teacher.

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Christina Grainger, 41 from Preston is part of the 2020/21 Transition to Teach cohort who are charting a new course into teaching from redundancy, early retirement and career change, and dispelling many of the myths that exist about entering the profession.

Christina said: “I qualified as a solicitor in 2006; it was a really busy job. After having my children though my priorities began to change and I started to wonder whether I was still in the right industry.

“It takes 6 years to qualify as a solicitor, and having invested both so much time and money into qualifying, it was scary to think about leaving that stable job for another industry entirely.

“I can safely say the most rewarding and satisfying part of my job was the last few years where I had been involved with training and mentoring.

“When the pandemic hit, the firm of solicitors I was working for lost a bit of work, but even then, when redundancies were announced it was a shock as we had been busy right through lockdown.

“I was lucky because my husband is a solicitor too, so whilst we were both working from home at the start of the pandemic we were able to share the workload. Most of the time, we ended up working once the children went to bed, both logging on in the evening.

“The redundancy was a blow after how hard I’d been working throughout the pandemic. Around the time of the redundancy notice, I saw something from Transition to Teach asking whether it was time to get into teaching.

“I got in touch with Transition to Teach and they rang me back. I didn’t have the first idea whether I would be eligible as I thought I would need school experience, but it wasn’t a barrier to me getting onto the programme.

“Being a parent to two young children, I know first-hand how important a teacher is in a child’s early years, in helping mould them into who they are going to be. I realised I could take the aspects I really enjoyed from my role as a solicitor, into a new career in teaching.”

Read more: A Dad from Preston decided to document his home-school experience

Transition to Teach is a Department for Education funded initiative that supports eligible career changers into teaching, with a particular focus on those at risk of redundancy, and prior teaching experience is not required.

Christina added: “Being made redundant is a real mix of emotions. It was a really unsettling time. At that point, I wanted my redundancy to go ahead but also deep down felt it was a reflection on me.

“It’s a big knock to your confidence. Even though I’d had the thought of potentially changing career in the back of my mind for years, it was still scary for the redundancy to actually happen.

“Transition to Teach helped me with my application for a teacher training course and I had my interview over Zoom. It has been a whirlwind. I was supposed to be with the firm of solicitors I worked with until October 2020 but they agreed to let me leave early to start my course in September 2020. I got accepted on the Friday and started my induction on the Tuesday.

“If you’re thinking about teaching, I’d highly recommend getting in touch with Transition to Teach. It’s both exciting and scary to be starting a new career in teaching, but so far so good. I’m happy with the decision I made.”

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