A KEIGHLEY woman who worked in retail is achieving an ambition to help transform the lives of young people after a dramatic career change.

Fateha Uddin was a floor manager for a large retail chain.

But she decided teaching was her true vocation.

And – supported by Transition to Teach, a Department for Education-funded initiative – she began initial teacher training in September, 2019.

Now the 26-year-old is teaching biology and sciences at Belle Vue Girls’ Academy in Bradford – and loving it.

Fateha had studied for a degree in biomedical science before entering the retail sector.

“I was always interested in science at school so a degree in biomedical science was the natural choice for me,” she said. “But after my degree, I ended-up going into retail.

“It was an organisation in Bradford that put me in touch with Transition to Teach.

“As a career changer, I thought the more support I could get, the better.

“Transition to Teach assigned me a guidance and development advisor, who has always been there to answer any questions. This was especially useful when I was on placement. Sometimes when you’re training you might not want to ask certain questions, but my advisor was always there with an honest answer!”

Fateha is now teaching biology in key stages four and five – and in all sciences up to key stage three.

“Growing up I didn’t have strong female role models and that has influenced my desire to be a role model for the students I teach,” she said.

“When you undertake school-centred initial teacher training, everything you learn is relevant because you’re learning right there in school. From the second week, we were teaching.

“Now, as a teacher, I’m using everything that I learned. It’s not like a course where you learn something and never use it again.”

Transition to Teach is now recruiting for the 2021 programme, beginning in September.

Programme manager Rebecca Waring said: “As we recruit for our 2021 cohort of trainee teachers, it’s incredibly positive to see that participants are moving into teaching because they want to make a difference in the lives of young people.

“They’re ready to be the role models that young people need, challenging perceptions that might exist about certain subjects or professions and inspiring the future generation.

“Our service is there to help people work out if teaching is for them – and if they choose to proceed, then we support them with the practical tasks like finding an initial teacher training provider, through placements and even job applications when the time comes.”

For more details, visit transitiontoteach.co.uk.