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Chloe Ghent – Bath Spa University

 Alumni profile 

Course studied: BSc (Hons) Criminology
Graduating year: 2018

“I feel proud of myself, how far I've come and how much I've grown as a person.”

Chloe's story

Bath Spa alumna Chloe (BSc (Hons) Criminology, 2018) discovered her ideal teaching role in a prison whilst studying at Bath Spa. Chloe now works as a Maths Lecturer at HMP Bristol.

How I ended up working for HMP Bristol

After graduating, I was successful in being offered a 12-month Graduate Teacher Trainee position, working in the Education Department of three prisons in the South West of England.

During that year my manager told me that there was a Generalist Lecturer role available at HMP Bristol and that was the prison of the three that I preferred. It was a maternity cover position, however he said it was likely to lead to something once it was finished.

At the end of the maternity cover, the prison created another Generalist Lecturer role for me.

What my roles have involved

“My role is different every single day because prisons are dynamic – they’re constantly changing.”

When I first went into the Generalist Lecturer role I was teaching Functional Skills Maths and English, but I soon realised that the role is a lot more involved than I imagined.

Teaching Maths and English is twenty percent of it. Before we can focus on studying, I’ve got to work with them on building up their mental health and helping them get their self confidence back.

My role has now changed to where I am now in a Maths Lecturer role within the prison.

When did you realise you wanted to work in prisons?

When I was growing up I always wanted to be a teacher. I was set on it. But when I was 16 I went to a reception class in a primary school for a mandatory work experience week and it was not what I imagined. I put teaching on the backburner.

Then I saw this Criminology Degree at Bath Spa. I was drawn to the course because prisons really fascinated me.

When we did our work placement in our second year, I found out I could go into an Education Department at a prison. I know it sounds really cheesy, but I felt like the whole thing was just made for me. I had the prison aspect. I had the teaching aspect.

“I thought: this is what I’m supposed to do.”

In my third year of uni, the head of the Criminology course let me know about a graduate trainee role that was being advertised at the three prisons. This was finally what I was waiting for!

How did the teaching staff support you?

“Bath Spa is quite small and it really felt like a little community.”

My lecturers seemed to really care about my wellbeing. They were always happy to do anything for us students. It was really nice, because some of my friends went to quite big universities where they felt like they were just a number.

I’m most proud of...

How adaptable I've been and at quite a young age. A lot of my colleagues are in their forties and fifties. When I go to conferences, I always feel so young because I’m only 23. I was thrown in at the deep end and I really had to adapt to my surroundings.

I found out very quickly that in order to get the prisoners learning, I had to focus on their wellbeing and get them in a good place first.

When I look back on my time at Bath Spa, the support and care I received from my lecturers really impacted me, and I’ve tried to embed that into my own lessons with the prisoners.

Looking back over the last three years, I do feel proud of myself, how far I've come and how much I've grown – as a person – not just as a teacher.

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