January 22, 2021
Chloe Brown

Level 6 student, Chloe Brown, had always aspired to work with children and young people in education. 

After being diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome at the age of five, Chloe was determined not to let the condition become a barrier to her career aspirations. 

Eagerness to learn

Chloe began her educational journey seven years ago, studying Caring for Children Diploma  Level 1 at Leeds City College. Since then, she has achieved five additional qualifications.

“I’ve always loved working with children; when I was younger I really admired my school teachers and wanted to follow the same career path. 

“I’m especially keen to work with children who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as I feel I can share my experience of studying with learning difficulties and offer useful support and advice.”

Overcoming hurdles

DiGeorge syndrome has affected the way Chloe learns, making it harder for her to develop spelling, grammar and punctuation skills.

“My condition means I have a development delay, where performance-wise, I am two years behind my actual age. I’ve had three operations on my cleft palate and worked with a speech therapist for ten years, helping me to speak more clearly. 

“I often struggle with anxiety, especially when presenting in front of the class. However, University Centre Leeds was a great option for me as the class sizes are small and we have intimate classroom lessons, rather than intimidating lectures.

“The friendly classroom environment helps me feel more confident, allowing me to participate in group discussions and get to know my classmates better.”

Accessing support

Despite her condition, Chloe has shown great determination to succeed in her qualifications.

“I can get frustrated when trying to word sentences correctly and understand feedback, however my tutors are great at talking through my work with me and are committed to my progress.”

Vicki Marshment, HE Childcare Programme Manager, has been part of Chloe’s academic journey for many years. She added: “Seeing the developmental progress Chloe has made is one of the most rewarding parts of my role. Each year, she has progressed to the next level of study through immense determination to succeed and achieve. 

“She is a true inspiration, never allowing her condition to become a barrier within her progression and achievements. I’m honoured to still be part of her learning journey and feel excited to see her achieve her level 6 qualification this year.”

Studying experience

After completing the Supporting Teaching and Learning Foundation Degree at University Centre Leeds, she is now working towards Children and Young People Care and Education BA (Hons) Level 6. 

“During my learning, I’ve had the opportunity to work on placements in an education setting. I’ve worked with children from nursery age to year 5 at my old school, Farsley Farfield Primary School.

“I worked as a learning support assistant to help children with SEND needs. I really enjoyed getting to know the children on a personal level and providing them with guidance based on my own learning experiences. 

“In the future, I’d love to further my career in education by working in a specialist school to help care for children and young people with SEND learning needs.”

Take a look at our range of courses here.