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My chosen route: Tom's story

There's something for everyone after GCSEs and you don't have to follow one path. 

Tom decided that A levels weren't for him...

I took my GCSEs at The Wey Valley School. Things at home weren't great and I went into care in the October following my GCSEs. I moved into supported lodgings. I was 16 and had just started Weymouth College to study Public Services. I didn't get my maths GCSE and had to do Level 2 instead of 3. I remember being devastated about this because I felt like I was a year behind my friends, but in the long run this didn't really matter.

Tom's career journey


  • The Wey Valley School Weymouth
  • Level 2 and Level 3 in Public Services and Foundation Degree in Public Services at Weymouth College
  • Top-up year for full undergraduate degree at Plymouth University
  • Masters in Criminology at Plymouth University


What was your learning journey?


After supported lodgings I moved into my own flat and studied Level 3 in Public Services at the same time. I then went on to do the foundation degree with college. Plymouth University offer a top-up year to the full undergraduate degree so I moved to Plymouth and graduated in 2017.

I wanted to continue with my education still so decided to enrol for the Masters in Criminology.

What are you doing now?


Sadly I suffered a family bereavement in 2018 which interrupted my studies and I am currently re-taking my Masters.

When I was at college and uni I had mentors who I used to meet weekly. It was hard living on my own and being at college, but they helped me to keep up and would push me. I wouldn't have done it without them. If I had been left to my own devices I would have failed because I didn't have the support network at home. Having these people helped to make the difference.

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