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Determination stretched to limit

Determination is a key word in my life at present. In September I start a PGCE in design technology, specialising in textiles and home economics, a shortage subject area, for which I receive a small bursary.

I am a single parent with two children aged two-and-a-half and one. I graduated from my first degree in textiles eight years ago and worked in the public sector with success and promotion until I gave up my career to have children and move into teaching, where I feel my skills and enthusiasm can be used fully.

But it seems that another door shuts in my face. My main concern is childcare costs. There is no nursery or cr che provided by the university, so I am having to seek childcare elsewhere - a costly exercise. Had I been starting a Government training scheme I would be able to apply for help towards childcare, but students cannot do this. In desperation I have turned to charities and trusts, but as yet have received only rejections.

It took me some time to clear the debts accumulated from my first degree. After completing the PGCE, I estimate I will have to repay Pounds 5,000 in student loan. What an encouragement for a single mother to return to study a course that has an 85 per cent employment success record!

CHARLOTTE TWEEDY 11 Parkville Road Bramley, Leeds

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