Dancing girls with ambition

10th September 2004 at 01:00
Fiona Allan and Joanne Bark, sixth-year students at St Mungo's High in Falkirk, know all about the work-study balance. Money in their pockets for the weekend and for clothes is essential for the two 17-year-olds, but so is their commitment to go to university.

Supermarket checkout work is popular among their friends, and pays relatively well at pound;4 or pound;5 an hour for evening and weekend work, but Fiona's part-time job links to her future career plans as a physiotherapist.

As a student dance teacher, who has gone through initial qualifications, she keeps fit and can pick up around pound;30 a week for three hours on a Friday night and four hours on a Saturday morning by teaching girls aged three to 10 basic movement and steps.

"It does not affect my studies and it's not like I'm working every night or three nights a week," she says. "I'm saving to go on holiday and it gives me the chance to go to the pictures. It's nice to have the option to go out."

Joanne waits tables when she can, picking up around pound;30 a night at weekends. She had a job in a cafe but found that too demanding and gave it up to focus on her studies. But now in S6 with her Highers behind her she is looking for more hours, perhaps in a supermarket.

"I just go out a lot and I need more money this year," she admits.

Both acknowledge that the school has cautioned senior pupils about getting the balance right. "You need to learn how much to do to leave enough time for school. I know that people working in Tescos and Asda are absolutely shattered," Fiona says.

"Most are quite sensible," says Joanne.

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