Forgotten parents;FE Focus

17th April 1998 at 01:00
Carol Raphael, a 42-year-old single mother, went back to college last autumn - 15 years after stopping work as a nurse. She enrolled on an access course and has got a place at the University of East London to read psychology. But having supported herself and four children on income support of pound;117 a week for the past six months, she is "in two minds" about whether to take up the place.

"Fares and buying books and meals have taken a chunk out of my housekeeping and I had to get a loan from income support just to make ends meet.

"I am trying to do something with my life so that I can come off income support and get some dignity back.

"Income support is a nightmare - you have to do so many forms and they are getting more and more difficult. I would love to say to them 'here's your book back'."

Her work as a volunteer for Victim Support and the experience of dependence on prescribed steroids, on and off, for the past 10 years have given her ideas she would like to pursue in her research.

She gave up work after her second child was born and nursed her husband as he was dying from cancer. But she says: "I'm not a unique story. " Welfare to work is a slog for people like Carol. "They have forgotten about adults with kids. If Tony Blair wants us off income support he has got to give us some encouragement or incentive."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now