Would-be teacher Ben Percival doesn’t believe in doing things the easy way.
The 19-year-old has taken an unusual route as he strives to be an English teacher – jumping straight from high school onto a degree course.
Ben, who lives in New Longton, near Preston, left Penwortham Priory Academy with a A grade in his favourite subject- English.
But, instead of going on to do A levels then a degree, he jumped straight from school to the Open University.
Now, he is working towards his dream job – at his local primary school.
Ben said: “I guess it is unusual to go straight to an Open University English degree age 16, but my English teacher, Miss Janet Salisbury, was a great help to me.
“She gave me a lot of confidence and I do not think I would have done this without her. I should have got an ‘A*’ in my English GCSE, but felt the pressure with exams which is why I looked at several avenues after school – and that’s why Open University appealed to me.
“At first, it was hard as an on-line course is a different type of teaching. It was difficult to adjust straight out of school but you can do it at your own pace and you get used to the online teaching.”
He is currently doing work experience at a primary school near his Chesham Drive home.
Ben added: “I have been studying my course for two years part-time while working at New Longton, All Saints’ Primary School to get some experience.
“It’s valuable experience as I work with the pre-school, listen to readers and clean as well.
“I really want to be an English teacher. I don’t feel I will miss out doing it this way.
“Several teachers at Penwortham Priory Academy said they took the Open University route, so I think it can only enhance my chances.”