26th July 2018

With weeks to go before she was due to start her foundation degree; it looked as though Chloe Johnson was going to miss out on her dreams of studying Special Educational Needs & Disability.


Suffering from a medical disability that limits her energy levels and note-taking abilities, Chloe was reliant on one of her friends also taking on the course in order to safely travel to and from lectures. When her friend dropped out at the last minute it seemed that all of Chloe’s hard work and planning would be for nothing.

However, that was when Hazel Johnson, her mother, stepped in. Not only did Hazel not want her daughter to miss out on the opportunity to study for a degree she was so passionate about, she also already worked within the area of Special Educational Needs as a Specialist School Nurse. This meant that the course would provide her an opportunity for professional development so, after emailing the course tutor, she decided to sign up for the degree as well.

Despite some initial reservations about studying together, the mother and daughter team have excelled on their course, culminating in their joint graduation on Tuesday 24 July, and for Chloe it has been a realisation of a dream come true:

“The FdA Special Educational Needs and Disability course covered a diverse range of modules which can be adapted to a range of professions, helping me develop within my role as a support worker for children and young people with disabilities.

“I’m proud that I have managed to study this course and work part time whilst also having a chronic illness. There have been times I thought I would never be able to do university level study because of my health, but the flexibility and support of the course leaders and other students has enabled me to do so.”

For Hazel, the course has provided a fantastic mix of personal and professional achievements:

“I have enjoyed not only seeing my daughter prosper and grow in confidence, but also gaining knowledge useful to my job, providing me with an increased skill base and future role development.

“Apart from studying alongside my daughter, I am proud that after 22 years away from education, I have actually achieved good grades and developed new skills, something I was very unsure about at the beginning of the course.”

Our range of Foundation Degree courses are designed to provide flexible learning opportunities with a variety of study locations and styles on offer. If you’re looking to start your journey into Higher Education visit our website, or contact our Enquiries Team, to find out more information on what courses at BGU can offer you.