Tutor Award

Maria Clifton

2017 Regional Winner

Maria started teaching functional skills to apprentices at Greater Manchester Mental Health Hospital. Wanting to demonstrate that learning is for everyone, she now also leads courses for Recovery Academy service users with great success and passion.

Having worked to embed functional skills across teaching on the hospital’s apprenticeships through bespoke learning sessions, Maria realised that she had more to offer. She developed functional skills courses for Recovery Academy learners with mental ill health, hoping to encourage all learners to achieve their potential in a safe and positive environment.

Most of her learners arrive with little confidence, motivation or previous qualifications, but Maria guides each of them to recognise the maths, English and ICT skills they already possess. Demonstrating through everyday activities and familiar contexts, Maria points out how much each learner can aspire to.

Maria’s personalised teaching sparks motivation and inspires people to want to learn and progress. Her learners have become enthusiastic, willing and confident, progressing from hospital ward to community-based living. Many return to her classes for more learning because they have “caught the bug”.

Maria also teaches hospital staff who, for one reason or another, did not engage at school and would like to learn again.

“Maria has a gift that inspires all to achieve. She has the wonderful ability to empower and facilitate a positive learning experience” said her nominator, Hazel.

“I want to inspire others. Everyone can learn, no matter how low their self-perception or how bad their past experiences,” said Maria.