I left school at the age of 15 to start work in a local copper refinery (later moving on to a research and development job in the automotive sector). During this time I was able to continue my science education on a number of vocational day-release courses for a total of seven years, eventually being awarded a degree in Chemistry from Wolverhampton. After another four years of industrial experience in a number of different roles, including both technical and commercial aspects of my employers’ business, I returned to the University to train as a secondary school science teacher. I taught science in local Black Country schools for 12 years, including a period as Head of Science in my last school, before coming to work at the University in teacher training in 2003. Training teachers has therefore been the main focus of my work for the last 12 years, during which time many student teachers have qualified on our courses and gone on to work as science teachers across the region (and elsewhere).