Results Day 2022: Woman who left school at 16 with no qualifications 40 years ago passes her GCSEs

Sasha Chaudri, 57, from Merton, south London, achieved an 8 (Distinction) in English and 4 in Maths.

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A 57-year-old woman, who left school at 16, with no qualifications has passed her GCSEs, just weeks before starting training to become a teacher.

Sasha Chaudri, from Merton, south London, achieved an 8 (Distinction) in English and 4 in Maths.

Sasha Chaudri with her GCSE results. Credit: SWNSSasha Chaudri with her GCSE results. Credit: SWNS
Sasha Chaudri with her GCSE results. Credit: SWNS

Despite failing her O Levels in 1981, she later gained a law degree and Masters before working for 25 years at top city firms such as Visa, Santander, EY and the Financial Ombudsman.

She looks forward to beginning her teacher training for English at Kingston University this September.

The charity, Now Teach, co-founded by FT journalist Lucy Kellaway, helped her switch professions.

Sasha said: “After a challenging time, I left school at 16 after failing all my exams.

“Despite this, my passion for English spurred me on to successfully achieve a first in Law at University at the age of 32, followed by a very rewarding career in the corporate world.

“Despite over 20 years of working for the big names such as Grant Thornton and Royal London, I started feeling unfulfilled.

“Having attained a high level in my career, I did some soul searching and reached the decision to follow a new career path in teaching English".

"I want to inspire students, and to help them to obtain a good foundation of the English language to enable them to pursue their dreams."

In preparation for her teaching career, Sasha explained she decided to retake her GCSEs in English and Maths.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” she said.

"Retaking them provided me with the invaluable experience of fostering an up to date understanding of the syllabus and the opportunity to observe some inspiring teaching methods as a student.

"On a personal level I have learned patience and will be immensely proud to be part of a profession that develops our children of today for the future requirements of tomorrow and beyond” says Sasha.

The lawyer from Merton added: “I would say to students that did not achieve the grade they wanted, that some of the most brilliant minds have failed at many things, and the fact that they keep persevering eventually makes them stronger".

Reflecting on her failure she said: "it is that journey that provides you with the opportunity to learn to conquer life’s obstacles”.

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