Northern Ireland

GCSE results: When changing education route turns out to be best course

Bronagh Morgan said changing education route turned out be best course for her son Dillon
Bronagh Morgan said changing education route turned out be best course for her son Dillon

AS young people await GCSE results, mother of three Bronagh Morgan from Downpatrick, shares her experience of further education and how changing route turned out to be the best course.


I have three sons, Niall, Dillon and Tiarnan. Following GCSEs, my eldest Niall did IT at South Eastern Regional College (SERC), knowing exactly that was what he wanted to do. Dillon, my second son was doing A-levels but found it didn't suit him.

He didn't know what he was he wanted to do, and had no confidence. Knowing how well Niall got on at SERC, we made an appointment with the college careers advisor which was a real eye opener for us. Following that, Dillon met with tutors and decided to do a BTEC L3 Extended Diploma in Travel in Tourism. As he got further into the course his confidence grew and he blossomed. Family members were even saying how well he was doing and what a change there had been in him in six months.

The lecturers went above and beyond for my son. The mentorship was amazing - his whole life changed. He was encouraged to further his skills and experience both inside and outside college, doing Eurocamp and getting involved in Slieve Donard and The National Trust.

Following the travel and tourism course, he progressed to City & Guilds Level 4 Diploma in Principles of Hospitality Management, which he loved. Dillon was mentored in filling in application forms and preparing for interviews. He was encouraged to apply for a one-year placement at the five-star Ashford Castle. He was successful and commenced in July this year. He is looking forward to furthering his career in hospitality management at Ashford Castle where he will be meeting people from all over the world.

I have every respect and am full of gratitude for the lecturers at SERC who helped both of my sons on their education and career paths. My third son, Tiarnan, has decided to come to SERC in September and having seen how well his older brothers have done, I have every confidence that whatever guidance he gets, whatever course he decides to do, it will be suited to him.

Seeing the careers adviser there was the best thing we ever did.