Top marks for Whalley mum-of-two who completes degree after being inspired by son

A mum-of-two from Whalley, who was inspired by her autistic son to return to education, is celebrating getting a distinction in her degree.
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Keighley Baxter (35) decided to enrol on a BA (Hons) in Disability Studies at Blackburn University Centre, to learn more about her son’s autism, and now would like to move into a career where she can help other young people with disabilities.

Keighley said: “My son inspired me to do the course because I wanted to learn more about autism. After getting an education health care plan in place for him I decided that it would be beneficial if I could learn more about autism to be able to ensure that he got all the help and support he needs and to know our legal rights.

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“I was a bit apprehensive about going back to studying after so many years caring for my son, but the help and support I received throughout the course was amazing. I had to study online quite a lot due to Covid, but the tutors were fantastic and very responsive and gave me lots of informative feedback.

Keighley BaxterKeighley Baxter
Keighley Baxter

“It was difficult balancing online learning with home schooling and general family life, but I’m so glad I persevered and that my hard work paid off, I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. For anyone thinking of going back to education, I would say they should definitely do it!

“I’d now like to move into a career where I can help other people with disabilities such as becoming a special needs teacher.”

Keighley was one of more than 600 students who turned out to celebrate their successes at the three Blackburn University Centre graduation ceremonies held at King George’s Hall, where students received their degrees, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, professional qualifications and postgraduate degrees.

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Two ceremonies were held for students graduating in 2021, while a special graduation ceremony was held for students from 2020 as their graduation was postponed due to Covid-19.

Among the guests were university partners from Lancaster University, the University of Central Lancashire and the University of South Wales, the Mayor of Blackburn, Councillor Derek Hardman, and Mayoress Colette Hardman.

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