Adam Marriss, from Lincoln, is studying for the ACCA, a professional Accountancy qualification at USW. The course allows Adam to gain a DipHE in Professional Accounting alongside his ACCA papers, with the option of combining ACCA with an MSc in Professional Accounting later in his studies.
He has shared his experience of overcoming barriers to education, to raise awareness of those obstacles that face children of Service personnel, who are a third less likely to progress into higher education than their peers.
Having worked his way up the ranks, Adam is now serving in the British Army as Sergeant in 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery. However, his educational path has not always been smooth.
At 15, Adam was excluded from secondary school for poor behaviour. He changed school and sat for his GCSEs. Though, by his own admission, he should have done better: “I passed with grade C GCSEs but my revision was minimal. I didn't progress on to sit A-levels, which was probably my biggest barrier to higher education. It was purely my own doing.
“I joined the Army at 16 and attended Harrogate Foundation College. Now, 12 years later, I love my job and have been on exercises all over the world. When I was promoted to Lance Bombardier, I achieved a BTEC in telecommunications. This gave me the 120 UCAS points I needed to progress on to the course.”
Due to the pandemic, Adam has been able to attend the course remotely and still be employed by the Army: “I have a passion for numbers and often help my friends with their finances, such as tax returns, mortgages, and credit cards. I applied for a grant, provided by the Army, to enrol at USW. In all honesty, it has really opened my eyes. It has made me realise I could have studied at university earlier in life. I’m really enjoying learning again.”
Adam lives in Plymouth with his wife, four step-children, and two children.
“Studying at USW has definitely inspired me to help my children do the very best they can. I can see a pathway to university for them, as opposed to when I was a teenager, I felt like I didn’t belong at university. This is the reason I want to encourage Service Children to believe in themselves, by speaking about my experiences.”