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The secret to AAT success at Reed Business School

Here is the second in a series of articles from Jon Kemp our AAT Program Manager.

At Reed Business School, we know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to studying accountancy qualifications.

Students and employers both want an uncomplicated process, and as a training provider, we’re no different. A synergistic approach must be the order of the day. Whether you’re looking to self-fund your studies, be sponsored by an employer, or qualify under an apprenticeship program, there can be so many confusing options available on the market. We’re here to relieve the confusion and make the process as straight forward as possible.

Working in partnership with all parties involved, our aim is to offer a seamless pathway to success

Reed Business School is home for all of students’ accountancy needs for over 50 years.  If you’re a student or an employer and have decided that studying an AAT course is right for you, we will offer you outstanding support during your studies.

What is it like study an accountancy qualification at Reed Business School?

We’re nestled within the heart of the stunning Cotswolds; it’s the perfect setting for success. Students nationwide have been benefitting from this rich history of experience.

Through our Level 2 and 3 AAT programs, we have already had influence on students and employers.

“I like that it’s clear and visual with a lot of diagrams, not just big chunks of words. I’m a visual learner so that works great for me. There are lots of different resources – each week there’s the basics you have to learn, then essential practice, a mini exam about that section, plus optional practice. You can also watch recordings from lectures and bite-size videos to learn and review at your own pace.” Cameron, AAT Student

“We work alongside Reed Business School’s apprenticeship work coach to ensure they develop relevant business skills and behaviours in addition to their technical knowledge. The more confident they get, the more confidence I have in them to take on more senior work.” James Pickering, MCA Business

How we run our AAT programmes is simple. We offer a unique blended learning delivery package, combining use of an award-winning virtual learning environment (VLE) from Mindful Education, alongside live interaction with our top AAT tutor team in online workshops. The VLE can be accessed from phone, tablet or computer allowing students to study at anytime, anywhere. Bite size tutorials include video lectures supported by high-quality motion graphics, case studies, and engaging animations. Our workshop sessions combine perfectly with the VLE and gives you interaction with a tutor and classmates. You’ll be able to collaborate and ask questions, boosting your motivation and helping you stay on track to achieve and succeed in your qualification.

The extras Reed Business School gives our students

Whilst the AAT syllabus is the same between all providers, the level of care and support you receive will not always be equal. Along with the most up to date learning materials and methods, Reed Business School offers pastoral support to you throughout your journey with us. Our tutors and staff are on the study journey with the you, they are dedicated to make you feel confident and succeed.

We are continually evolving how we can offer the best AAT courses. With a new program manager in place, we are kicking off with a new AAT Level 4 programme in April 2024, available for apprentices and self-funded students, and with many more exciting projects to follow, 2024 is a great year to study with Reed Business School.

Quite simply put, everything can work well when you share the same vision. The secret to success is synergy.

Study AAT with Reed Business School

We provide the very highest standard of professional accountancy training for you to achieve your goals. We have recently added the AAT qualifications to our list of professional accountancy courses because we believe in delivering finance skills that add value.

The AAT Accounting Qualification will provide you with practical accounting and financial knowledge and skills, while also developing an understanding of business and the importance of the accounting function. Achieving the full qualification will give you a firm grounding in accounting that will make a real difference to you, your career opportunities and your employer.

The full AAT qualification is made up of three levels and each level is a qualification in its own right. This gives you the option of flexibility in studying to the level you wish to achieve.

Whether you choose to fund your own studies or decide to complete an apprenticeship, you will have access to an award-winning study package along with qualified tutors to guide through your pathway to success, using our blended learning plan.

The flexibility of blended learning delivery is that you don’t have to attend the training centre in person if you aren’t able to. With nationwide availability, we can come to you via the virtual learning environment (VLE) and live workshops. The VLE is updated weekly with new topics to study, and workshops are held weekly or fortnightly, depending on your level of study.

Studying AAT with Reed Business School is a fast track, non-graduate route to chartered accountancy, or, if you wish to go to university after studying AAT, then achieving the qualification can offer you excellent exemption on a range of accounting and finance related degrees.

Should you wish to continue on your professional accountancy study path, you can opt to continue with ACCA, CIMA or ICAEW with Reed Business School.

With Reed Business School, you can study from foundation level all the way to the very top without having to worry about finding a new provider.

Jon Kemp, AAT Program Manager at Reed Business School

Driving Economic Empowerment and Embracing Social Justice in Britain

This month’s hot topic, we’re focusing on Equality and Social Justice.

In the current landscape of global development, the intersection between economic impact and social justice stands as a pivotal point for progress. As we’re due to commemorate the World Day of Social Justice on 20th February 2024, it’s important to reflect on how Britain and other nations, champion equality of opportunity and foster economic growth.

The Significance of Social Justice in Economic Development

Social justice serves as the cornerstone of a prosperous and inclusive society. It encompasses the fair distribution of resources, opportunities, and privileges, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status. When societies prioritise social justice, they create an environment where every individual can contribute meaningfully to economic growth and prosperity.

British Values: A Beacon of Equality and Opportunity

In the United Kingdom, the celebration of British values embodies the principles of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. These values serve as the bedrock for fostering a society where everyone can thrive, regardless of their background.

Economic Impact and Social Justice: A Symbiotic Relationship

The economic impact of social justice initiatives cannot be overstated. By investing in education, healthcare, affordable housing, and social welfare programmes, nations like Britain pave the way for greater workforce participation, innovation, and economic stability. When marginalised communities are empowered through equal access to opportunities, especially in education, the entire economy benefits from their contributions.

Promoting Equality of Opportunity in Britain

Britain has made significant strides in promoting equality of opportunity and social justice during the past few decades. Through policies such as those aimed at reducing inequality, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace opportunities have been broadened and made more accessible. Furthermore, by investing in institutions such as schools and the NHS, the UK has demonstrated its commitment to building a fairer and more equitable society.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Despite progress, challenges remain in achieving true social justice and equality of opportunity. Persistent disparities in income, education, and access to healthcare underscore the ongoing need for concerted efforts to address systemic barriers and structural inequalities. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation, collaboration, raising awareness and collective action to drive meaningful change.

Reflecting and Looking Ahead on the role of Social Justice.

World Day of Social Justice will be marked on 20th February 2024, and it’s important to use this time to reflect on British values, and understanding how these pillars contribute to the strength of democracy in the United Kingdom.

By championing social justice, fostering equality of opportunity, and embracing diversity, we can create a more inclusive and prosperous world for generations to come. Together, let us forge a path towards a brighter, fairer, and more equitable future.

Start your accounting apprenticeship course with Reed Business School!

How Apprenticeships work at Reed Business School?

Reed Business School have been running the Level 7 apprenticeship (ICAEW and ACCA) for over 8 years and more recently the Level 3 and Level 2 (AAT) with AAT Level 4 to follow in the spring. This gives every accounting student the complete range of levels to progress their career.

We are currently supporting nearly 300 students through the Level 7 standard, with great results, our pass rates speak for themselves. The level 7 apprenticeship is equivalent to a masters degree.

The advantage of being a student with the apprenticeship scheme is that you can ‘learn while you earn’ and be fully supported by your employer and Reed Business School. All the costs are funded by the Government and your employer, so you will not be asked to contribute to your apprenticeship studies. At the end of your apprenticeship, you will also have achieved all the requirements to become a qualified accountant for the governing body you choose to learn under.

We offer a unique learning environment here at Reed Business School with classroom based learning in fabulous rural surroundings. Our preference is face to face to get the best learning experience you can, but we do understand this is not the way all students want to learn and have the live online option if we feel it can work for you and your employer.  You will have tutors on hand to support and to question, they are available at the Business School during breaks, lunch time and after class if you need any further help. Our learning platform, Teams, offers an interactive platform where you can contact your tutor and peers through the chat option, where they can also be lively discussion on the days topics or catch up on the recording made by tutor with the uploaded annotated notes, it is fantastic way to revise. For our AAT apprentices we offer online learning through the platform Mindful Education and full tutor support from our dedicated AAT tutor team.

As an apprentice, you will have four coaching session a year with a learning coach who will help you with your soft skills and behaviours, which can be many things to help you be the best accountant you can be.

Each apprentice is to be given 20% Off The Job training (OTJ), this is not as onerous as you think, as we the learning provider will cover off a lot of this with the tuition courses you attend as block release here at The Manor. OTJ can be done in the work place while working, anything that is considered upskilling can be counted towards your OTJ.

Would you like to find out more? Please contact us or watch the You Tube video here.

What are the benefits of flexible apprenticeships for employers?

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week focuses on the theme ‘Skills For Life’ and takes place from the 5 – 11 February. The aim of the week is to highlight the importance of apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses, and communities.

If you’re looking to invest in your team in a cost-effective way that fits around business needs, then apprenticeships are a great place to start. Our apprenticeships:

  • Improve your team’s skills, knowledge and job satisfaction, ensuring key team members stay with you for longer
  • Develop the skills your organisation needs through tailored training
  • Offer dynamic support for your business with apprentices assisting other team members

Reed Business School has partnered with Mindful Education to deliver Online and Live Remote Classroom based apprenticeships for the AAT accounting professional qualifications. These apprenticeships have been designed to make learning as engaging, enjoyable and flexible as possible.

Our professional apprenticeships for AAT are:

  • AAT Level 2 Accounts/Finance Assistant Apprenticeship
  • AAT Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship
  • AAT Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician Apprenticeship

Apprentices have on-demand access to online lessons which can be accessed at any time, using a mobile, tablet or desktop – meaning they can fit their study around work commitments. Apprentices also benefit from weekly or fortnightly Live Remote Workshops with an experienced tutor to embed their learning.

You can find out more about National Apprenticeships Week here.

If you are interested in discussing our professional apprenticeships (we offer AAT, ACCA and ICAEW) with our team, then please contact us!


What it’s like studying for your ACCA qualification at Reed Business School

Studying to achieve an accounting qualification can seem daunting at first. You might not feel as prepared as you think you should be or might be unsure of what to expect before coming to Reed to study. However, Reed offers both a supportive and accommodating environment as well as helpful resources for making your study experience as smooth and fulfilling as possible.

Here are a few things you can expect when studying at Reed Business School:


You can study all three levels of the ACCA qualification at Reed; the Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and Strategic Professional stages, and you will usually sit each module over a couple of months in blocks of 2 to 3 days at a time (for some modules this includes revision days or weeks as well as studying the core content).

If you study at Reed in person, you’ll be able to receive the workbook, study guide, and exam kit upon arrival or will have been sent them in the post if studying remotely. These are key for learning and revising the course content, and you will be using them in class as you move through each chapter.

Classes start at 9am and the day usually ends between 4.30 and 5pm, with about an hour for lunch starting around 12:30 to 1pm, and with a couple of short breaks in the morning and afternoon. The room you’ll be in will be shown on the main noticeboard.


Courses are designed to get you exam-ready and as mentioned include designated revision days or weeks depending on the module you’re taking, meaning that you can comfortably learn the content as well as recapping areas you may be less confident in, and getting valuable exam question practice. It’s also likely that you will be able to sit a mock exam in class, which is really helpful in giving an indication as to the areas you need to work on when it comes to studying at home.

You can sit the three Applied Knowledge papers; Financial Reporting (FA), Management Accounting (MA) and Business and Technology (BT), and the Applied Skills Paper: Corporate and Business Law (LW), at Reed on the exam dates included on the Reed website (these are usually held at 10am). These are computer-based exams and are multiple choice papers lasting 2 hours (and unlike the other papers these are marked electronically, and you will receive your exam result instantly). To sit any of these exams at Reed you’ll need to submit an exam form that can be found on the Reed website, at least seven working days before the exam date.

There are plenty of resources available in terms of exam practice. Tutors will make resources available on teams including notes they’ve been making on the board throughout the module and may also include assignments to complete which will be composed of questions for each chapter of the study guide. If you find that you’re struggling with a particular part of the course or would like help understanding a specific practice question, then you can talk to or message your tutor on Microsoft Teams who can then help.

There are also external resources available to help with studying for exams. On the inside cover of your Kaplan study guide there will be a code to use on their website which will give you access to various study resources, and you can also purchase practice computer exams on the ACCA website, which can better prepare you in terms of time-management, and get you more familiar with exam-style questions.

Food, Accommodation and Reed Business School itself

If you have quite a long journey to and from Reed, then there’s always the option to stay overnight! Reed provides shared, single, and premium rooms, and the accommodation is close to the business school. If you’re staying overnight, then you can also get breakfast at Reed in the morning from 7:45am and dinner in the evening from 5:30pm. [You can opt into accommodation via the accommodation registration form and can also see the website/email reception for more information].

One thing that people hear a great deal about Reed is how great the food is. There are a wide variety of homecooked meals to look forward to, including options for those with dietary requirements, and menus for the week can be found on the tables in the dining hall. Lunch is provided for everyone studying at Reed during the day.

While you’re at Reed we highly recommend that you make the most of the grounds. Not only are there amazing gardens to walk through but there’s also a field of deer, a flock of sheep and tennis courts. You can collect tennis racquets and balls from the manor, as well as badminton and croquet equipment, if you fancy a game at lunch or after class.

Support Available

Finally, make sure to use all the support available as needed! Ask your tutors for help with the course if you need it and make the most of the other study resources mentioned above. There’s also a friendly team in reception to go to if you have any questions or concerns about studying, accommodation, or anything to do with your wellbeing while at Reed.

If you have any questions or feedback on the teaching or about Reed more generally, or if there’s anything you think could be improved, then feel free to contact the Student Representatives!

By Isobel Rushmere, Junior Accountant at Shaw Gibbs, and one of our ACCA Student Rep’s,

How an accountancy apprenticeship can work for you and your employer.?

We caught up with Cameron York, Accounts Assistant/Audit Junior at Warwickshire based firm MCA business Ltd, and his manager James Pickering. Cameron is currently undertaking his AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting at Reed Business School.

When finishing school, Cameron initially considered going to university to study for an architecture degree, but following some further research, he decided that pathway wasn’t for him. After undertaking some informal work experience with his accountant mother, which he enjoyed, he started looking into accountancy apprenticeship opportunities so he could learn and earn at the same time. And that’s when he came across MCA.

Having applied for and secured his apprenticeship position, Cameron began his Level 2 AAT qualification at Warwick College, but switched to Reed Business School for his Level 3.

“I didn’t want to have to wait until the next year to start my Level 3 in Warwick. And as my manager (James) and various other colleagues trained at Reed Business School, it made sense to go there instead. The environment and small class sizes suit me, and you get really good attention from the teachers, who are also very knowledgeable and helpful. I’ll definitely look to continue my studies there.”

Mindful Education

Reed Business School uses a blended learning approach for the majority of courses, with our Mindful Education platform at its heart. It hosts all relevant resources, and allows for interaction between staff and students. Cameron is a big fan so far:

“I like that it’s clear and visual with a lot of diagrams, not just big chunks of words. I’m a visual learner so that works great for me. There are lots of different resources – each week there’s the basics you have to learn, then essential practice, a mini exam about that section, plus optional practice. You can also watch recordings from lectures and bite-size videos to learn and review at your own pace.”

Professional Development

Cameron believes studying alongside his work has really aided his professional development and the type of work he gets to do, and he’s very pleased with his progress so far:

When I first started, I wouldn’t really communicate with clients at all, but now I have my own group, and recently I have been taking part in audit stock takes on the clients’ premises too. Soon I’ll be able to go out on meetings alone with them.” 

Cameron also really likes how what he studies in the classroom aids his understanding of his work:

“My accounts work has improved massively, and the two go hand in hand. The course makes much more sense when you have exposure to it at work and can practice what you learn.”

As an employer, MCA believes in supporting the development of its apprentices based on their individual needs and interests. James says:

“I make sure I catch up with them all regularly, and together we map out individual pathways based on their progress, preferences and strengths. We work alongside Reed Business School’s apprenticeship work coach to ensure they develop relevant business skills and behaviours in addition to their technical knowledge. The more confident they get, the more confidence I have in them to take on more senior work.”

Why apprentices?

Compared with a university education, after three years of an apprenticeship you’ll not only have that bank of solid work experience behind you, but also be well on your way to becoming a qualified accountant.

MCA made the decision a few years ago to exclusively hire its trainees via apprenticeships, as the calibre of candidates was comparable to graduates, while their starting salaries were lower – making sounder business sense to them. James says:

“Our approach aims to help the firm grow with new talent, as we can train apprentices in the way we like to do things. Within accountancy work, there are different levels of difficulty, so apprentices can do lower level jobs, and as they progress they can take on more complex tasks.”

Could an apprenticeship be for you?

James tells us what he and (and MCA) look for in the new apprentice accountants they recruit:

“Firstly, they have to have a bit of personality and be easy to talk to. A big part of accountancy is the client interaction, so one of the main things I look for is whether I’d trust that person to represent us well with our clients.

“We also look for people who know a bit about accountancy, what they want to do and why they want to do it. It’s quite a demanding journey so you need to be coming into it with your eyes open about what to expect from your training.”

Key advice

Apprentices are still a relatively new way into accountancy, and James notes that it’s absolutely time to be taking them seriously, while warning that they are hard work:

“When you start your apprenticeship, you might have to do some boring tasks and not understand much of what’s going on. But you need to look at the end goal, keep working through everything as guided, and you’ll end up with a very good career. Trust the process, put in the work, and who knows what you can achieve.”

Cameron agrees, admitting that at the start of his apprenticeship he felt a little out of place:

“It was like I jumped in at the deep end before I really knew how to swim. But you get a lot of support, and if you keep studying and put in the work everything will fall into place. Now I’m really enjoying it.”

and finally a word from our AAT Programme Manager

“MCA are very supportive of their apprentices at levels, and this blended programme suits their needs well. Providing them with the flexibility of learning around their day-to-day work activities. The apprenticeship supports the development of not only their accounting knowledge but also wider skills required by apprentices.” Collette Steadman, AAT Programme Manager at RBS

Would you like to find out more?

Contact us now to start your AAT qualification.

What do you know about the gardens and the gardening team at The Manor?

So what do the gardeners do, except make a lot of cups of tea and hide in the sheds when it rains?  Unfortunately for the team Sir Alec Reed and I love a good project, so there’s never a spare moment to take stock.  Even in the depths of winter we’re cutting the hedges; propagating plants; clearing and replanting borders; pruning the roses; planting spring bulbs; and even such exciting jobs as cleaning and oiling the garden furniture ready for the next year.

Working in a garden requires a fleeting and adaptable mindset – I was once told that it is a gardener’s prerogative to get distracted by something else that needs doing whilst on a way to a task.  The weather and ground conditions rarely follow the weather forecast, and plants have a habit of doing their own thing.  Added to that here we have the animals, which have planned needs such as the lambing, as well as injuries and movements that can throw our plans sideways.

What is so special about these grounds?  I was originally drawn here by the opportunity to move into a head gardener role in this style of garden.  The main part of the garden was laid out in the 1920’s in the Arts and Crafts style.  For me, this era of gardening was the pinnacle of horticulture, where gardens are made up of ‘rooms’, divided by walls and hedges, with each area representing a different form of horticulture.  This gives us plenty of opportunity to have fun with different designs and planting styles!

I’d love to know who designed the layout of the garden, as it represents the height of fashion at the time and the owners of the manor moved in similar circles to Vita Sackville-West.  Thomas Mawson’s The Art and Craft of Garden Making (1912) gives the definitive layout of a garden of rooms that leads west from the house along a continuous vista, much as we have here.  You’ll see a very similar layout if you visit Hidcote Manor Garden, and at a push I’d guess either Norah or Nancy Lindsay, who were very involved with Hidcote, penned the design for our garden.

I could bore you all to tears about the history of the garden and the changes it has seen, as well as some of the amazing people who have lived at The Manor.  We have theories of a possible medieval sunken garden, tales of The Manor being used as a safe-haven during the 17th century interregnum, and one of my favourite stories – during WW2 Fruity Metcalfe used all the hot water to run himself a bath (I think in what is now the BD Room), denying it to the rest of the household including American Army troops who were quartered in The Manor!  Perhaps one foggy winter’s morning I could do a bit of a slide show of the old photos for anyone who’s interested?

We are currently finishing the Thai garden project, as well as some planting works in the upper terraces.  The rock garden has also been cleared, as I’ve decided it would be fun to have a cactus garden, along the lines of the Jardin Exotique de Monaco.  There’s no plan here to reproduce any over-aped styles such as white gardens, but I have Arts and Craft designers such as Gertrude Jekyll and Harold Peto in the back of my mind, to make sure the overall feel of the garden is still in keeping.

We love seeing the students enjoying the grounds.  From sitting on the lawns chatting, to having a knock up of croquet, golf, or tennis; it is a wonderful feeling to know that people are enjoying what you work so hard to produce.  We also open for the National Gardens Scheme and a very occasional group visit, where as a team we get to share our horticultural passion with die-hard gardeners.  The change in feedback over the years has been wonderful, and with our continual desire to always make the place better I know it will only continue to improve.  A lot of historic gardens are bogged down by seeking to be in their historic heyday – I feel very strongly that a garden should always be aspiring towards its heyday.

About our team! I started in the gardens here eight years ago, moving from Hidcote Manor Garden, and an historic vegetable garden on a Scottish island before that.  Jess came to Reed Business School in 2018 from Cotswold Garden Flowers in Offenham.  Emily joined the team in 2021, also from Cotswold Garden Flowers, and is currently undertaking an apprenticeship in horticulture.  We’re currently a team member short, so please bear with us if something is still on the to-do pile!

Richard Sutton, Head Gardener

National Garden Scheme click here  Home – National Garden Scheme (ngs.org.uk)

Read about one of our newest CIMA students path to Reed Business School

Charles Farmer is former CEO at The Really Useful Group (RUG). Prior to that he worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) for 21 years, most recently as EVP of International Television Productions from 2018-2021. Now he’s embarking on something new – studying towards his CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting at Reed Business School. We caught up with him to find out more about his career pathway to date, and what led him to CIMA.

Charles left school before completing his A-Levels, opting instead to get straight to work. He tried his hand at all sorts of entry-level jobs around London, but it was while working on a sheep and cattle farm in Australia during a year abroad that things started to click into place for him.

“Something about the great outdoors and being thousands of miles away from home gave me a new perspective and the time and space to think about what I wanted to do. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and when I came back to London, I was ready to get stuck in to a new challenge.”

While his first couple of job offers on his return fell through, a call from one of his contacts led him to a temporary Receptionist role at RPTA, where he impressed his colleagues with his positive work ethic. He began to take on more responsibility in different departments, eventually finding himself in the Sales team.

“I helped with a bit of everything, but did well in sales, and soon we were hugely overperforming in some markets given the size of the company. I built up the central and Eastern European markets and was promoted to Sales Manager for the region.”

It wasn’t long before head-hunters came knocking at his door, and with an impressive track record and portfolio of clients, Charles was able to keep stepping up the career ladder at MGM.

But the more senior he roles he took on, the more it became evident that his financial vocabulary wasn’t quite where he wanted it to be, and Charles also wanted to have a more formal schooling in finance and business overall.

Deciding that an MBA might be too much of an undertaking, Charles’s research led him to CIMA, and he was delighted to find such a well-established and highly regarded school so close to him in Oxfordshire, without the need to go to London.

When Charles left the RUG in February this year, and with more time on his hands, he dived straight in to his studies, which he’s really enjoying so far.

“I thought studying towards a CIMA qualification would be a fascinating way to develop myself, but I’ve never really had the time to do it. It’s giving me an insight into the fundamental workings of finance and business, and while I’ve run businesses before and seen all the different areas, finance was the one aspect that always interested me, and now I’m really pleased to get more depth of knowledge in it.”

Charles is a big fan of the set up and structure of the classes, and all the online resources including class recordings that he can go back and revisit when he wants to.

The tutor is incredibly helpful, and it’s fantastic that you can always contact them with any questions. The online documentation and paperwork are all excellent, as is the access to practice papers and questions.”

The classroom environment at Reed Business School means Charles also gets to spend time and share knowledge with those from different industries and experience levels. He finds it interesting to get perspectives on how other industries work, giving him an even more well-rounded learning experience.

Throughout his career, Charles has learned that he succeeds best in a disciplined environment, so completes 1-2 hours of personal study at the same time each day to keep on track.

“I like to learn new things every day, and believe that we should always keep learning no matter how old we are. I’m fascinated by this course, and am really looking forward to the next module, and the one after that. When I go back to work again, the structure of classes on weekends will fit in with my lifestyle, and I’ll have much more confidence in the nitty gritty of numbers to be able to talk with finance teams on their level.”

Are you thinking of starting AAT? Read Mevish’s story …

We caught up with Mevish Naveed, who is currently studying for her Level 2 AAT Accounting qualification, while working in the Business Administration team at Cherwell District Council.

When Mevish finished school at 16, she was unsure about what to do next, and considered both sixth form college and apprenticeship options. While initially opting to go to college, she kept her eyes open for apprenticeship schemes, and soon spotted a business administration opening at her local authority.

“I thought I would give it a go to see if I liked it. I got the job and started working towards my Level 2 qualification in Business Administration. But then Covid hit, and suddenly everything was up in the air again.”

Mevish’s employer continued to support her through this difficult time, and she was able to carry on working and studying, achieving her Level 3 certificate. But as she got more exposure to the finance side of her work, which she enjoyed, Mevish began to consider this as an option and started researching possible courses.

“I looked online and saw that Reed Business School offered AAT courses. It was fairly local to me, and had really good student reviews so I gave them a call. Collette was really helpful and answered all my questions, so it seemed like the perfect choice.”

When Mevish presented the idea to her employer, they couldn’t have been more supportive. Both her direct manager and department director have been very encouraging of her development, giving her all the time she needs to attend classes, and allowing her to spend time with the finance team to get more exposure to that side of the organisation.

Mevish’s experience of her studying at RBS so far has been very positive.

“I think it’s been very straightforward and well organised. The weekly structure of classes gives you time to plan your week to get everything done that you need to.”

Time management is always challenging for those who work full-time while they are studying, and Mevish is quite strict in the time she sets aside, to make she retains some balance in her life. Now she’s passed her first exam and is into more of a routine, she’s more confident of her process.

Mevish is also a fan of the Mindful Education platform, where all the lessons are released and learning resources are stored.

“I really like the videos for each class, then afterwards the essential practice and optional practice resources help solidify the learning for each area. After that, you have a knowledge test, where you can log tickets for your tutor to get extra support on that area, and they can see exactly where you are struggling.”

While much of the early part of the course is delivered via online workshop, Mevish was really impressed by our manor home, and the supportiveness of all the staff.

“We went to The Manor for our first exam. Everyone so nice and welcoming, which really put me at ease. I’m really looking forward to going back!”

Mevish admits that she was very nervous prior to her first exam – especially as it had been years since her last one at school. She put in extra hours of revision, and made sure she asked her tutor for support in the areas she needed it.

“I wasn’t doing as well as I would have liked in the practice papers and mock exam, so I didn’t think I’d do particularly well in the exam. But I managed to pass, which has given me a real boost as I work towards my next one.”

Now she’s passed her first exam, Mevish has her sights set on the next, and then the remainder of her level 2 papers. She knows that an AAT qualification will open a lot of doors for her and she’s excited to see where it will take her.