Byline: Shahid Naqvi
Lorna Diprose had the kind of job most young people would kill for. As European marketing manager for Sony PlayStation, she travelled the world, staying in expensive hotels, promoting the company's latest video games.
The London-based job was creative, involved planning and organising marketing campaigns, sociable and rewarding, both financially and in career prospects.
But four years ago, aged 31, she quit and decided to become a teacher instead.
Now she teaches French at Holyhead School, a business and enterprise college in Handsworth, and she's never been happier.
"It is the most fantastic thing I have ever done," said the 36-year-old who now lives in Redditch, Worcestershire.
"No two days are the same. I get to be silly, I get to laugh a lot. I overcome challenges every single day. I know if I work hard and prepare my lessons I will get something amazing back from my students.
"The more I put in the more I get back. I didn't get that in corporate life," she says. Her love and passion for her profession is something rarely heard these days above the din of complaints from teachers about stress, excessive workloads and violent, out-of-control pupils.
She believes that is a warped view of the job.
"I have never had a day that is even half as bad as described in the media. Most of the time when I have had a challenging student I found if I take them outside that situation on their own they will say 'sorry, I'm having a bad day' and admit they have done something wrong.
"The occasions that something wrong happens tend to get the limelight, but that isn't the other 99 per cent of the time when brilliant things happen in schools."
She admits her previous career, which she started when she was 26, was a "fantastic job".
Ironically, however, it was partly her success that made her want to leave.
"It was a fast-moving industry and you get promoted if you work hard. By the time I was thinking of leaving I was in middle-management and I was moving away from the thing I was good at which was being creative and building up relationships.
"In the back of my mind I had always thought about teaching, but I didn't want to go into it until I had a bit of life experience. …