"I left with my GCSEs under my belt and, as a bonus, was also crowned Prom King!"

Name: Ronan Clayton

Studied at CHS: 2008 to 2013

Current role: Full Time Stylist/Colourist, No.1 West Street and Kerastase Salon Ambassador.

Route after leaving CHS:

I left Congleton High School in 2013. Although I only left 4 years ago, when I was still at school, aged 14, in Year 9, I started a Saturday job in a local hairdressing salon (No 1 West Street). When I left Congleton High, I left with my GCSEs under my belt and as a bonus I was also crowned prom king!

After leaving Congleton High School, I started an apprenticeship at the same hair salon I was working in on Saturdays (No 1 West Street) and studied at Macclesfield College.This involved learning the basics of colouring, styling and cutting hair. I decided to leave Macclesfield College in 2015, after completing my first year!

I then decided to complete my Level 3 Hairdressing Diploma (Advanced Colouring and Cutting) at Francesco's Stafford Academy - an exclusive Hairdressing Academy. I would say I'm very lucky to have gone to the Francesco Academy, as they normally only allow apprentices who work in a Francesco salon to be a student there. However, because the managing director at No 1 West Street studied there and had connections through the Newcastle branch, they allowed me to attend!

After leaving Stafford Academy, with my Diploma in Advanced Hairdressing (Level 3), I was asked by the Management at No 1 West Street to become a Kerastase Salon Ambassador for the salon.

Now I've just become a full time stylist/ colourist at No 1 West Street, running my own successful business on a self- employed contract!

I would like to thank all the staff at Macclesfield College and Stafford Academy but most importantly, my Mum, Dad, work colleagues from No 1 and all the staff at Congleton High School - without whom I couldn't have become as successful in my occupation as I am!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Since leaving High School I've come to terms with my sexuality and I'm now a happy, confident gay man!! However, following the huge support I received, not only from family and work but also my former fellow students, I would like to go be able to back in time and come out in high school.

The Learning Alliance