An English teacher rediscovered her passion for education after teaching refugee children in Dunkirk.

Natalie Scott, 37, who lives in Kings Langley, recently lost faith in the education system and quit her job as an assistant head teacher at a London school.

A pupil at Parmiter's School in Garston, Ms Scott wanted to be a teacher from an early age.

She said: “I always wanted to teach. I really do believe that for some teachers it truly is a vocation.

“I decided I wanted to teach at the age of 11 or 12-year-olds and I was lucky enough to have some wonderful teachers during my time at Parmiter's, who inspired me and made my school days a wonderful time.”

Over the last few years, having pursued a career in teaching, Ms Scott has been made a member of the senior management team in four schools, most recently in the Isle of Wight and she then worked for six months in Bermondsey.

She said: “The travel to the Isle of Wight meant that I was away during the week, and the commute to Bermondsey meant I was leaving home each day at 5.40am and often not getting home until after 9pm.

“I was neglecting my love ones and the workload never ceased, the high pressure environments, changes to specifications, high staff turnover and seeing the retention and recruitment crisis first hand, made me start to lose faith in a profession that I have always loved and dedicated 16 years of my life to.”

But becoming a senior manager in four schools led to a high workload and high staff turnover meant she was neglecting her loved ones and losing her faith in a profession she loved.

After being told by her GP she was risking her health, Ms Scott decided to leave teaching.

Feeling very lost, she was then contacted by the former head teacher at a school she worked at in the Isle of Wight, Dr Rory Fox.

Dr Fox told her about a his new project, educational aid charity Edlumino, which helps refugee children aged six to 16 in Calais and Dunkirk, and asked if she would be interested in volunteering.

Ms Scott decided to take her mind off the current situation by getting involved.

Since January she has travelled out to Dunkirk weekly.

She said: “Our students are resilient, happy and absolutely determined to learn. They come to school from tents or huts, walking through mud and rubble to get to us because they want to learn.

“In the colder months they would arrive wrapped in layers of clothing and would work, work and work, for hours on end – at times we had to escort them home to their parents, as we feared they would get so very cold that they would become unwell.

"It is truly humbling. Teaching them in a cold tent, with no electricity or technology, really made me rethink and explore my values when it came to education.”

After believing she would never step back into a classroom, Ms Scott now also works three days a week at the St Joan of Arc Catholic School in Rickmansworth.

She said: “Many of the students are too young to fully understand what is going on around them and those who do just want some sense of normality. Our school provides this normality and routine.

“It saddens me that these innocent children and teenagers are at real risk of becoming a lost generation, forgotten and uneducated, especially when so many are bright, conscientious and diligent.”

Ms Scott writes a blog on her teaching experiences in Dunkirk at

For more aboutTo read more about the work of the charity, visit

Donations can be made via the JustGiving page on the website and a link is also available for any teachers interested in volunteering.