Single parent Rosalind Brotherton dinner lady to head teacher

Not an end: A beginning

Posted on by Lisa Mason

Rosalind Brotherton tells SWK about her amazing journey from those scary first days as a single parent to taking steps towards a better future and finally achieving her dream.

Living in a house that was falling apart around me, 3 children no money, no career and no significant qualifications. I was scared, anxious, depressed and lonely. No magical fairy tale wand to make this better, just me trying to do my best (often making mistakes!) putting one foot in front of the other.
To all single Parents/Carers out there, I promise you that things can get better. Life can feel good again and opportunities can come your way. For me, it was learning and my job as a dinner lady.

Do what you enjoy

I loved working in a school, having company and having somewhere to go in the day. I believe that there has always been a great satisfaction in a job being done well; whether it’s cleaning tables or serving lunch. The financial rewards may not be great, but my job as a dinner lady gave me a sense of pride and achievement not to mention experience and skills which paved the way for the job I love so much now.

Head Teacher Rosalind Brotherton

Head Teacher Rosalind Brotherton

Be open to learning

The Open University was a fantastic way for me to develop my skills and qualifications. I have no O levels or A levels. Just a few CSE’s including one in typing which is useful but not academic! Trust me, with my poor education, if I can do it, then anyone can.
I had to be patient though. My degree took five years so it’s very important to enjoy the process of change in your life. I loved it as it was so great to learn new things.

Follow your dreams

I hope that my story helps people to see all the good things, strength and potential inside themselves. It’s so demanding, exhausting, rewarding and wonderful bringing up children. By working to make things better for your family, you can also build a life for yourself for when they are grown.
At my school we never put limits on what children can achieve. I have a school full of children who are going to be train drivers, vets, shoe makers and believe it or not dinosaurs when they grow up. Let’s take a lesson from our children and believe we can follow our dreams.

Rosalind Brotherton,

Head Teacher Flyford Flavell First School and Mother of Three


We have to admit, we totally admire Rosalind and her down-to-earth approach. We are grateful that she was happy to share her story with Single With Kids to inspire other single parents.

For more details about Single With Kids, meeting other single parents and getting support, contact

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