Associate Head of School, Professional Development Team
I am currently the Associate Head of School for the Professional Development Team in the Faculty of Education and Society. Prior to this, I was Programme Leader of MA Education, and I am now in a position to lead on all professional development opportunities across our provision in the School. This includes a range of masters courses including MA Education, MA TESOL and MA SEND, as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in SEND: Leading Provision and Practice, which are all offered either on-campus or as distance learning courses.
We also offer MA International Education which is offered purely as distance learning for practitioners who are currently working in international schools. Our portfolio also includes a suite of short courses which provide the opportunity for applicants to engage in Continuing Professional Development and gain masters level credits.
I began my educational journey when I undertook an undergraduate degree in Education at the University of Sunderland. After graduating, I began an MPhil in Education which I converted into a PhD in Education in 2017. My PhD explores the lived experiences of Year 6 children throughout the SATs process and places emphasis on gaining insight into the factors that shape the children's SATs journey. To do this, I have employed a phenomenological-phenomenographical methodology and have utilised a range of data collection methods that allow children's voices to be heard, including drawings, interviews, and year-long vlogs.
Prior to joining the University, I established my own business providing transcription services to a range of clients, including universities, which involved transcribing lectures, seminars, and research interviews. This engagement with academia led to my decision to pursue a career change in my thirties, with the aim of working towards a role in education.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Teaching and supervision
My supervision duties include supporting masters students throughout their thesis module.
Research interests for potential research students
My PhD is entitled ‘In what way can educators support Year 6 children throughout the SATs process to encourage successful academic and personal outcomes?
The primary focus of the study is to hear the voices of children, allowing them to identify the emotions they experience throughout the process, and outline the potential sources of these emotions. This can provide educators with insight that can inform practice.
My PhD is entitled ‘A phenomenological-phenomenographical study to explore the lived experiences of Year 6 children throughout the whole of Year 6 and its associated SATs process to gain insight into the factors that shape their SATs journey.'
The primary focus of the study is to hear the voices of children, allowing them to identify the emotions they experience throughout the process, and outline the potential sources of these emotions. The innovative methodology allows for the complexities of lived experiences to be fully explored, and a range of innovative methods were used to elicit the experiences of children, including the use of drawings and vlogs, alongside interviews, to allow them to express themselves in different ways.
- Higher education
- Teacher education
- Postgraduate study
- Research methods
- Critical thinking
I was Chair of Governors for a primary school in County Durham for a number of years and was able to increase my knowledge about the strategic direction in this environment which allowed me to gain a wider understanding about the challenges faced in schools.
Our masters courses provide a sound theoretical underpinning to educational issues, while simultaneously establishing clear and effective links to practice that demonstrate how the concepts explored can be utilised within educational settings.