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Leading education expert appointed Visiting Professor at Sunderland

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Published on 14 August 2023

Professor Samantha Twiselton
Professor Samantha Twiselton

Department for Education adviser and leading figure in the initial teacher training sector, Professor Samantha Twiselton, has been announced as a Visiting Professor at the University of Sunderland.

Professor Twiselton OBE will work with the University’s School of Education, supporting its growing national and international reputation and longstanding success in developing and supporting trainee teachers. She’ll bring her expertise to support trainee teachers, early career teachers and experienced teachers from the School of Education’s schools’ and college partnership.

She joins the University after leaving her role as director of Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University for the last 10 years, and will remain an emeritus professor there.

Professor Twiselton has played a leading role as a key member of several DfE Expert Groups on initial teacher training (ITT) and development. Following her work on the advisory group for the Carter review of initial teaching training, Sam has been a key member on both the Core Content Framework (CCF) and importantly, the Early Career Framework (ECF). Most recently, Sam was a member of the DfE’s expert advisory group on the Market Review of Initial Teaching Training.

A Founding Fellow and previously Vice President (external) of the Chartered College of Teaching, in June 2018 Professor Twiselton was named in the Queen's birthday honours as a recipient of an OBE for services to Higher Education.

Speaking about her appointment, Professor Twiselton says: “I’m so honoured and delighted to accept this excellent role. I relish the opportunity to make a contribution to the work of a university I have so long admired. In particular the approach to true partnership working with expert practitioners at home and globally has benefited generations of educational professionals and the children they work with. I look forward to playing a part in this.” 

Proposing the appointment, Professor Lynne McKenna MBE, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society at Sunderland, who was awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list in June for her services to education, said: “I am delighted that Sam has accepted the position of Visiting Professor in the School of Education. Sam is a key figure in the initial teacher training sector and is respected by teacher training providers and policy makers alike. I have known Sam for several years now and have been lucky enough to work together on a few projects. Most recently, we welcomed Sam to the University of Sunderland as one of our keynote speakers at our National and International MentorEd Conference. I am excited about working more closely with Sam during the next academic year as we continue to develop our innovative approaches to teacher training and continuing professional development.”

As an Institution, Sunderland’s School of Education has over 110 years’ experience of delivering excellence in teacher training and professional development. The Guardian University League Tables 2023 placed the University’s undergraduate Education programmes 12th out of 88 in the UK – a rise of 12 places from 2022. The recent Ofsted inspection (June 2023) of the University’s teacher training provision in Primary, Secondary and Further Education and Skills was rated Good.

Just this month The Chartered College of Teaching, the national professional body for teaching, accredited the University of Sunderland as its first Chartered Status CPD Partner.

The accreditation recognises the University of Sunderland for its high-quality and evidence-informed CPD provision in mentoring, making the University one of a growing number of organisations supporting practising teachers towards Chartered Teacher Status.

Other achievements include securing the contract from the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver one of the six pilot iQTS programmes in 2022. As the largest provider of PGCE iQTS the Faculty of Education and Society is expanding this provision as we move into the next academic year. The addition of this International programme strengthens both Sunderland’s UK Teacher Training provision and our longstanding International Teacher Training provision.