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VIP visit as University celebrates teaching success

Dame Alison Peacock and Professor Lynne McKenna

Published on 06 February 2020

An internationally renowned educator was guest of honour as the University of Sunderland continues to celebrate its high standing in Undergraduate Education league tables.

Dame Alison Peacock, who is also a respected public speaker and writer, visited staff from the University’s Faculty of Education and Society this week.

It comes after undergraduate education courses at the University were ranked second in the UK in the Guardian University League Tables 2020.

Dame Peacock spent time talking with Professor Lynne McKenna, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society, as well as head teachers, Chief Executive Officers of Multi Academy Trusts and Teaching School Councils, from the University’s Schools partnership from across the North East.

Professor McKenna said: “I was delighted to host this event and to welcome Dame Alison.

“We have been training teachers at the University of Sunderland for over 100 years and our vision for the future of the profession aligns perfectly with the mission of the Chartered College who aim toimprove the quality of education for children and young people by supporting teachers, championing great teaching and raise the status of the profession.

“I have been a member of the Chartered College of Teaching from its inception in 2016. I wanted to be part of an organisation, which is not only the voice of the profession but one which will, most importantly, create the profession we want for our teachers and children.

“As Dean of Education in the Faculty of Education and Society, I am a member of several organisations including The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Teaching Profession, The MillionPlus Deans of Education Network, The University Council for the Education of Teachers, Schools North East and #WomenEd.

“All of these organisations have been working hard to lobby government to increase the quality of training and support for teachers. It is timely that there is a focus on raising the status of the teaching profession; this is crucial alongside improved career opportunities and pay and conditions for teachers and is key to solving the current recruitment and retention crisis we currently face in the UK.”

The publication of the Guardian’s University Guide 2020: League Tables for Education sawThe University of Sunderland achieve some of the UK’s most impressive results.

The University scored an overall 93.2 out of 100, placing it second only to the University of the West of Scotland. The Guide also revealed that 88.8% of students were satisfied with their programme, with 91.3% satisfied with teaching.

During her visit, Dame Peacock heard how the University was playing a key role in developing the highest level teachers for future generations.

Dame Peacock is the Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching and a trustee of Teach First. She is also known as the originator of the Learning Without Limits approach to education.