I am a professional. What does that mean? I am an educator, a teacher, a leader.  I am a researcher. As I embark on my doctorate journey, I hope to be able to articulate what it means to be a professional in the field of education and how I can influence the education system.

I've been a teacher for 33 years - in the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Croydon, Sutton, and now in Surrey. I've been a head teacher since 2001 and a National Leader of Education since 2012. I've led a Teaching School, believing that we can influence our education system through supporting teachers.

We have a fragmented education system that is heavily criticised by the media and constantly meddled with by politicians. Our schools are challenged by underfunding and external pressures within a framework of accountability (quite rightly - it's public money) that does not work for every school.

My initial proposal for a research question is: What are effective governance structures that support school improvement in a multi-academy trust? This will inevitably change over the next few years as I embark on my research.

I am proud to be a research student at the Institute of Education (IoE) at University College London (UCL). The Education EdD is a research degree for experienced professionals from education. It is a part-time degree, normally 5 - 7 years. There is an assessed taught element, an Institution Focused Study (unique to the UCL IoE EdD programme) and a thesis, making a distinct contribution to the knowledge in the field of study.


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  • write short to help write with authority 27th November 2023
    One of the hardest aspects of academic writing is working out how to take a suitably authoritative stance. To be read as an expert. To sound like an authority on your topic. It’s all very well for people like me … Continue reading →

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  • More thoughts on the enshittification of academic social media 31st October 2023
    A couple of months ago I wrote a post called ‘The enshittification of academic social media’, riffing on ideas put in the world by Cory Doctorow. It’s fair to say, this post was a minor viral hit, resulting in me being interviewed by Geraldine Dougue on ABC radio, and a piece in The Australian, which […]