Education Workforce Council

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Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Accreditation Board
Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Accreditation Board

Meet the Board

The EWC delegates responsibility for accrediting ITE programmes to its ITE Accreditation Board (the Board).

The Board consists of eleven members, including the Chairperson and two deputies, all drawn from different fields of education.

Dr Hazel Hagger (Chair)

Hazel HaggerHazel Hagger worked in secondary schools as a teacher and leader for a number of years before joining the University of Oxford, contributing to the planning and development of one of the first partnerships in Initial Teacher Education (ITE). Hazel has considerable experience in the development of courses and programmes in ITE and continuing professional learning, both as Director of Professional Courses at the Department of Education, Oxford University, and in an advisory capacity at many universities in the UK and abroad. She has also been involved in national reviews of ITE provision, and in both partnership and mentor development in many countries. In addition, she has experience of developing research capacity in educational research as an adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Auckland University.

Hazel’s research interests are in the nature, acquisition and development of teachers’ expertise, and on mentoring and partnerships in education. She has written extensively in these areas.

Hazel became a member of the Education Workforce Council (EWC) Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2017, succeeding Professor John Furlong as Chair in 2019.


Dr Áine Lawlor (Deputy Chair)

Aine Lawlor photoÁine Lawlor qualified as a Primary Teacher in 1969, holds a B.A., H.Dip in Ed., Dip. Ed. Admin., M.A., Ph.D. and a PG Diploma in Irish Translation.

Áine’s career spans a number of “firsts”: 1975 she took on the role of Head at a new school in Dublin starting with just33 pupils on day one. By 1984, that number had grown to 753. In; 1996, she became the Assistant National Co-ordinator for the Relationships and Sexuality Education Support Service; 1998 Áine took on the role of National Co-ordinator for the Primary Curriculum Support Programme; 2004 Áine became the first CEO of the Teaching Council (Ireland).

After retirement in 2011, Áine continued to be involved in ITE as Advisor and Rapporteur for the Sahlberg Report on ITE in Ireland (2012); member of the Welsh Government Task and Finish Group on Criteria for ITE (2015-2016); member of the Welsh Government ITE Expert Forum (2016-2017); Chair of Mary Immaculate College Research Ethics Committee (2012-2020).

As well as membership of a number of committees at national level in Ireland, Áine is currently a Deputy Chair of the ITE Accreditation Board in Wales and Deputy Chair of both the Board of Trustees and the Governing Authority at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. She also chairs the National Steering Committee for the Centre for School Leadership (Ireland).

Áine became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2017.


Professor Olwen McNamara (Deputy Chair)

Olwen McNamara photoProfessor Olwen McNamara taught mathematics in the secondary sector over a period of 25 years before she transitioned into academia.
Initially, she spent five years at Manchester Metropolitan University as a researcher leading funded projects on teacher professional learning and teacher practitioner research, with special interests in social justice and mathematics. She moved to the University of Manchester in 2002 where these research interests were furthered, and she jointly directed a regional project on research capacity building in teacher education. She has published widely in all these research areas.

Additionally, Olwen held a number of management responsibilities at the University of Manchester including Head of Initial Teacher Education, Director of Postgraduate Research Programmes and Head of the School of Education. Her national roles have included Chair of the Research and International Committee of the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers. She has also served on the Executive Council of the British Educational Research Association as Chair of the Conference Committee.

Olwen has acted as a consultant in quality reviews of teacher education provision in the UK and internationally. She has also served in inner city Manchester as Chair of Governors at a Primary Academy and governor at a High School.

Professor McNamara became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2017.


Dr Anita Rees

Anita Rees photoDr Anita Rees graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, with a History degree. Her research interest for Ph.D. was on 18th century politics.

Dr Rees was a teacher for 34 years and spent her whole career in Welsh-medium secondary education. She served widely in middle and senior leadership roles, gaining experience and particular interest in areas of assessment, Additional Learning Needs (ALN), and professional development. After a period as Acting Headteacher, she retired in 2017.

Dr Rees became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2017.


Catherine Evans

Catherine Evans photoCatherine is an Assistant Director with Estyn and leads on developing and implementing the inspection policy across the organisation. She has responsibility for Estyn’s work with secondary and all-age schools and initial teacher education partnerships. Catherine leads on aspects of Estyn’s support for Welsh Government’s education reform programme, including curriculum development, professional learning and the development of a national resource for school improvement.

Catherine joined Estyn in 2009 and was involved in a wide range of inspection and thematic work relating to secondary and primary schools and further education. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Director, she was sector lead inspector for secondary schools. Catherine attended Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, the University of Manchester, and the University of Oxford, Department for Education. Previously, Catherine worked in schools in the West Midlands and South Wales.

Catherine became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2017.


Gemma Long

Gemma Long photoGemma Long is the Head of Education Quality and Policy at the University of Cambridge, a bye-fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and a Governor at Long Road Sixth Form College. In early 2022, she completed a secondment to the Welsh Government to further develop the quality assurance and enhancement elements of its tertiary education reforms, and the establishment of a Commission for Tertiary Education and Research. Prior to Cambridge, she spent seven years at the UK Quality Assurance Agency in several roles including Assistant Director for its Concerns scheme and Lead Officer for Wales. Since 2019, she has been a reviewer for both the QAA and for Quality and Qualifications Ireland.

Gemma holds degrees from both Cardiff University and the University of Bath including a Masters in Education, specialising in higher education.

Her professional interests centre on the student experience, the quality of education, and its assurance, enhancement, and governance.

Gemma became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2019.


Robert Newsome OBE

Robert Newsome PhotoRobert Newsome currently works as an education consultant in both the state and private education sectors. As well as being a member of the EWC’s Initial Teacher Education Board, he is also a panel member and chair for the EWC’s Professional Standards Committees since 2012.

Mr Newsome worked as a classroom teacher for 20 years in both Leicestershire and later in Swansea. He was appointed as Headteacher at Llandrindod High School in 1999 and then as Headteacher at Dyffryn Taf, Carmarthenshire in 2002, where he remained in post until his retirement in 2018. Robert Newsome was awarded the OBE for ‘Services to education and young people’ in 2009.

Robert Newsome is also Chair of Ambassadors for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Wales.

Robert became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2019.


Richard Parsons

RichardParsonsRichard taught Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in various English and Welsh-medium secondary schools across South Wales for 23 years. Richard left his post as Assistant Head in Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni to project manage the successful all-Wales CILT Cymru-Wales primary MFL pilot, on behalf of Welsh Government.

Richard moved to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. as Senior Advisor, before being appointed Assistant Director of Education. Following regional re-organisation in 2012, Richard moved to the EAS Consortium with responsibility on the Speech Language Therapy (SLT) for the Welsh-medium sector. Two years later, Richard set up Erwlas Educational Consulting, and assumed consultancy roles for both the EAS and the Central South Consortium, working primarily as a Challenge Advisor.

Richard has also worked on numerous consultations and reviews for Welsh Government in various fields, but mainly in education. Richard has been involved in many school inspections for Estyn across Wales, both as an Inspector and as a Challenge Advisor.
Since 2018, Richard has also been working for the WJEC as a Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) Inspector, as well as serving on the Appeals and Malpractice Panel.

Richard became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2017.


Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis photoSarah Lewis is the Lead Inspector for Initial Teacher Education in Estyn. Sarah has a background in art and design and performing arts. She taught in further education, and primary and secondary schools before moving into a teaching role in ITE. Sarah was a senior lecturer at the Cardiff School of Education in the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff (now Cardiff Metropolitan University) for 12 years, where she was Programme Lead for PGCE Art and Design and Framework Director for Continuing Professional Development. Sarah joined Estyn as HMI in 2009 from her post as School Improvement Officer in a local authority in North Wales. In addition to her lead role in ITE in Estyn, she is involved in a wide variety of thematic and inspection work across a range of sectors.

Sarah became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2017.


Penny Lewis

penny lewisPenny studied Russian and German at the University of Liverpool before completing ITE at the University of Nottingham. She took up her first teaching appointment in 1975 at The Harwich School, Essex, a newly-created comprehensive school formed from the local grammar and secondary modern schools. Penny subsequently moved to London where she taught and led languages in a variety of schools and contexts across south London. In 1985, Penny was seconded to Homerton College, Cambridge as part of Croydon’s curriculum development programme for the first National Curriculum.

Between 1989 and 1992, she worked as an advisor for languages for the London boroughs of Sutton and Bromley, working alongside teachers to develop new ways of teaching languages to primary pupils through to the adults. This work contributed to her completing a Masters’ degree in education.

In 1993, Penny moved to The Open University helping to develop the UK’s first distance learning teacher training programme. She subsequently became Deputy Director for the programme with a particular responsibility for the programme in Wales and Northern Ireland. While at The Open University, she developed research interests in teacher identity and development.

In 2001, Penny returned home to Wales to take up the post of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate (HMI) with Estyn. In this capacity, Penny has worked on inspection teams in most sectors of education in Wales and represented Estyn on many advisory groups. Penny retired from full-time employment with Estyn in 2016.

Penny became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2019.


Dr Beth Dickson

Beth Dickson photoDr Beth Dickson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, University of Glasgow. During her period as Associate Dean Initial Teacher Education and Deputy Head of School, she led the team which developed the PGDE into an M-level qualification, the first Scottish Masters-level route into teaching. She then led the team which reformed the curriculum of the four-year programme for initial teacher education.

Beth has been involved in radical moves to improve the quality of teaching placements for student teachers. Her research interests are in curriculum development in initial teacher education. Beth relaxes by reading detective fiction and watching television dramas. She enjoys her times in Wales and her conversations with teachers and pupils in schools. She harbours a dream of taking a holiday in Pembrokeshire sometime soon.

Beth became a member of the EWC Initial Teacher Education Accreditation Board in 2019.