Education Workforce Council

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A research group, which includes the current and previous chairs of the Education Workforce Council’s (EWC) Initial Teacher Education Accreditation (ITEA) board, have been announced as the joint winners of this year’s British Educational Research Association (BERA) prestigious Public Engagement and Impact Award.

Dr Hazel Hagger (current chair of the ITEA board) and Professor John Furlong OBE (author of Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers and former Welsh Government ITE Advisor), were awarded the accolade alongside colleagues Katherine Burn and Trevor Mutton, from the University of Oxford’s Teacher Education and Professional Learning group.

Their research on teacher education and professional learning has, over the last five years, heavily influenced the radical overhaul of ITE in Wales, helping to shape the experiences of new entrants into the profession. The reforms have included the introduction of new accreditation criteria, and the requirement on all schools and universities involved in ITE provision to place a significantly greater emphasis on increasing capacity to undertake and use research. Announcing the news, BERA’s website noted that the group ‘demonstrated significant and sustained impact for their research and practice in the wider education community’.

On receiving the award, Hazel Hagger said, “This underlines the importance of the Welsh Government's actions in making possible the development of a reformed national ITE system based on research rather than ideology”.

Fellow recipient, John Furlong said “Members of the research team have spent many years studying how students can best be supported in learning to become effective teachers themselves. 

“We are all delighted that BERA has recognised the significance of our work, however, the real heroes here are the universities and hundreds of schools across Wales that have taken up these ideas and made them their own”.

Congratulating the group, Hayden Llewellyn, Chief Executive of EWC said “The EWC warmly welcomes this accolade. It is a recognition of world leading research from which new teachers, schools and learners in Wales will reap the benefits of for many years to come”.

The group were joint winners of the award alongside the University of Kent’s Centre for Child Protection (CCP) for their research into ‘Keeping Children Safe: Advancing Child Protection Pedagogy, Awareness and Practice through Innovative Simulations’. For more information on ITE in Wales, visit the EWC website.