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Past event

English in Multi Academy Trusts: the changing shape of the subject and its impact on teachers

In light of the DfE’s concern for teacher workload, seen through the Working Lives of Teachers and Leaders report, the government’s stated objective of making all schools academies by 2030, and Labour’s commitment to revise the national curriculum should the party win the next general election, the time is right to consider the role of multi-academy trusts in deciding what happens within individual secondary English classrooms.  

MAT curricula vary in the extent to which they guide and centralise the teaching of English in their schools. In addition to leading CPD, MATs may provide English departments with centralised schemes of work, lesson plans and resources, or otherwise support them with broader curricula frameworks allowing for flexibility. How do MATs address and balance issues of student learning, teacher workload and teacher agency in their curricula designs and frameworks?

This event explores the nuances of MAT structures for English, presenting perspectives from research and MAT subject leadership. 


Welcome & Introduction
Lorna Smith & John Gordon, English in Education SIG Convenors

16:40 The place, purpose and production of English in Multi-Academy Trusts
John Perry, University of Nottingham
16:55 Presentation
Caroline Cresswell, The Joseph Whitaker School
17:10 “This was some time a paradox” : helping English teachers to spend less time on thinking about teaching?
Andy Goodwyn, University of Reading
17:25 Discussion and Response to Questions
18:00 Event Close


Chairs & Speakers

Profile picture of Lorna Smith
Lorna Smith, Dr

Associate Professor in Education at University of Bristol

Lorna leads the secondary English PGCE course at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on secondary English education policy and practice past and present, particularly English as a humane discipline, creativity within the curriculum,...

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John Gordon, Professor

Professor of Language Arts and Learning at University of East Anglia

I am Reader in English Education at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I am an experienced English teacher educator, and came into teaching as a secondary-phase specialist in English and Media up to A-level. I currently lead a professional...

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Andy Goodwyn, Professor

Professor at University of Reading

I taught English in secondary schools for 10 years, spending 1 year teaching in the USA. I became PGCE English course leader at The University of Reading in 1988, course leader of the MA in English and Language in Education in 1990, Head of...

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John Perry, Dr

Assistant Professor at University of Nottingham

John joined the University of Nottingham in 2017, following a career teaching secondary school English for over 20 years, including several years as a headteacher. Since joining the School of Education John has led the Secondary English PGCE; led...