Lorraine Thomas

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Lorraine’s first post was as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Cartagena, Spain. After completing a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Lorraine then worked in secondary schools in the West Midlands for 14 years, achieving several regional and national awards for innovative practice, including the European Award for Languages. Lorraine held a range of middle and senior leadership positions in schools, including Head of MFL, Training School Manager and Senior Professional Mentor, before moving into higher education (HE). Lorraine also introduced and led the MFL PGCE within the Titan Partnership and later led the school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) consortium and Designated Recommending Body, with the Chief Executive of the Titan Partnership. In partnership with Birmingham Local Authority, Lorraine also managed the Birmingham Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA) consortium and trained primary school teachers in the delivery of MFL.

Lorraine has held a range of senior posts in HE: Director of Postgraduate and Professional Development Studies, in the School of Education at the University of Wolverhampton; Head of Centre: Secondary and Post-compulsory initial teacher education (ITE), in the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester; and Principal Lecturer in Higher Education, in the Academic Development and Practice Unit at the University of Worcester; CPD Programme Leader and then Associate Dean and Dean in the School of Education at Newman University. Since moving to HE Lorraine has led a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, in addition to securing lots of successful bids and consultancy activities.

In Lorraine’s current role as Executive Dean, Faculty of Education at Newman University, she is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Faculty. Our subject portfolio within the Education and Multi-Professional Practice and Early Childhood department comprises: Early Childhood Education and Care; Education and Multi-Professional Practice. Our ITE department comprises Primary Initial Teacher Education; and Secondary Initial Teacher Education. Lorraine leads continuous improvement in the Faculty, in areas such as learning, teaching and assessment; the student experience; student recruitment; quality assurance and enhancement; and support for research and writing for publication. She promotes effective professional learning and appraisal, to ensure the continuous enhancement in the quality of our work. Lorraine promotes a strong and positive external profile for the Faculty and the University through effective engagement with external organizations, networks and stakeholders by actively developing partnerships which support and promote the University’s strategic plan. As a member of the University Operations Team and University Leadership Team, she contributes at a corporate level through membership and the chairing of a range of University boards, working groups and committees. Lorraine chairs the University Student Experience committee and University ITE compliance group. She is also Vice Chair of the University Learning, Teaching and Academic Quality committee and Director of the Newman Institute of Leadership in Education research centre.





PhD: Aspirations for a masters level teaching profession (University of Birmingham, 2012)

Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training (University of Birmingham, 2007)

MA Education (University of Wolverhampton, 2005)

Postgraduate Certificate in Mentoring & Coaching (University of Wolverhampton, 2003)

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) MFL (University of Central England – now Birmingham City University, 1993)

BA (Hons) French & German Studies (University of Birmingham, 1991)

Research Interests

Policy and Practice: Early Professional Development (EPD); CPD; ITE; Masters level study; Newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction; School improvement; Pedagogy and student experience.


Reflective Practice; Learning, Teaching and Assessment; Mentoring and Coaching; Educational Leadership; Research Methods.

Administrative Responsibilities

External Examiner, EdD The University of East London (2017 – current)

External Examiner: EdD Viva, University of Central Lancashire (2017)

External Assessor: MA Education, Oxford Brookes University (2017)

External Assessor: MA Education, Oxford Brookes University (2017)

External Examiner (Secondary PGCE Chief External Examiner) The University of St Mark & St John (2016 – current)

Professional Development in Education journal (2012 – current)

Peer reviewer: Management in Education journal (2014 – current)

Policing: A journal of Policy and Practice (2016 – current)

A level French Adviser WJEC (2012)

External Examiner: MA Education, Staffordshire University (2012 – 2016)

External Examiner: Secondary PGCE MFL and Chief External Examiner, Oxford Brookes University (2007 – 2011)

External Assessor/ Moderator: Graduate Teacher Programme MFL, King Edward’s Consortium (2006 – 2007)

Membership of Professional Organisations

Higher Education Academy: Fellow

Teaching and Learning Academy: Leader, Verifier and Fellow

International Professional Development Association (IPDA): Member

Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET): Member of Management Forum and Research & International Forum

Cathedrals’ Group: Member of Deans of Education Group

Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE): Member

Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA): Member

British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS): Member

Other Activities

Research supervision

PhD Supervision: Margaret Buck, 2nd supervisor (2015 – 2019)

PhD Supervision: Andrew Boswell, 2nd supervisor (2016 – current)

PhD Supervision: Jennifer McCabe, 2nd supervisor (2017 – current)

PhD Supervision: Claire Owen, 2nd supervisor (2019 – current)

PhD Supervision: Jon Needham, 2nd supervisor (2019 – current)

Conference Addresses and Papers

Thomas, L. (2013) ‘PGCE Models: Key perspectives from the secondary phase’ Teacher Education Advancement Network annual conference Aston University, Birmingham, 17 May

Thomas, L. (2013) ‘Supporting school improvement in an inner-city secondary school: A pupil-led Appreciative Inquiry’ Social Inequalities and Cultural Differences conference, Newman University, Birmingham, 11 September

Thomas, L. (2013) ‘Aspirations for a masters level teaching profession in England and the Masters in Teaching in Learning: RIP?’ International Professional Development Association annual conference, Aston University, Birmingham, 29 November

Thomas, L. (2014) ‘The master’s level PGCE: Motivations and perceptions in two HEIs’ Universities Council for the Education of Teachers annual conference, Birmingham, 4th November

Thomas, L. and Trotman, D. (2015) ‘Police Community Support Officers in Schools: Findings from an evaluation of a small-scale pilot training programme for School Liaison Officers’ International Professional Development Association annual conference, Aston University, Birmingham, 27 November

Other Forms of Research/Scholarship

Staff Guide:

Russell, K., Martin, L., Scott, I. and Thomas, L. (2012) Preparing to Teach in Higher Education: A Guide for UW Partners http://www.worc.ac.uk/adpu/documents/Preparing_to_Teach_a_guide_for_partners_FINAL.pdf



  1. Thomas, L. Enhancing consistency across the Titan Partnership SCITT schools Partnership Promotion School project for TTA £2,500


  1. Walters, N., Cartwright, L. & Thomas, L. Exemplification of standards for school-based tutors in ITT and NQT induction tutors Partnership Development School project for TDA £25,000


  1. Thomas, L., Curry, K. & Newton, D. Increasing the number and quality of ITT placements in Secondary Maths Partnership Development School project for TDA £25,000


  1. Cartwright, L., Glasspool, N. & Thomas, L. Working creatively in ITT with schools facing challenging circumstances

Partnership Development School project for TDA £25,000


  1. Somervell, H. & Thomas, L. Bid to gain Preferred Provider status For National College of School Leadership, from which the University went on to achieve an early years professional status (EYPS) contract £5million


  1. Thomas, L. Leading Partners in EAL For TDA £5,000
  2. Thomas, L. Leading Partners: ICT in ITT (Secondary) For TDA £5,000
  3. Thomas, L. Leading Partners: ICT in ITT (EBITT) For TDA £5,000
  4. Scott, L. & Thomas, L. STEM contract for Herefordshire and Worcestershire For STEMNet £240,000


  1. Thomas, L. Appreciative Inquiry regarding Learning, Teaching and Independent Learning For Holy Trinity RC School (Birmingham) Unfunded


  1. Tucker, S., Trotman, D. & Thomas, L. Alternative Provision Free School Evaluation For North West Network schools (Birmingham) £12,500
  2. Thomas, L. & Trotman, D. Pilot Training Programme for Police Community Support Officers and Evaluation For Birmingham and Solihull Local Policing Units £3,120
  3. Trotman, D., Thomas, L. & Tucker, S. The Impact of Ofsted Inspection on School Governance £600


  1. Thomas, L. University lecturers’ perceptions of different modes of peer-observations, within the context of a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice programme. £1,000


Thomas, L. Review of MFL department £500


Trained Additional Inspector, Ofsted (2010)


Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Thomas, L. (2013) An analysis of PGCE models: Key stakeholder perceptions from the secondary phase. Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, 5 (3) pp. 4-16

Thomas, L. (2016) Aspirations for a master’s-level teaching profession in England Professional Development in Education, 42 (2), pp. 218-234

Trotman, D. and Thomas, L. (2016) Police Community Support Officers in Schools: Findings from an evaluation of a pilot training programme for School Liaison Officers Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 10 (3), pp. 288 – 299

Thomas, L. (2017) The masters in teaching and learning: lessons to be learnt and key stakeholder perceptions. Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal 9(1), pp. 45-55.

Thomas, L. and Trotman, D. (2017) Supporting Police Community Support Officers to become effective School Link Officers: Key stakeholder perceptions of a pilot professional development programme Professional Development in Education, 43 (4), pp. 497-513

Thomas, L. (2018) The value of the academic award in initial teacher education: key stakeholder perceptions of the masters level Postgraduate Certificate in Education in two English universities. European Journal of Teacher Education, 41 (2), pp. 246-261.

Owen, C. and Thomas, L. (2019) The carousel-style lesson: an effective intervention to enhance motivation and the learning of foreign languages at primary school The Languages Learning Journal DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2019.1598473

Edited Books                             

Tatton, A., Bright, C. and Thomas, L. (Eds) (2018) Supporting children and young people in schools:  a guide for Foundation Degree students. London:Routledge.

Chapters in Books

Thomas, L. & Griggs, G. (2011) How do you become a reflective professional? In McGregor, D. & Cartwright, L. (Eds)/ Reflective Practice: A Guide for Beginning Teachers/ Maidenhead: Open University Press

Cartwright, L. & Thomas, L. (2011) How can detailed reflection improve your practice? Frameworks to make small changes with big impact. In McGregor, D. & Cartwright, L. (Eds) /Reflective Practice: A Guide for Beginning Teachers. Maidenhead: Open University Press

Thomas, L. (2018) Next steps: Further developing your reflective practice: professional and academic learning; and career progression.  In Tatton, A., Bright, C. and Thomas, L. (Eds) (2018) Supporting children and young people in schools: a guide for Foundation Degree students. Abingdon: Routledge.

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