Belfast Telegraph

Minister appoints expert panel to review teacher training infrastructure

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Employment and Learning

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has today announced the other members of the review Panel of education experts to take forward the review of teacher training infrastructure in Northern Ireland. 

The announcement follows the earlier appointment of Dr Pasi Sahlberg as Chair of the Panel. 

The panel members are:

· Patricia Broadfoot, CBE, currently Professor of Education at the University of Bristol;
· Dr. John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus at the National University of Ireland Maynooth;
· Professor John Furlong, former Director of the Oxford University Department of Education; and
· Gordon Kirk, OBE, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Edinburgh and Academic Secretary to the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers.

The Minister said: “Dr Sahlberg and his colleagues will examine the case for the reform of teacher education provision in Northern Ireland, based on best international practice. 

“Following on from Stage One of the Review of the Teacher Training Infrastructure which highlighted that the current system is not financially sustainable, this Stage will develop options for a more shared and integrated delivery and funding system which draws upon and is informed by international best practice.

“This panel brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their task, and they will engage with the key stakeholders, including the current five teacher training providers, and seek a consensus on the configuration that best maximises educational best practice, financial affordability and sustainability, and sharing in the training of teachers to best reflect a much more diverse Northern Ireland.”

The establishment of the Panel is the second stage of the review into the teacher training infrastructure. The first part of the study comprised of a report released in May which involved an objective analysis of the financial stability, the various funding streams and sustainability of the two university colleges. 
The Panel will report its findings in 2014.

Notes to editors:

1. Teacher education in Northern Ireland is provided by five institutions: Stranmillis University College, St. Mary's University College, The Queen's University Belfast, the University of Ulster and the Open University.

2. Patricia Broadfoot, CBE, is currently Professor of Education at the University of Bristol where she has previously been Head of the School of Education, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Pro Vice Chancellor with responsibility for Education. She was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire until 2010. She has written widely in the field of assessment and comparative education and has contributed both nationally and internationally to education policy and teacher development. She has served as a Council member of the Economic and Social Research Council and is currently a trustee of a number of national charities. Professor Broadfoot is an Academician of the Academy of Social Science and was awarded the CBE for services to Social Science in 2006.

3. Dr. John Coolahan is Professor Emeritus at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. He has lectured extensively in Ireland and abroad, is author of three books, has published over 120 articles in Irish and international journals, and has edited several educational publications. Professor Coolahan has had extensive involvement in a public service capacity as an adviser on educational policy in Ireland. At international level, he has been a consultant on education to the EU Commission, the Council of Europe, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED). He was main author, or contributor, to OECD Reviews of Education in nine countries. He was author of the Irish Country Background Reports for the OECD reviews on Teachers Matter (2003) and on Higher Education in Ireland (2004). He served on the Review Body on Post Primary Education in Northern Ireland (2000/01). He has recently chaired the National Forum on School Patronage and Pluralism, and is current Chairman of the Arts and Education Charter Group.

4. Professor John Furlong, began his career as a Schoolteacher before becoming a research fellow, working first at Manchester University and then at Brunel University. In 1981 he moved to Cambridge University where he was a lecturer in the sociology of education for 11 years; he was also Director of Studies in Social and Political Sciences at Corpus Christi College. In 1992 he moved to Swansea University to take up his first Chair. In 1995 he moved to Bristol University and then joined the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University in January 2000. He became Director of the Oxford University Department of Education in 2003, a post he held until December 2009. Professor Furlong is an active member of the British Educational Research Association and served as President during the academic years 2003-5. His current work for BERA includes being chair of the Steering Committee for the BERA/RSA Inquiry into Research and Teacher Education.

5. Gordon Kirk, OBE, is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Edinburgh and Academic Secretary to the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers. Having served as a secondary school teacher in Glasgow, Professor Kirk had spells in the University of Aberdeen and Jordanhill College of Education, before becoming Principal of Moray House Institute of Education in Edinburgh in 1981. He became the Dean of the Faculty of Education and subsequently Vice-Principal at the University of Edinburgh following the merger of Moray House with the University in 1998. He has been closely involved in the development of teacher education for over 35 years. Throughout his career, Professor Kirk has served on a number of national bodies; he has written or edited some 40 books, mainly concerned with teacher education and professional development, and the professional culture of teaching; and he has contributed in excess of 120 articles to professional and academic journals.

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