Obituary: Alan Sergison

The Newcastle University North Leadership Centre is sad to announce the death of Alan Sergison. Prior to his appointment as Education Inspector for the Gateshead local authority from 2000 to 2010, Alan dedicated his professional life to primary education and was the headteacher of a large inner city primary school for 15 years. He worked as Advisory headteacher and after his retirement set up his own educational consultancy business.

During his headship, he trained as a facilitator for the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in 1998 and was actively involved inshaping the various iterations of the National Professional Qualifications over the last two decades. His wealth of experience as headteacher, School Improvement Partner, Ofsted Inspector and in supporting schools in difficult circumstances as well as his dedication to pass on his knowledge and skills led to his involvement in a number of international school leadership programmes through the Newcastle University North Leadership Centre, including leadership development programmes for educational leaders from Kazakhstan and Vietnam.

Alan’s personable nature encouraged delegates to open up and reflect critically on their own situation. Through skilled questioning and stories from his own experience, he skilfully helped generations of educational leaders to come up with their own solutions.

His contribution to the Centre will be greatly missed by all of us.
At this sad time our thoughts are with his wife, family and the many people his inspirational nature has touched in the course of his personal and professional life.

Leadership and Management for future teachers

Twenty Bachelor students from Taraz State Pedagogical University, Kazakhstan developed their understanding of concepts such as ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ as part of an international seminar series in the second week of November. The students worked with the executive director of the Newcastle University North Leadership Centre (NUNLC), René Koglbauer, who has taken up a Visiting Professorship in Kazakhstan during winter semester 2018.

The Vice-Chancellor of Taraz State Pedagogical University, welcomed René Koglbauer at the beginning of his Visiting Professorship

At the beginning of the programme, the students reflected on the differences between the English and the Kazakhstani school systems and were surprised that there was no British school system as the four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) had their own systems. The students were then also encouraged to reflect on their own leadership and management skills starting out with a discussion about their values. Whilst none of them can yet imagine that they would ever lead a school, a few students recognised early on that they had leadership skills and tend to adopt the role of a leader when working in teams.

Whilst a few of the students were able to converse in English and gained confidence in contributing in their third language, the support of a fellow BA student, Altybayeva Nazgulya, and her ability to interpret, was paramount to the success of the seminar. The students found the seminar engaging and reflected positively about the different approach that René Koglbauer took: The application of the theoretical knowledge through activities and critical reflections helped the students to gain knowledge but also learn about themselves and their leadership potential. One of the students summarised the success of the seminar with the words; “Tell me – and I will forget; show me – I will remember; Let me do – and I will understand. The used methodology of these seminar sessions has made me understand as I was allowed to try it all out.”

René Koglbauer commented on the students’ contribution: “Whilst there was initially a language barrier, through skilful interpretation and the various activities, students were not only actively engaged but also contributed to discussions well. Following a group task, where they were asked to build a paper tower, the students critically reflected on the success of their teams by drawing on their learning from previous seminar sessions. This demonstrated to them and me that they not only understood the content theoretically but could apply it practically, too.”

The students also recognised that they required greater linguistic competences in English in order to learn about other countries’ approaches to teaching and learning. The fact that they were encouraged to communicate and debate with each other was also reflected upon positively; with one student putting it as follows, “Through your lessons I learnt how to communicate with people”; and another student added, “Through debates we got to know each other’s opinions and at times we even disagreed. This was good as it challenged our own thoughts and id

Xiamen University Administrators Programme 2017

Building on our successful bespoke programme delivered in 2016, The North Leadership Centre (NLC) and Newcastle University International Office have recently completed the delivery of a complex programme for 30 administrative staff from Xiamen University. The programme was titled Xiamen University Administrative Staff Development Programme, and the delegation was headed by Kevin Zhong. The aims of the programme were to get an overview of how Newcastle University functions, as well as to develop English language and leadership skills.

Dr Xenia Xu of the International Office and Francis Barber of the North Leadership Centre collaborated to ensure the programme’s success, and teams from both departments supported the provision of this programme. Delivery was also supported by a team of final-year student interpreters from the School of Modern Languages.

The delegates undertook a two-week English Language programme through the North Leadership Centre, supported by CELTA-qualified staff Eleanor Gordon and Mark Pearson from NLC, and Ilaria Spiga and Rob Thompson. As well as language, this aspect of the programme covered UK culture and focused on speaking and practical English.

English Language Teaching

The programme incorporated cultural excursions for the delegates including visits to local places of interest and trips further afield. The delegates were also able to explore Newcastle and the rest of the UK.

Cultural excursions

Delegates participated in a five-day programme in leadership with Dr Anna Reid of the North Leadership Centre, which covered a range of themes including trust, collaboration and communication.

Leadership with Dr Anna Reid

The programme included visits to a wide range of university departments, and our thanks go to those departments for their willingness to participate and the quality of input that they delivered for the delegates.

Clockwise from top left; Human Resources, University Finance, Sports Centre and Learning and Teaching Development Service

Keynote presentations were given by Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Day, Registrar Dr John Hogan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement & Internationalisation) Professor Richard Davies, and René Koglbauer, Director of the North Leadership Centre. During the formal welcome and closing speeches, keynote speakers from both Newcastle and Xiamen Universities emphasised the value and importance that both institutions place on the continuation of this highly successful partnership.

Clockwise from top left; Kevin Zhong with René Koglbauer, Professor Chris Day, the full delegation and Dr John Hogan.

We all look forward to further future successes of this partnership, and hope to be able to welcome more delegates from Xiamen University in future.

The delegates with Professor Chris Day

Xiamen University Counsellors Programme 2017

Building on our successful bespoke programme delivered in 2016, The North Leadership Centre (NLC) and Newcastle University International Office have recently completed the delivery of a complex programme for 29 student counsellors from Xiamen University. The programme was titled Xiamen University Counsellors Development Programme, and the delegation was headed by Jason Wang.

The aims of the programme were to get an overview of how Newcastle University functions, as well as to develop English language and leadership skills.

Dr Xenia Xu of the International Office and Francis Barber of the North Leadership Centre collaborated to ensure the programme’s success, and teams from both departments supported the provision of this programme. Delivery was also supported by a team of final-year student interpreters from the School of Modern Languages.

The delegates undertook a two-week English Language programme through the North Leadership Centre, supported by CELTA-qualified staff Fancis Barber, Eleanor Gordon and Mark Pearson from NLC, and Rob Thompson. As well as language, this aspect of the programme covered UK culture and focused on speaking and practical English.

English Language Teaching

The programme incorporated cultural excursions for the delegates including visits to local places of interest such as the Angel of the North, and trips further afield to Northumberland to experience the English countryside. The delegates were also able to explore Newcastle and the rest of the UK.

Cultural excursions

 

Delegates participated in a five-day programme in leadership with Dr Anna Reid of the North Leadership Centre, which covered a range of themes including systems and processes and collaboration.

Leadership with Dr Anna Reid, Deputy Director of North Leadership Centre

 

The programme included visits to a wide range of university departments, and our thanks go to those departments for their willingness to participate and the quality of input that they delivered for the delegates.

Clockwise from top left: Careers Service, Language Resource Centre, Student Finance and Students’ Union

Keynote presentations were given by Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Day, Registrar Dr John Hogan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement & Internationalisation) Professor Richard Davies, and René Koglbauer, Director of the North Leadership Centre. During the formal welcome and closing speeches, keynote speakers from both Newcastle and Xiamen Universities emphasised the value and importance that both institutions place on the continuation of this highly successful partnership.

Clockwise from top left: Registrar Dr John Hogan, Jason Wang of XMU with Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor, René Koglbauer Executive Director of North Leadership Centre, Professor Richard Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Internationalisation

We all look forward to welcoming the next set of delegates next week for the Administrators programme, and to future successes of this partnership.

The delegation at the Arches

My Internship at the North Leadership Centre

From 13/02/2017-09/06/2017 we participated in the Erasmus Programme, hosting a student from Belgium for a work placement. She has written a blog post about her experiences which we have reproduced below.

Working at NLC

The Angel of the North
The Angel of the North

I am Victoria Schiettecatte a third year marketing student at the Odisee school in Belgium (Brussels). I did an internship for four months at the North Leadership Centre (NLC). Since my first year I knew I wanted to go on Erasmus, and I’m not disappointed at all. At the end of June 2016 the school announced I would go to Newcastle upon Tyne. I was ready to go anywhere and I was so happy with my destination. I really wanted to improve my English and to gain some experience in the marketing world. In January I got the email saying I would do my internship at the NLC. I knew this would be a good environment to improve my English.

The Millennium Bridge
The Millennium Bridge

I arrived on Saturday the 11th of February and loved this city immediately. My accommodation was near to the quayside, an amazing place. On Monday the 13th February I started my internship at the NLC. It was difficult for me to understand everything in English and also how NLC worked. It was important for me to understand what the NLC does. After some weeks working on marketing and reading a lot about NLC I understood what they do and my English had also improved. It got easier to work on my projects.

The Beach
The Beach

I worked on many different things and learned so much. When I arrived, NLC had to do a bid for their NETSP (North East Teaching School Partnership) programmes. There were some marketing bids I worked on, they were part of the marketing plan and strategy for NETSP. After the bid was sent it was time to apply the marketing strategy. The website and the brochure needed an update. So I learned to work with different programmes such as Adobe Indesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver.

Newcastle University
Newcastle University

With the help of Eleanor and all my colleagues we were able to create a new brochure and website for NETSP. This project gave me an insight of what I wanted to do after this year. I want to do digital marketing studies in Belgium. I also did some data analysis for different projects. I really like to work with figures and worked on some analyses. As I learned to work with Adobe programmes I also worked on the NLC website and wrote a social media plan and strategy. This project was my last project at NLC and I really enjoyed it. I believe I worked in an office were hard work and humour is the key to success. Colleagues were very friendly and received me well. I am so thankful for my internship at NLC.

There were 5 other students from my school doing an Erasmus exchange in Newcastle so we decided to visit each other’s workplaces. It was interesting to see what kind of work others had done during those four months.

Exploring the UK

Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips

During my exchange I had the opportunity to discover some places. I went to London for a long weekend. I had already visited London but now I enjoyed some walking and museums, not like the busy school trip I had done before.

The Thames
The Thames

In Newcastle I visited the BALTIC and most of the things around the quayside, Newcastle castle, Angel of the North, The Biscuit Factory, Tynemouth, and many, many more. You can’t be bored here!

We also had the opportunity to go to a farm close to Berwick upon Tweed and learned about the lambing period and helped a bit. An unforgettable experience.

Lambing
Lambing

My mom came for a weekend and rented a car so we enjoyed a road trip in Scotland. First we went to Durham where I wanted to visit the cathedral. Unfortunately the cathedral was closed as they were filming the new Avengers movie. After our stop in Durham, we went to the Angel of the North on our way up to Scotland and we also went to Alnwick castle. It is an amazing castle which also has a garden to visit, really nice. As we had to be in Aberdeen in the evening we had to leave quickly and had a long drive passing by Edinburgh. The view from the bridge we crossed was amazing.

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

The next day we visited Balmoral as my mom loves everything about royal families. We also went to the sea, there were cliffs with a lot of birds. It was so beautiful. For the end of our trip we decided to go to Glasgow on our way back to Newcastle and also stopped by the Irish Sea. I knew we would be near Hadrian’s Wall and I really wanted to see Sycamore Gap. After searching for it we were able to find it and see it from the road with an amazing sunset and we went back to Newcastle.

Sycamore Gap
Sycamore Gap

Newcastle upon Tyne is an amazing place and people are very nice. It is a very young and dynamic city and would recommend anyone to study or do an internship here.

Newcastle Castle

Siemens Successes

On 20th March 2017 our first cohort of successful Siemens Leadership Programme participants were presented with their Chartered Management Institute Level 3 certificates. Our congratulations go to all of those participants who completed their qualification successfully. The event was held at Siemens, and certificates were presented by our director René Koglbauer.

This bespoke programme for Siemens was developed with and facilitated by Rebecca Armstrong. The programme was designed to lead participants to their Level 3 CMI qualification.

We look forward to continuing our work with Siemens and wish our current participants well for their upcoming assessments.

Travelling to the UK from Kazakhstan: learning from a study visit

The blog below was written by our visitors from Kazakhstan who undertook the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education programme with us from 9th-17th November this year. They wrote this blog collaboratively in their Writing Skills for Academics session, assisted by Dr Rachel Lofthouse and Dr Anna Reid. The original post can be found on the Newcastle University Education Blog.

Introduction

During November 2016 a fifth cohort of academic colleagues from universities across Kazakhstan took part in the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education programme at Newcastle University. The programme was hosted and facilitated by staff from ECLS and managed through the North Leadership Centre. Our visitors had a busy schedule of taught sessions and workshops during which they were offered insights in to a wide range of academic practices. At the same time the visitors experienced British life – both in Newcastle and further afield.

We asked them to reflect on why they were here. What were they hoping to learn more about? Why did this matter to them? What first impressions did they have?

Here are some of their responses …

Cultural experiences – academic and beyond

We see Education as a constantly developing, renewing process, though our basis is in Kazakhstan a traditional one. Teaching and learning in different countries can have similarities and differences at the same time. In order to develop and to improve education teachers share their experience.

Let’s first of all discuss
the similarity of the ways of teaching. Almost all the teachers use such methods as group work, role play, communicative approach, non-verbal communication and others. As far as the differences are concerned in Kazakhstan we still have a traditional system of education. We consider that learning styles of students in our country differ from British ones (independent work of students, project work). In addition, communication is more formal than in Britain. Even writing a blog is unusual for us. However, changing our experiences is a significant way to develop and to improve the process education.

1-1-225x300

Professional learning-improving own knowledge and skills

The North Leadership Centre at Newcastle University’s School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences ‘Learning and Teaching in Higher Education’ (LTHE) programme is an essential thing for us, those who are in teaching. We have had a very great experience here, and would like to emphasize the following aspects which we want to improve and study more. Firstly, co-teaching and academic culture impressed us and it would be nice to use it in our practical work at home. The second thing that made us think about was a different view on working in small groups. Can we ask you a question: How long did the process of improving group work take you? And what are the criteria of assessment of group work? We are underway, but still have some difficulties with organizing it during workshops and lecturing. Thirdly, unfortunately, we haven’t got accustomed to feedback, it’s challenging but, it would be appropriate to use this practice in all levels.

2-1-225x300

Developing students experience – innovative technologies and e-learning

In a global world education becomes international as well. Students from developing countries should be a part of a global community and able to study online. In order to promote this idea, we need IT services support and updated curriculums. In Kazakhstan we are on the way of this process. For example we have distance teaching and learning as well as newly updated masters programs including disciplines to be studied online.

Innovative technologies let students participate in global e-conferences, blogs, forums and different on-line courses. All these contemporary opportunities let students gain optional education, support long-life learning and self-development for future carrier.

The LTHE programme is helping us as teachers to be trained to get practical skills on e-learning and innovative technologies in order to deliver them at the domestic universities to improve the situation locally and help students to gain the necessary skills.

3-225x300

Learning from and through collaboration

Following on from the LTHE programme we propose the following ways of learning from and through collaboration to support and promote teachers’ and students’ professional, educational and cultural development. Collaboration gives both as for teachers and students a splendid opportunity to grow and improve themselves and their endeavour. After such global collaboration they become specialists who can work successfully not only in own country but also abroad.

  • New forms of education through collaboration between KZ and UK
  • Sharing professional experiences and skills
  • Exploring intercultural and academic communication
  • Developing professional abilities
  • Acquiring new ICT
  • Learning new trends in pedagogical and psychological knowledge
  • Digital literacy Teacher (online teaching, e-learning, forums. Blogs, networks, conferences, etc.)
  • Languages Practices from collaborative study
  • Students and Teachers Academic Mobility

Conclusion

To draw this blog to a close we asked the programme leader Dr Anna Reid to reflect on the initial impressions formed by the cohort and considered above:

‘The opportunity to work with colleagues from universities in Kazakhstan is special. There is so much that we can learn with and from each other. Two weeks is hardly long enough! I am hoping to receive e-mails in the coming days and months sharing how the theories and practices developed in Newcastle have been translated to the Kazakh context. That is the aim of the LTHE programme and it is proof of its overall success.’

 

Cultural Leadership Programme

We have recently run a collaborative project with Culture Bridge North East. This programme was attended by school leaders, and explored cultural leadership in a school setting.

The event was held at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, and Emma Thomas, Head of Learning and Engagement, has written in more detail about the programme on the Culture Bridge North East blog.

If you wish to be added to the waiting list for this programme, please visit our website for further details.

Personal and professional learning from this summer’s conferences

I was tempted to begin this blog post with a witty anagram of BERA and BELMAS, the two conferences I attended this summer but it is with some degree of embarrassment that I have given up with nothing to show for my efforts.

BERA stands for the British Educational Research Association. According to their website , it is a ‘membership association and learned society committed to working for the public good by sustaining a strong and high quality educational research community, dedicated to advancing knowledge of education’. BELMAS is also concerned with the field of education but this society focuses on aspects of and issues concerning leadership, management and administration.

I have been trying for some time to identify ways of applying the methodological and analytical approaches, which I used in my doctoral work, to contexts of educational leadership in line with my roles and responsibilities within the North Leadership Centre. My doctoral work was a study of teachers’ developing understanding of enquiry based learning. It primarily concerned concepts of identity and agency in relation to curriculum innovation and formative assessment. My current position within the North Leadership Centre allows me to work with serving school leaders on aspects of their personal and professional development including identity and agency.

I was delighted, therefore, that my first solo abstracts for both BELMAS in July 2016 and BERA in September 2016 were accepted and included in the conference proceedings. The abstracts presented the rationale and outlines for two different workshops:

How can Bernstein’s (1996) concepts of ‘classification’ and ‘framing’ be used to explore the development of programmes for school leaders in the North East of England?

This workshop addressed the theme of the 2016 BELMAS conference by challenging a shift in government oversight of education from compliance to performance (Ball, 2000) with a more ‘humanist’ approach to professional leadership development. It offered tasks aimed at identifying underlying issues which enable or discourage leadership curriculum innovation. The discussion considered whether incorporating the development of ‘weak’ social structures in new leadership development programmes can help to address key priorities in improving the leadership and management of schools in the current Education sector.

Our dialogical selves: developing an analytical framework for exploring practitioner identity and agency.

This workshop introduced the concept of the ‘dialogical self’ (Hermans, 2001a; Hermans, 2001b) and invited participants to engage with a developing analytical framework for exploring themes of identity and agency. It offered practical tasks aimed at uncovering underlying issues which enable or discourage practitioners to ‘act’ within their particular contexts. The discussion considered whether the analytical framework I employed as part of my doctoral work can help to address key priorities in developing practice in the current Education sector.

Both workshops were designed to foster dialogue and encourage critical reflection in order to seek out whether my ideas for future work would stand up to the rigour and expectations of the academic community. For the first time at these conferences, I felt like I was beginning to find my feet as an academic, capable of holding my own in discussions with others for whom I have a very high regard. That other academics were prepared to share their experiences and expertise with me was a huge boost to my confidence. That they encouraged me to continue with my approaches will be the motivating factor moving forwards.

Outcomes from the BELMAS 2016 workshop
Outcomes from the BELMAS 2016 workshop

Moving forwards, then, I have committed to preparing and submitting an article for a special issue of ‘Management in Education’ later this year. When I reflect upon my experiences at both BELMAS and BERA, I now realise that I engaged in the conferences as a personal and professional learning opportunities, where, by providing stimuli for discussion, the responses of academic colleagues helped me to move forwards with my own my thinking and doing. Ironically, I feel I am undergoing a shift in identity myself, which is compelling me to engage further and with greater self-belief.

References

Bernstein, B. (1996) Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity. Maryland: Rowman and Little Publishers, Inc.

Hermans, H,. (2001a) ‘The dialogical self: Toward a theory of personal and cultural positioning’, Culture & Psychology, 7(3), pp.243-281.

Hermans, H. (2001b) ‘The construction of a Personal Position Repertoire: Method and practice’, Culture & Psychology, 7(3), pp.323-365.

Reid, A. (2016) ‘Aspiring leaders understanding their ‘selves’ and/in social contexts’ Accessed on 16 August 2016.

Reid, A. (2015) ‘An opportunity for change’. Accessed on 16 August 2016.

 

Xiamen University Partnership – Successful 4-Week Programme in Newcastle

The North Leadership Centre and International Relations have recently completed the delivery of a complex programme for 27 administrative staff from Xiamen University. The programme was titled Xiamen University Administrative Staff Development Programme, and the delegation was headed by Lisa Yu. The aims of the programme were to get an overview of how the university functions, as well as to develop English and leadership skills.

Xenia Xu of International Relations and Francis Barber of the North Leadership Centre collaborated to ensure the programme’s success, and teams from both departments supported the provision of this programme. Delivery also supported by a team of final-year student interpreters from the School of Modern Languages.

The programme included visits to a wide range of university departments, and our thanks go to those departments for their willingness to participate and the quality of input that they delivered for the delegates.

Department Visits to (clockwise from top left) INTO at Newcastle University, Languages Resource Centre, Business School, Staff Development Unit.
Department Visits to (clockwise from top left) INTO at Newcastle University, Languages Resource Centre, Business School, Staff Development Unit.

The delegates undertook a two-week English Language programme through the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences.

English Language Teaching
English Language Teaching

The also participated in a five-day programme in Leadership delivered by Dr Anna Reid of the North Leadership Centre.

Leadership with Dr Anna Reid.
Leadership with Dr Anna Reid.

The programme incorporated cultural excursions for the delegates including visits to local places of interest and trips further afield. The delegates were also able to explore Newcastle and the rest of the UK.

Xiamen Cultural Excursions - Clockwise from top left, Newcastle City Centre, Northumbrian Farm, Blackfriar's, Beamish Open Air Museum
Xiamen Delegation Cultural Excursions – Clockwise from top left; Newcastle City Centre, Northumbrian Farm, Blackfriar’s, Beamish Open Air Museum

Keynote presentations were given by Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Brink, Registrar Dr John Hogan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement & Internationalisation) Professor Richard Davies, and René Koglbauer, Director of the North Leadership Centre. During the formal welcome and closing speeches, keynote speakers from both Newcastle and Xiamen Universities emphasised the value and importance that both institutions place on the continuation of this highly successful partnership.

Clockwise from top left; René Koglbauer (NLC), Lisa Yu with John Hogan, Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Brink and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement and Internationalisation) Professor Richard Davies.

We all look forward to the future successes of this partnership, and hope to be able to welcome many more delegates from Xiamen University in future.