Skip to content

Welcome to the homepage of CPD @ UCS

CPD@UCS is a flourishing partnership between Shropshire Council and the university to organise educational training for schools and Early Years settings. We offer termly network sessions for all subject areas in both primary and secondary, together with training in safeguarding, governance, Educational Visits, Special Educational Needs and subject specific courses. We also have a number of associates who are available to work with you in your school or setting to support your own, bespoke training needs.

Bookings are made via the online catalogue: CPD@UCS Catalogue

The termly posters listing all of the events are available to download from the links below. There are four posters: 'Early Years Providers' 'Primary Courses' 'Secondary Courses' and Cross Phase Courses'

Should you require any further support or have any general enquiries then please use the contact listing below. The overall aim is growth without compromising quality, therefore, should you have any specific CPD needs please contact the team directly.

Introducing our Associates

We have a number of highly qualified and skilled associates who are able to work with you within your school or setting. Please click on a name below to find out more details. To book an associate, please contact or phone 01743 297168.

Andy Mitchell - D&T (Secondary)
Andy Mitchell

Andy became Deputy CEO at the Design and Technology Association in 2005, following nine years as a Senior and Principal Lecturer at the Centre for D&T Education Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). He worked in Initial Teacher Education at both SHU and the Open University, and at SHU was responsible for establishing the MA in D&T Education. He has substantial experience of running CPD for teachers both in the UK and overseas.

In addition to developing the Association’s Subject Leadership qualification and other CPD schemes for teachers, he played a key role in the development of the English National Curriculum design and technology programme of study, working as the Key Stage 3 National Subject Leader from 2007 to 2010. He was also a lead advisor for DfE during the writing of the current curriculum and the development of the single title D&T GCSE introduced in 2017. Early in his career, he taught D&T and was a subject leader in several schools in London and Derbyshire.

Ant Snowden - Science (Secondary)
Ant Snowden

Ant’s formative years in teaching led him to adopt the principle that learning must be relevant and have intrinsic value, allowing students to work creatively and develop independence and resilience. He applies the same principle to his courses – they are founded on proven strategies and are relevant to current issues in education.
As a successful middle leader in a range of schools across the midlands, he was described in an Ofsted inspection as “one of the most effective middle leaders I have met”. For over two decades, Ant has delivered training on effective middle leaderships in schools. As access to information is now almost instant, his emphasis on developing and applying skills to build knowledge through enquiry is more pertinent than ever. This is perhaps summed up by a comment from an ex-pupil: “You didn’t just teach us science, you taught us how to think!”

Ant has over a decade of experience working for the Telford & Wrekin School Improvement Service, specialising in teaching & learning, leadership & management and NQT induction. Ant has also run science Hub meetings across the west Midlands on behalf of AQA and is a senior Facilitator for the National STEM learning network. Through his consultancy role, Ant has worked extensively with primary and special schools in the West Midlands. Supporting teachers and teaching lesson himself in all year groups, from reception to Year 11.
Ant now works as an independent consultant and trainer. Like all good teachers, Ant is still learning new things and continues to inspire others with his enthusiasm and creativity.

Ben Ballin - Geography (Primary)
Ben Ballin

Ben Ballin is a primary consultant specialising in geography. Among others, he has worked, written and trained for the Geographical Association, The RGS (with IBG), Oddizzi , TTS and Teach Primary. As a consultant to the Geographical Association, he leads national CPD, and offers support and advice to schools, especially Primary schools, in relation to National Curriculum and Ofsted expectations. He also presents and leads CPD for schools, clusters, teaching school alliances, local authorities, and universities across England and acts as an in school curriculum consultant. He is a member of the Primary Geography journal editorial board, and has recently published materials on inclusion and geography.

For the RGS (with IBG) he has led workshops on place based planning and geography/history links and has written teaching materials on the Mediterranean at KS2. He has written for many other publishers, including online resources for Oddizzi and an Upper Primary Teaching Atlas for TTS. Ben is a Fellow of the National Association for Environmental Education and a trustee for Tide~ global learning.

Cathryn Hardy - Mathematics (Primary)
Cathryn Hardy

Cathryn is Primary Lead and Assistant Maths Hub Lead Teaching for Mastery Lead for SHaW Maths Hub, working with fourteen Specialist Teachers across Shropshire, Telford, Herefordshire and Wolverhampton to promote DfE/NCETM’s Teaching for Mastery programme.

Cathryn has taught in primary, middle and junior schools in Suffolk, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, latterly as Deputy Headteacher and Acting Headteacher. Her love of teaching maths began in her first teaching job, with the challenges of teaching maths to disaffected, low ability maths sets. Her own teaching and leadership has been transformed through access to high quality professional development with, for example, Bernard Bagnall (Nrich); Ian Sugarman (formally with Shropshire LA) and also through studying ‘mathematics education’ at masters’ level with the Open University. Working with schools across the West Midlands and beyond, practice-based, high quality, professional development has always been central to Cathryn's philosophy in working with teachers and school leaders. She is an accredited Professional Development Lead for NCETM.

Cathryn has worked for Telford and Shropshire LAs as Maths Consultant and Maths Adviser. She is ‘Ofsted trained’; has been an accredited moderator of KS1 assessment and has been a member of the STA’s expert panel for KS2 maths tests. She has worked with the University of Chester and Edge Hill University on ITT and Post-Graduate programmes; is co-author of Edge Hill University's Maths Specialist Teacher programme (professional element) and also of a professional CPD chapter in a book edited by Alice Hansen.

Chris Ogden - English (Primary)
Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is an independent education and English consultant and Ofsted inspector working with a wide range of teaching school alliances, local authority schools, academies, MATs, and a group of international independent schools. He delivers subject specific English. He also provides specialist English teacher training for three ITE teaching schools He is also a visiting lecturer on the Masters in Educational Leadership programme for the University of Chester and is part of the international teaching team.

Previously, Chris was a member of a nationally recognised, highly effective local authority school improvement team providing specialist support and advice on all aspects of teaching and learning, in addition to English. His particular areas of expertise are in Literacy, drama, curriculum development, and providing in-school support for schools.

Qualifications: MA (distinction), NPQH, PGCE, BA(Hons), LCI (Leading Consultant for Improvement accreditation - English; mathematics; stronger management systems), Registered OFSTED Inspector.

Christine Packer - Mathematics (Secondary)
Christine Packer

I joined the PGCE Secondary team at the University of Chester in January 2015 where I am a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education and the subject lead for the PGCE Secondary Mathematics programme. I spent 3 years as the Programme Leader for the PGCE Secondary course and also spent a number of years as the Mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course Leader. I have previously worked with a number of non-mathematics specialist teachers to develop their knowledge of mathematics teaching on the Post Initial Teacher Education Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course.

Prior to joining the University of Chester I worked in a number of secondary schools as a mathematics teacher, and have also worked at the University of Manchester as a PGCE Secondary Mathematics tutor. I have an MA in Educational Practice with a specialism in Mathematics Education and am currently studying for a Doctorate in Education. My research interests include exploring the way in which early career teachers navigate the mathematics classroom away from their PGCE and the research that informs their practice. I am also currently part of an ERASMUS plus project developing research in teacher education.

I am passionate about developing mathematics education in schools in order to increase the accessibility and inclusivity for all pupils. I am involved in a number of collaborative projects with the NCETM maths hubs along with colleagues from the University of Chester primary and secondary maths teams with the focus on developing mathematics teacher training in school.

I am the treasurer of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMET) and a member of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM).

Claire Mansfield - PE (Primary and Secondary)
Claire Mansfield

Having started life in a commercial environment working in sales for Mars Confectionery, I re trained as a teacher working for Telford College of Arts and Technology delivering their Chartered Management Institute Diploma and British Sign Language courses. I then moved to a primary school where I spent 12 years working as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant and PE lead.

In January 2020, I joined Energize Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, the local Active Partnership. My role their as Active Schools Manager is to support primary and secondary schools to increase engagement of pupils in PE, school sport and physical activity to improve their physical health and mental wellbeing. I am currently leading the Creating Active Schools national pilot for our area a research based project in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University to promote a whole systems approach to school improvement by providing a structure for embedding physical activity at the heart of a school’s ethos and culture. I also run the Shropshire PE CPD network meetings for primary and secondary schools across the county.

Dave Thorley - Educational Visits (Primary and Secondary)
Dave Thorley

Dave is currently the Local Authority Outdoor Education Advisor for Shropshire working within the Education Improvement Service. He has over the last 40 years worked within the Voluntary, Charitable and Statutory sectors through the medium of Outdoor Education. Having managed a number of Outdoor Education Centres in Central London he moved to Shropshire in 2007 taking up the post of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Officer before taking up his current role in 2016.

Eleanor Atkinson - Science (Primary)
Eleanor Atkinson

Eleanor has a wealth of experience within primary science education, teaching and leading science for 16 years across the full primary age range in mainstream and ASD/EBD schools. She has worked as a Leading Teacher of Science for Bolton Education Authority, and is experienced in creating and delivering high quality, exemplary lessons and workshops in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

In 2015, she was awarded Primary Science Teacher of the year and became a lifetime college fellow of Primary Science Teaching Trust and an independent Primary Science Consultant. In 2016, she worked in collaboration with Professor Saiful Islam and the RI to produce a series of primary lessons linked to the 2016 Christmas Lectures broadcast on BBC. In 2017 Eleanor contributed to the latest edition of ASE guide to Primary Science, writing a chapter on how to promote understanding through dialogue. In addition to her consultancy work for Primarily Science and the Ogden Trust, Eleanor is currently an associate lecturer at Edge Hill University, guiding a Hub of schools through the Primary Science Quality Mark and writing a range of science textbooks for the International market.

Fiona Moss - Religious Education (Primary)
Fiona Moss

Fiona spent 15 years as a primary school teacher and now works as a National Senior adviser for RE Today and is the CEO of the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE). She works with MATs, schools, SACREs, religious and non religious communities and key stakeholders such as OFSTED, DFE and others. She edits and write termly publications on RE for RE Today that can be purchased through NATRE and are received with NATRE membership.

She is one of the writers of the Shropshire Agreed syllabus and has written many other agreed syllabuses. She has been involved in writing publications on non religious and religious worldviews including the Understanding Christianity resource. She trains on subject knowledge in RE, different ways of knowing, teaching strategies, support for subject leaders and governors. Her training is highly valued.

Liz MacFarlane - Art & Design (Primary and Secondary)
Liz MacFarlane

Liz Macfarlane, President of the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) 2021/22/23, is a freelance art and design education consultant working with primary and secondary schools and academies across the country to provide support and bespoke CPD. She is a tutor for the eQualitas school led teacher training programme and supports creative and cultural education programmes for The Mighty Creatives, the East Midlands Arts Council Bridge Organisation. She is also co author of the ‘Cambridge International AS and A’ Level Art and Design Student’s Book’ and is a member of the expert subject advisory panel for Ofqual.

Liz has inspected for Ofsted and holds the Professional Qualification for School Inspectors. She has also been a senior A level moderator. Prior to this she was the National Coordinator for Visual Arts and Media with Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, working with a network of over 500 specialist arts colleges. She started her career teaching in secondary schools in Leicestershire, where she was a Head of Department and Lead Practitioner. Whilst teaching Liz gained three years’ experience as a Lead Practitioner of Applied Art and Design with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust; presenting at national conferences for vocational education as well as running seminar workshops for teachers across the country and writing case studies for the SSAT and Learning Skills Development Agency. She also provided consultation to the BBC advising on subject content of ‘Bitesize Applied Art and Design’ programmes and wrote support materials to accompany the series.

Liz is also a practising artist.

Michael Bird - History (Primary and Secondary)
Michael Bird

Michael Bird is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, and Head of the Initial Teacher Education Department. He is a passionate historian, author, researcher and teacher and helped to inaugurate the History PGCE at the University in 2014. He is also a regular contributor to the Historical Association, co founder of the website Teacher Learning, experienced consultant, external examiner and a qualified tourist guide. He is a great believer in teachers’ becoming authorities in their own practice and a strong advocate for new and innovative models of teacher learning and development.

Paul Clayton - English (Secondary)
Paul Clayton

Paul has taught in secondary schools for over thirty years, fifteen of those as a senior leader. In addition, he has been the CEO for the National Association for the Teaching of English; a local authority advisor for English; a university lecturer; a teacher trainer; a writer of successful study guides, course books and educational resources; a lead practitioner for the British Film Institute; a regional lead for the National Literacy Trust, an Ofqual “Expert” for English and Media Studies; and an examiner for all the major exam boards for both Language and Literature, GCSE and A Level.

He brings this wealth of diverse experience to his role as CPD Associate. However, he is the first to admit, that he still feels he has much to learn, and is quick to recognise and acknowledge the expertise of colleagues, teachers and other educational professionals. He visits schools across the UK, often providing whole school and departmental support and training. He is also invited to speak at national events and to be part of policy forming discussion panels. His passion and enthusiasm for English and for teaching still grows; just as his belief that teachers can be creative in their practice without compromising outstanding outcomes for their learners remains undiminished.

Peter Kennedy - Drama (Primary and Secondary)
Peter Kennedy

Peter Kennedy is a drama in education specialist and course leader with more than twenty five years’ experience of providing learners of all ages with engaging and inspiring drama experiences.

As Consultant Practitioner on Stockport’s Drama, Engagement, Active Learning programme (DEAL), Peter works with children and teachers, equipping both with this powerful pedagogy to make learning memorable and irresistible.

“On behalf of us all, we’d just like to say a MASSIVE thank you for inspiring and exciting us … the energy and pedagogy that you have is invaluable and has left us as a school raring to go!”
Deputy Head

Peter also works in partnership with individual primary schools and multi academy trusts to develop their use of drama to enrich the curriculum as well as to support writing and emotional well being. As part of the North West Drama Services team Peter directs both the Stockport and Oldham Children’s Shakespeare Festivals, promoting cross curricular and performance work.
Previously, Peter was Head of Drama at The Kingsway School (Stockport) leading a thriving drama department in a twelve form entry comprehensive school and, as an Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, Peter supported the development of trainee teachers.

Since 2005, Peter has led both primary and secondary courses for teachers in Shropshire.

Rebecca Kitchen - Geography (Secondary)
Rebecca Kitchen

Rebecca is the Head of Professional Development at the Geographical Association, the subject association for all teachers of geography. Becky taught for sixteen years at Aylesbury High School before joining the Geographical Association as a member of staff in September 2015. During her time as Head of Geography, the department achieved the Secondary Geography Quality Mark Centre of Excellence on three occasions. Becky was also awarded Chartered Geographer status in 2008, the Royal Geographical Society Ordnance Survey Award for excellence in teaching geography in 2009 and the Geographical Association Award for excellence in leading geography in 2014.

Becky has written and contributed to a large body of professional and curriculum materials: books, CPD courses, newspaper and journal articles and website materials on behalf of organisations including the Geographical Association, Collins, Cambridge University Press, Pearson, Teachit , RGS IBG, SecEd and Teach Secondary. She also has an interest in Geography Education Research; in 2017 she completed a doctorate at the University of Cambridge exploring ethnic minority representations of geographical knowledge and linking these with post 14 subject choices.

As a result of her work in this area she currently sits on the Geography Education Research Collective (GEReCO) with IGU CGE UK sub committee. Becky’s role at the GA involves leading and managing all aspects of professional development. A specific aspect of her work is leading on the Geography Quality Marks which aims to enable subject leaders to raise the standards of geography in school, supporting the teaching of quality geography and promoting department leadership and management. She has also worked with a number of organisations and external partners. For example, she worked as an international expert on curriculum reform in Croatia, project managed a DfE funded programme focusing on critical thinking for achievement in geography and science and designed bespoke training for organisations including STAR Institute, The National College and the Creative Education Trust.


Richard Smith - Computing (Primary)
Richard Smith

Richard runs a range of courses in the areas of Computing and Internet safety. These include subject leader courses and practical training that help staff to develop confidence. Richard is the named person who Shropshire safeguarding officers refer schools to for internet safety advice and CPD (Continuous Professional Training). Courses have included coding, robotics, greenscreen and computer aided design.

He set up his own company, AmazingICT, thirteen years ago to inspire teachers to make better use of technology. He works in three different schools every week to support their development and runs a range of courses both locally and nationally.

Richard helps to run a Computing at School community that offers free advice and tips to teachers of Computing. Enquiries about the latest courses and internet safety resources can be sent to Richard actively shares ideas via Twitter to help staff.


Get in touch

Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams

UCS CPD Co-ordinator

Pam Welsh

UCS CPD Administrator


UCS CPD Hub - General Enquiries