Cambridge University Reporter


Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Professorship of Education

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The Faculty of Education is one of the largest and most successful concentrations of educational research and teacher educators in the UK. Research in the Faculty was rated '5' in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise and over the last seven years the Faculty has undertaken more than 80 externally funded research projects with a combined value of £8m.

2. Since its establishment in 2001, through the convergence of the University School of Education and the teaching and research in education of Homerton College, a strong research profile has developed in each of five academic groupings: Equality and Development; Leading Learning for School Improvement; Pedagogy, Language, Arts, and Culture in Education; Psychology and Neuroscience in Education; Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education. This structure, together with the growth of specialist centres and networks under professorial leadership (the Centre for Commonwealth Education, the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, and the Cambridge Leadership for Learning Network), has generated research income and an international reputation for research and teaching. The Faculty's Strategic Plan for 2007-12 commits to developing research and teaching excellence further through the reorientation and consolidation of activities within the academic groupings.

3. The Faculty of Education currently comprises 70 members of academic staff including nine Professors and three Readers. The role of the professoriate is particularly important in this Faculty in developing the research profiles of new colleagues recently appointed to positions concerned with teacher education. The current professoriate is thinly spread across academic groupings, some of which bring together large numbers of academic staff and research students. It is therefore proposed that a new Professor of Education take a central role in offering strategic leadership within one or more of the groups, participating in teaching and research, generating research income, and maintaining a high international profile.

4. The Faculty Board of Education have therefore recommended the establishment of a Professorship of Education, with effect from 1 October 2008, and this has been endorsed by the Council of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences. In order to meet the costs of the Professorship, the Faculty Board of Education have proposed that the University Lectureships to be released from abeyance following the early retirements of Dr J. Anghileri and Dr P. J. Cunningham, on 30 September 2008, be suppressed. The Council of the School have agreed to meet any shortfall in funding from within the current level of allocation. The General Board have accepted the Faculty Board's proposal for the establishment of the Professorship on this basis. They have accordingly agreed that, if the recommendations of this Report are approved, they will suppress the aforementioned University Lectureships.

5. The Board are satisfied that an appointment at this level will be likely to attract a strong field of applicants. They are assured that suitable accommodation is available in the Faculty of Education for the Professor and the Faculty Board have undertaken to provide the necessary support and facilities. The Board have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board of Education that election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors and that candidature should be open to all persons whose work falls within the title of the Professorship.

6. The General Board recommend:

That a Professorship of Education be established in the University from 1 October 2008, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Faculty of Education.