Staff Profile:Deb Heighes

Miss Deb Heighes
Job Title:
Head of Academic Development and Enhancement

I manage the team within CQSD with responsibility for academic staff development, curriculum development and design, and enhancement of teaching and learning, and, with guidance from the Teaching and Learning Deans, provide leadership in this area.

I am the Module Convenor for EDMAP3, which is the optional module of the Academic Practice Programme. I am currently taking the lead on Assessment and Feedback Project. I contribute to FLAIR APP through teaching and tutoring students and the FLAIR CPD route through supporting applicants. I also contribute to other activities such as the Teaching and Learning programme, showcases and the website.


After 20+ years in local secondary schools, initially teaching Chemistry and then as deputy headteacher, I moved to the Institute of Education in 2006 and became a teacher educator. I mainly taught on the PGCE secondary science programmes and professional studies courses. I also contributed to teaching and supervision of students on Master's programmes and second supervisor for two PhD and two EdD students. I was the Secondary ITT Programme Director before joining CQSD in the Autumn 2015.

Director before joining CQSD in the Autumn 2015.


Areas of Interest:
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • The role of dialogic talk in learning
  • Adult learning in a workplace setting

Recent Research Projects:

  • EdD Case study of a school science department as a site of workplace learning.
  • 'Fragmentation of Initial Teacher Education': small scale research with Richard Harris and Caroline Crolla
  • Evaluation of an innovative curriculum: museum learning with Richard Harris, Ellie Francis-Brophy, Gill Hopper, and Melanie Jay
  • Developing and enhancing 'reflective practice' with trainee secondary science teachers to improve outcomes.

IOE Research Fund for "Pupil lesson observers: listening to what children have to say about their involvement in a 'pupil voice' project in a successful girls' school"


Research groups / Centres:


  • Crolla, C.S., Harris, R. J., and Heighes, D. (2014) 'Fragmentation of Initial Teacher Education'. Reworking for Journal of Education for Teaching following two rejections.
  • Ellis, V., Glackin, M., Heighes, D., Norman, M., Nicol, S., Norris, K., Spencer, I. and McNicol, J. (2013) A difficult realisation: the proletarianisation of higher education-based teacher educators. Submitted to Journal of Education for Teaching. Following the publication of the final report of the HEA funded project 'The Work of the Teacher Educator' May 2011.

Enterprise activity, External roles and consultancy:

  • Professional development workshop 'Advanced Assessment', 30 hours over 5 days with primary and secondary teachers in Beijing Jan2015
  • Evaluation of 'Synthetic biology for schools' project, National Centre for Biotechnology Education, funded by Wellcome Foundation (2014-2017).
  • Successful bid for 'Thinkspace' funding submitted Feb 2013. Project will identify appropriate blended learning solutions to the challenge of working with our school partners and trainee teachers (£1000).
  • Successful Outreach and Retention bid submitted in March 2013 to develop training materials that address issues of equality particularly with regard to BME applicants to initial teacher education (£1000).
  • Creating Champions project with the University of West Indies, Jamaica. Professional development for primary and secondary Maths and Science teachers.
  • TiFoLa EU ERASMUS (CLIL) Intensive Project involving trainee teachers from 12 European institutions working together on a two week teaching placement (Holbaek, Denmark 2010, Krems, Austria 2011, planning Reading, UK 2012)
  • External examiner for PGCE Secondary at University of Worcester

Conference presentations:

  • Heighes, D. and Harris, R. J. (2014) 'An evaluation of an innovative
    curriculum: the benefits and challenges of implementing a museum learning curriculum in a high school
    ' Paper presented at ECER, 2014 Porto, Portugal and BERA 2014, London, UK.
  • Crolla, C.S., Harris, R. J., and Heighes, D. (2014) 'Fragmentation of Initial Teacher Education'. Paper presented at BERA 2014, London, UK.
  • Heighes, D. (2014) 'A case study of a secondary science department as a learning environment for trainee science teachers in the light of School Direct' Paper presented at ATSE, 2014, London, UK and BERA 2014, London, UK.
  • Heighes, D. and Rainford, M. (2012, January) 'Assessment for learning practices shared between Jamaican and English teachers - can it work?' Paper presented at the ASE Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK.
  • Thomson, J. and Heighes, D. (2011, September) 'Strategies to advance the ability of trainee science teachers to become reflective practitioners' Sept 2011Paper presented at BERA, London, UK.
  • Heighes, D, and Rainford, M. (2011, June) 'Assessment for learning practices shared between Jamaican and English teachers - can it work?' Paper presented at Biennial Conference on Education at University of West Indies, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
  • Harding, R., Heighes, D. and Kempe, A. (2010) 'The role and attitudes of secondary school staff in the provision of Post 16 Information, Advice and Guidance for Year 11 students.' Paper presented at BERA, Warwick, UK, Progress South Central Conference, Oxford, UK and the Lifelong Learning Network Conference, Manchester, UK.
  • Fuller, C., MacFadyen, T., McCrum, E., Heighes, D., and Kempe, A. (2009) 'What should I do now? An exploration of Information, Advice and Guidance provided for year 11 students?' Paper presented at BERA, Manchester, UK.


I am currently completing my EdD

PGCAP (2011)

FHEA (2011)

Dip Psych (2010)

MA (1990)

PGCE (1984)

BSc (Hons) Chemistry (1981)


Deb Heighes

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 6969

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