Ms Tracy Wallis

Head of Student Experience, Progression, Attainment and Employability

Email address: Phone number: 01902 322893 Location: Walsall Faculty: Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing School/Institute: Institute of Education Areas of expertise: Research supervision – up to Level 7, Philosophy for Children, Accredited Prevent Facilitator


I joined the University of Wolverhampton in September 2007 as a Senior Lecturer on the Primary Initial Teacher Training Team after spending 13 years as a Primary class teacher across a variety of schools in the West Midlands.

 Since January 2017 I have been Head of Student Experience, Progression, Attainment and Employability in the Faculty of Education, Health and Well-being. This is a seconded role which works across the Faculty’s 5 Institutes. I work closely with other Faculties, the Dean of Students, International Centre, Student Enabling Centre and other corporate services to identify and share good practice, and in collectively shaping and enhancing the University student experience. My role involves leading on the National Student Survey and other University student survey activities and systematically analysing the information in order to co-ordinate and monitor implementation of faculty and course level action plans. I also work with staff, student advisors, students and their representatives to develop and lead the implementation of a faculty level strategy for enhancing student engagement. I lead on the development and embedding of mechanisms for student voice and partnership towards the delivery of an excellent, market-leading student experience across the faculty, through all modes of delivery.  I monitor and analyse data on student satisfaction, progression, attainment and employability and take responsibility for providing reports to faculty executive, course teams and for quality assurance purposes and initiate interventions to achieve faculty targets in these areas. With regards to the employability of our students I Iead developments to promote employability, entrepreneurship and enterprise in curricula. I work collaboratively with staff and departments across the university (for example with alumni, programme teams, outreach, student union and business development managers).  In the Faculty we enjoy high employment rates of our students and had 96% in employment at the end of their studies last year. In order to continue this, I liaise with external agencies and develop and implement strategies, such as Challenge Academy and the Wolverhampton Employment and Enterprise Award, both of which contribute towards the employability of students.

As a Principal Lecturer, I am engaged in recruitment, selection and induction across the faculty including research posts and I have carried out staff appraisals and supported the probationary periods of new staff to the primary team. I have engaged in management toolkit training and completed all mandatory online training. As well as external partners, I work strategically with colleagues both across the Faculty and the University. The interdependent relationship between systems, administration and academic staff is vital to securing quality of provision for the students and my ability to work so closely with administration staff is a key skill for a PL role. I have worked closely with senior colleagues across the Faculty to develop our portfolio and ensure consistency of the brand and vision that we offer in order to develop an excellent market-leading student experience.

Effective interpersonal and people management skills are essential as a Principal Lecturer. These skills have been strengthened through my membership of strategic alliance groups operating across Birmingham and the Black Country as well as in my roles as a vice-chair of Governors at a mainstream school in the Black Country and a Director on the board of a large multi-academy trust of special schools in Birmingham. My duties have included chairing meetings; recruiting staff; liaising with senior leaders and business managers with regard to CPD; brokering the deployment of Senior Leaders in Education (SLEs) and enhancing the research and development aspect of the Teaching Schools agenda by engaging with teachers and support staff on action research. I have been involved in head teacher appraisals and target setting; financial monitoring; disciplinary hearings and monitoring of performance management. These roles allow me to see a much wider view of working with schools and extended services.

I currently teach on the post-graduate masters courses in the Institute of Education. The students on the Masters course are from diverse backgrounds and entry points onto the course. They are full-time, part-time and, quite often, international students. I am module leader for ‘Critical Reflection and Reflexivity in Professional Contexts’. This is a core module and involves students in reflecting upon their professional backgrounds and educational positioning to reflect upon their continuing professional development as change agents in both educational and non-educational contexts. I am currently involved in adapting and planning to teach this module to a group of doctors as part of their educational module and CPD. I also supervise final dissertations at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In line with university policy, I assess, mark and moderate masters level work and sit on the award and module boards for the masters level provision.

 In addition to my full-time job at the University and my Governance responsibilities, I have previously held External Examiner posts at the Universities of Bedford and of Northampton for undergraduate and PGCE university and school based programmes respectively. I am currently external examiner at St. Mary’s University Twickenham for their undergraduate QTS routes. The external examiner roles enable me to see undergraduate and postgraduate courses from the viewpoint of a critical friend. I can exchange ideas for improving practice across the different programmes at my own institution making suggestions to further strengthen provision.

With regard to research and scholarly activity, I am currently enrolled on the Professional Doctorate programme at the thesis writing stage. My research interests are focused around teacher identity and resilience, centred upon how student teachers on school-led routes into teaching are facilitated to develop their identities as teachers and build resilience. I hope to submit my thesis in the spring of 2018. Previously, I presented two papers at the University staff research conference in July 2014 and another at the UCET conference in November 2014 in collaboration with a colleague. I sit on the editorial board of a recently launched peer review journal - Pedagogy in Practice (PiP). I regularly present at both internal and external doctoral presentation events and conferences. I am a full member of BERA. I also sit on the Education Ethics committee demonstrating that I am able to support and enable the research and enterprise activities of the faculty. My short term aims are to complete my application for Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy; to complete my doctorate and publish papers in peer-reviewed journals from my thesis and my current strategic role. I would also like to continue with my postgraduate teaching commitments and eventually teach on the professional doctorate programme and supervise theses.

Research interests

  • Educational research, teacher development and CPD


  • Masters (Level 7), Education, P/T, University of Wolverhampton
  • BEd (HONS), English, Newman College, University of Birmingham, 2:1


Paper delivered with Diane Swift (University of Wolverhampton) at the University’s Staff Research Conference in May 2011 - “Enabling Participation: supporting Trainee Teachers to participate in the 2011 National Curriculum Review: call for evidence.”

This article appears  in the “Insight Cumbria” repository for wider dissemination across the academic world.

Article published in TEAN online Journal January 2011: “Building Partnerships for success: a model for working with teacher trainers, mentors and trainees."

Prepared findings of small research project as a report for University Executive with Maggie Leese (formerly University of Wolverhampton) This project looked into the impact of changes to the Personal Tutor system for Level 5 trainees on the B.Ed programme and Level 4 trainees on Subject and Joint Honours Award programmes (SJA).

Book Reviews published by EsCalate

Primary English Teaching Theory and Practice 4th edition  (2009) Medwell J.,  Wray, D., Minns, H., Coates, E. &  Griffiths, V. Review published January 2010.

Primary Science: Teaching Theory and Practice, 4th Edition (2009) Sharp, J., Peacock, G., Johnsey,R., Simon, S., Smith,R., Cross, A. and Harris, D. Review Published November 2009.

Assessment for Learning and Teaching in Primary Schools, 2nd edition (2008) Briggs, M., Woodfield, A., Swatton, P., et al. Review published September 2008 Extending Knowledge in Practice: Primary English (2008) Medwell, J. and Wray,D. Review published May 2008

Extending Knowledge in Practice: Primary English (2008) Medwell, J. and Wray,D. Review published May 2008

Previous professional experience

Head of Education Partnerships (Primary)

  • Strategic partnership role developing working relationships with internal and external partners, including other ITE providers.
  • Growing CPD and research models both here at the University and in partner settings to provide opportunities for growth and development beyond ITE.
  • Developing partnership systems, administration and paperwork to enhance the work of the partnership.
  • Liaising with the senior leadership teams of multi-academy trusts and alliances to meet their individual and diverse needs. 

Brays Teaching School,  Birmingham, Teaching School Manager

  • Setting up School Direct Tuition programme and recruitment procedures
  • Recruitment and selection of ITE trainees to School Direct tuition in partnership with the Alliance and UoW
  • Brokering school- to school support and CPD opportunities across the Alliance and Beyond
  • Brokering support from Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) and recruiting new SLEs
  • Involvement in Research and Development opportunities including evaluation of the programme through writing annual report

Senior Lecturer in ITT, University of Wolverhampton, Institute of Education

  • Admissions tutor for B.Ed primary routes
  • Teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate modules
  • Co-ordinating primary language provision for trainees
  • Supervising trainees on attachment in school
  • Supervising undergraduate dissertations
  • Primary EBITT manager
  • Writing of School Evaluation Documents

University Teaching

  • Professional Studies 2 (module leader), GTP English and Professional Development (module leader) and Wider Curriculum Primary Languages sessions across the B.Ed course and PGCE courses.
  • Taught Primary Languages to all years of the B.Ed course as well as postgraduate trainees.
  • Successful implementation of English Learning Journal into GTP course. The use of Learning Journals has been a significant development with regard to formative assessment and one that has impacted on trainees’ achievements.  Learning Journals have been recognised as strength by colleagues, trainees, external examiners and OfSTED.
  • Successfully ran language upskilling for final year B.Ed students for two years and secured further £7400 in funding to run this programme for a third year.
  • PGCE and B.Ed Year 2 Professional Studies (Level 5 and Level 6).
  • PGCE Masters level modules and assessments.

Classteacher, Assistant Head, literacy co-coordinator and TLR for new initiatives, Bleakhouse Junior School, Sandwell MBC

  • Teaching across Key Stage 2
  • Leading the lower school phase group
  • Delivering extensive INSET on new initiatives
  • Leading the transition of children from key stages 1 to 2 and key
  • stages 2 to 3
  • Co-coordinating and heading the introduction of SEAL materials and
  • Leading on the development of MFL into the curriculum
  • Co-ordinate the placements of trainee teachers in school

Class Teacher and DT Coordinator, Brandhall Primary School, Sandwell MBC

  • Class teacher for Years 3, 5 and Year 6 pupils;
  • Co-ordinator for Design Technology

Class Teacher and Drama and Art coordinator, Billesley Junior School, Birmingham

  • Class teacher for Year 3 (NQT year) and Year 6 pupils
  • Co-ordinated Drama activities as part of the English curriculum and coordinated Art for a short period of time

Further information

 Supervising Experience

- Taken lead on Primary ITE admissions and strived to meet challenging recruitment targets. This has incorporated the successful involvement of Partnership mentors in interviewing candidates for Primary ITE courses and led to positive feedback from OfSTED regarding excellent  and ”robust” interviewing and recruitment procedures.

- Supported team during long periods of colleague absence / secondment.

- Lead Personal Tutor for Year 2 on B.Ed route from September 2010 – November 2013, leading a team of personal tutors to provide pastoral support for level 5 trainees.

- Primary EBITT manager from September 2012 – July 2013, this included leading the programme through an OfSTED inspection (March 2013) and writing SEDs for 2012 and 2012-13 and organising External Examiner visits.

- Teaching School Manager for BTSSA – senior leader status in school.

- Head of Education Partnerships (Primary) – Principal Lecturer.

- Head of Student Experience, Progression, Attainment and Employability

Developing Partnership 

- Recruited to BEd (Hons) in Primary Education with EPL and facilitated development of this route with partner institution in Spain (University of Castilla La Mancha in Ciudad Real). This included supporting our trainees on attachment in Spain and Spanish trainees on attachment in schools in the Walsall area.

- Through language upskilling project with final year trainees, I forged links with two local authority advisors and a mentors from partnership schools with a view to extending the impact of language upskilling

- Facilitated successful mentoring in new Partnership schools, building relationships with new schools and mentors through primary languages

- Delivered mentor briefing to PGCE / B.Ed mentors on campus and INSET at new partnership schools on behalf of the Head of Education Partnerships.

- Developing partnerships through my work with BTSSA to include increasing numbers of schools requesting to work with us in partnership on ITE routes.

Scholarly and Research Activity

- Delivery of paper during my first year in HE at Staff Research Conference at the University of Wolverhampton on Mobiles Enhancing Learning and Support (MELAS) with GTP trainees May 2008

- Awarded Masters in Education November 2010

- Successfully passed first year on taught element of the Professional Doctorate at the University (2012-13).

- Preparing for viva presentation on pilot study at the end of the second year of the taught doctorate.

- Attended Philosophy for Children Partner training through SAPRE at the University of Keele.

- Presented two papers at the University of Wolverhampton Research Conference (1st July 2014) on Teachers and Trainee Teachers and Research and Models of School led ITE.

- Delivered at UCET (November 2014) on “Models of School –led ITE building upon the work I have done with BTSSA.

- Sit on the Ethical Approval Committee to approve submissions for research proposals from across the Faculty.

- Joined editorial board of peer-reviewed Journal Pedagogy in practice (PiP) – Spring 2015

Additional information

- Achievement of Grade 1 category from OfSTED as part of Primary Team where achievements in primary languages and as part of my admissions work were noted throughout in the final report.

- Member of the Research into Higher Education (RiHE) cluster and I sit on the Marketing and Recruitment committee.

- From September 2011 I have been External Examiner at the University of Bedford for the B.Ed Primary with QTS

- From September 2013 I have been External Examiner at the University of Northampton for the PGCE core and School Direct routes.

- From March 2015 – present vice-chair of Governors at Old Park Primary in Sandwell – NQT Governor.

- From June 2015 – July 2017 Chair of Governors at Brays and Bridge Schools in Birmingham.