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Glenn Millington

Glenn Millington

Working at Edge Hill is a real pleasure. Every day I look forward to coming in and working. The campus and my colleagues make it an exciting and vibrant place to work with lots of opportunities to forward my career.

Supervisors: Dr. David Allan, Dr. Ian Shirley, Professor Vicky Duckworth

Please tell us a little bit about yourself 

I am currently working as a humanities lecturer predominantly within secondary initial teacher education.

Previously, I worked as a secondary RE teacher for over 15 years and became interested in socio-economic disadvantage and issues relating to education and social justice. This led to my research which focuses on the impact of deprivation on schools and school leaders, particularly within my home town of Blackpool.

Why were you interested in a PhD?

I began to write educational blogs and became interested in practical advice around identifying barriers for schools in closing the socio-economic attainment gap. This led to an interest in the theoretical causes of educational disadvantage, and in particular the structural inequalities which were preventing real change. I took the opportunity to take this further at Edge Hill and make this the focus of my PhD thesis.

What inspired you to study at Edge Hill?

The opportunity to become a graduate teaching assistant was extremely interesting for me. The programme offered an incredible opportunity to help my transition to higher education teaching. I was provided with expert guidance from an experienced team to help me develop my PhD thesis. The programme also offered me the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience, and to complete a PGCTHE, which is a Higher Education Academy (HEA) accredited programme providing an opportunity for staff involved in teaching and supporting student learning to improve their professional practice and therefore their own students’ learning. I really enjoyed my time as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and I have been fortunate to have secured a permanent position at Edge Hill University. I would highly recommend this pathway to anyone who would like to pursue a career in academia.

Why did you choose to study at Edge Hill Faculty of Education?

The focus of my interests are around education, and I was aware that the Faculty has a wealth of experience of academics who were also interested in issues relating to social justice and inclusion.

What are the top 3 skills your PhD/ GTA position supported you to develop? How are you using those skills now?

The programme has helped me to teach effectively within higher education. This is benefitting me greatly now, as I seek to prepare trainee teachers for their future within the profession. It has also helped me to write academically. I have received a great deal of support from colleagues enabling my writing ability to develop. Finally, it has allowed me to become more of a reflective practitioner. I am able to consider more carefully my own teaching and in turn this benefits the trainee teachers that I work with.

What insight did you gain from your studies and how was this supported by your supervisors and the Faculty’s research development programme?

My supervisory team suggested theoretical approaches which matched my own ideas. As a result of this, I became very interested in the work of Bourdieu and was able to relate his ‘thinking tools’ to my own practice and research.

What did you most enjoy about your GTA studentship, what were the challenges, and how have you overcome these?

I really enjoyed the dual role of student and teacher and being able to shift between these different positions each week. The challenge for me was particular to the time I completed the programme which was during the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. This provided enormous challenges for my teaching and my research which needed to be overcome.

What’s the best thing about EHU FOE to you?

The best thing is the people. All of my colleagues are extremely generous with their time. I find this is particularly the case with early career researchers like myself.

How did your PhD support your career progression?

Completing the PhD has opened lots of doors for me. It has helped me to secure full time employment at Edge Hill. It has also enabled me to have opportunities for further research and writing.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying a PhD at EHU?

I would say do it! It is something I am extremely pleased to have done and would highly recommend to others.

Working at Edge Hill is a real pleasure. Every day I look forward to coming in and working. The campus and my colleagues make it an exciting and vibrant place to work with lots of opportunities to forward my career.