Simon Asquith is Head of the Department of Professional Education in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. As such he leads the department that includes both the Early Years and Primary and the Secondary Postgraduate Diploma in Education programmes amongst other taught programmes and research activity connected to the professional sphere of education. He is also national chair of the Association for Partnership in Teacher Education (APTE) and sits on the Executive Committee of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET).
Simon has taught in the school sector in Leeds, Bradford and Cumbria and has lectured in geography and in geographical and environmental education at Liverpool Hope University, with expertise including the social, economic and political geographies of Central and Eastern Europe. He has held leadership roles in teacher education and partnership at Liverpool Hope and the University of Cumbria and has written a range of books mainly in the field of primary geography and geographical learning.
Recent research activity has focused on school leader identities and positioning in the context of government policy on teacher education and approaches to teacher learning within changing partnership contexts.
Before becoming Head of the Department of Professional Education at the University of Birmingham, Simon Asquith worked as a teacher and in two other universities. Having completed Masters study within the School of Geography and initial teacher training within the School of Education, both at the University of Leeds, he taught in schools in Leeds, Bradford and Cumbria before becoming a senior lecturer in geography at Liverpool Hope University. His career in schools allowed him to develop a particular interest and expertise in outdoor and field-based learning.
Whilst at Liverpool, Simon led modules and programmes in cultural and historical geography, the social, economic and political geographies of transition and transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, and geographical education. He helped lead a number of intensive fieldwork-based modules in Romania and France and developed a range of teacher education placement opportunities, particularly in Romania. Latterly at Liverpool Hope Simon was Director of Undergraduate Initial Teacher Training and became increasingly involved in teacher education development work at the regional level in the North West. He developed and taught a range of in-service programmes for schools across the North West, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland and worked nationally with the Geographical Association, particularly in connection with its journals and resources for teachers. Simon completed a number of major writing projects for educational publishers including a number of series of books on primary geography and contributed regularly to a number of educational periodicals.
Simon then held a range of leadership positions at the University of Cumbria including those of Partnership Manager (Initial Teacher Education), Director of School Partnerships and Associate Head of the School of Educational Partnership and Enterprise. His work at Cumbria included the strategic development of partnerships across an extensive and diverse range of partner organisations and the development of educational enterprise. He took a lead role in projects including the north west Masters in Teaching and Learning and a range of government initiatives in teacher education in partnership with schools.
Since 2004, Simon has been national chair of the Association for Partnership in Teacher Education (APTE) growing and developing the association in its scope, representation and impact and delivering its annual national conferences for the sector. In this role he has worked closely with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (formerly called the Teaching Agency), National College for School Leadership and Ofsted and as national chair of APTE has supported the National College for Teaching and Leadership in developing and updating the ‘Self Evaluation Document’ and Ofsted in its development of initial teacher education inspection methodology.
Recent research centres on the positioning and identity of headteachers and school leaders as they lead their schools but also become increasingly involved in teacher education. Simon’s work with schools, universities and other providers as impacted on and framed by shifting government policy has provided the impetus for this work and has led to interest in ways in which professionals and academics from different contexts can work together in system change for schools and teacher education.
Asquith, S. (2006) ‘Theory, Practice and Research: a Rationale for Primary Geography and Overview of Recent Developments’. Chapter in: Cooper, H., Rowley, C. &. Asquith, S (Eds) Geography 3-11: A Guide for Teachers. London: David Fulton. pp1-13.
Asquith, S. (2002) “Assessing the Standards.” In: Simco, N. & Wilson, T. (Eds) Primary Initial Teacher Training and Education: Revised Standards, Bright Future?’ Learning Matters: Exeter. pp70-81.
Garner, W., Norton, L., Asquith, S., Beaumont, A. & Caldecott, S. (2002) “The distance learning task as a pedagogical context for learning technologies: Are students' and tutors' perceptions similar?” In: Rust, C. (Ed) Improving Student Learning Using Learning Technology (Proceedings of the 2001 9th International Symposium) The Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development: Oxford.
Light, D., Dumbraveanu, D. & Asquith, S. (2000) “Smuggling and the Border Landscape of South West Romania.” In: Light, D. & Phinnemore, D. (Eds) Post-Communist Romania: Geographical Perspectives. Liverpool Hope Press: Liverpool. pp107-114.
Asquith, S. (1997) Geography Curriculum Bank Key Stage One. Scholastic: Leamington Spa.
Asquith, S. (1997) Geography Curriculum Bank Key Stage Two Places. Scholastic: Leamington Spa.
Asquith, S., Chambers, B. & Donert, K. (1996) Geography Curriculum Bank Key Stage Two Themes. Scholastic: Leamington Spa.
Asquith, S., Jervis, P., Lancaster, J., Lancaster, L. & Starkie, S. (1996) Oxford Primary Geography. Book 4. OUP: Oxford.
Asquith, S., Jervis, P., Lancaster, J., Lancaster, L. & Starkie, S. (1996) Oxford Primary Geography. Teachers’ Book 4. OUP: Oxford.