Lisa Pollard - PGCE Secondary ITE, Mathematics and MA Education
Having studied her PGCE and MA at UWE Bristol, and worked in teaching for over a decade, Lisa is now helping to run a DFE initiative to improve maths education in over 1,000 schools.
“My interest in teaching was sparked when I worked as a dance teacher in the early 1990s, before embarking on my maths degree. I’d always felt education was important and felt particularly strongly about equal access to it, being the first person in my family to go to university.
"When it came to teaching, I knew I wanted to work in schools with more disadvantage students; those who didn’t know they had a chance to get an education. And UWE Bristol had a big focus on those areas, so it stood out to me as the place for me to get my PGCE.
"I was placed in two schools in areas of low social mobility, with lots of challenges – and I relished the opportunity to work with children and try and get them switched onto maths."
"I went straight onto my MA in Education because I wanted to keep learning and pushing myself in my practice. If we want to be role models for the young people we’re teaching, I think it’s important they see us challenging ourselves as well.
"During and after my master’s, I taught maths in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, took on a head of maths and computing role, and later a senior leadership position in a the Cabot Learning Federation, comprising of 16 South West schools.
"I now lead one of 35 national Maths Hubs as part of a DFE flagship initiative to improve maths education across England. I’ve gone from working in a school with 1,000 pupils to working with 1,000 teachers, but I still like to go into classes and teach whenever possible, to keep myself grounded and have that direct contact with pupils, and up-to-date classroom practice.
"For me, UWE Bristol was a perfect fit, as we share a lot of the same ideas about education – primarily the belief that anyone can achieve great things, with faith, hard work and a bit of support. They’re now one of our key partners within the Maths Hub, and we are working together on maths teacher training and making sure today and tomorrow’s maths teachers are as well-equipped as they can be."