Staff Profiles


Mrs Catherine Carden

Faculty Director Learning and Teaching

School: Faculty of Education Faculty Office

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923841

Profile summary

I am Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching within the Faculty of Education.  My role empcompasses strategic leadership of learning and teaching, student experience and staff development within The Faculty which focuses on students support, wellbeing, recruitment, retention, engagement, success and employability as well as ensuring that Faculty staff are aware of, and are accessing, appropraite staff development to meet both their own and Faculty needs.  In order to deliver this work I lead a team of Faculty Leads.  

As a senior leader within the Faculty I am committed to ensuring that all prospective and current students and alumni have the best possible academic opportunities and that their learning experiences are transformational enabling them to develop personally and professionally to enjoy highly successful careers within their chosen field.

My career in education began in 1998 when I worked in Further Education.  I then held a variety of teaching and leadership roles within secondary education before moving into Higher Education in 2008 where I have held a variety of roles and taught on a wide range of programmes to date.

In 2015, I was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship for innovation in learning and teaching.  

In recognition of my contribution to teaching, I was awarded a Fellowship of the Chartered College of Teaching in 2019.

My philosophy on education is centred around the positive role that education has to play in transforming the lives of, and providing opportunities for all through effective learning, support, development and mentorship.  I am an advocate for positive and psychologically safe working cultures and belief that the creation of such cultures results in significant improvements in achievement, outcomes and producitivty as well as wellbeing, happiness, morale and, as a result, retention.

Research and knowledge exchange

My teaching, research and enterprise work focusses around educational leadership, where I am particularly interested in social and emotionally intelligent leadership, women in leadership, wellbeing within education and the power of effective mentoring and coaching. 

I have a significant interest in the political and wider landscape of education and how political policy impacts professional practice and pedagogy, learning and teaching approaches and school cultures and leadership.

I am a regular contributor to Primary School Management and Teach Primary Magazines as well as contributing podcasts and blogs for a range of educational companies and publications and chapters for various publishers.

I have worked with schools on a range of development days, including development sessions on mentoring, approaches to lesson observations for middle and senior leaders, creativity and reflection, using AfL to inform planning and innovative approaches to teacher development and professional learning.

Through knowledge exchange funding I collaborated in work to explore the views that headteachers had around teacher education and partnership with the University which led to further work to investigate how the University could explore new models of education working.  This work developed into a proposal to explore University Training Schools.

Teaching and subject expertise

My teaching career began in 1998 in Further Education where I taught on a range o f Post 16 qualifications at a range of levels.  I also led course areas and curriculum development.  From FE I moved into secondary education choosing to work in a large school in an area of high deprivation. I held a variety of middle and senior leadership roles during my time at the school culminating in the role of Head of Sixth Form before taking up the position of Senior Lecturuer in Initial Teacher Education at Canterbury Christ Chruch. 

During my time to date at CCCU I have had the privilege of contributing to and leading a range of programmes including PGCE 14-19, PGCE 7-14, GTP (now School Direct), PGCE and BA(Hons) Primary Education. My most recent role as Director of Primary Initial Teacher Education saw me lead our PG and UG primary education (ITE) provision and a large team of around 50 staff and over 1000 students.  I held the post of Director of Primary ITE for 5 years prior to my appointment to Faculty Director fo Learning and Teaching. 

My teaching expertise centres around the educational landscape both in terms of policy and practice, leadership and culture as well as general pedagogy and classroom practice.

Mentoring is a key element of my work and philosophy and I am a mentor for those completing Advance HE fellowship, as well as being  an assessor, for those on the Advance HE  Aurora Female Leadership programme, where I am also a role model and  I  currently mentor four early career teachers working in primary education. 

In 2019 I was awareded Senior Fellowship of Advance HE.

External activities

Beyond the University, but linked to my role, I have held a seconded 1 year post (0.4) within a large teaching school alliance, sat on a variety of educational steering groups and round tables, most recently contributing at roundtable events for the DfE ITT Core Content review led by Prof Sam Twiselton. 

I have been an external examiner and sat as an external on different validation panels, something I also undertake internally within the University.

I  serve as a Chair of Governors in a Local Authority CofE Primary School having been appointed to the Interim Executive Board in 2014 with the remit of supporting the school to move out of special measures.

Frequently, I review educational books and book proposals on behalf of a range of publishers, including Routledge, Critical Publishing and Sage.

I have presented at a range of conferences and events.

My external work and activities include:

  • Founding Fellow Charthered College of Teaching (FCCT) awarded March 2019
  • Senior Fellow Advance HE (2019)
  • Contributor to roundtable discussion groups for DfE ITT Core Content Framework; Mental Health and Wellbeing and Mentoring and Coaching (Autumn 2019)
  • Chair of Governing Body (Primary) (2016-present)
  • Interim Executive Board member of a local primary school (2014-2016)
  • Governor of a primary school and Chair of the Finance and Premises Committee (2010 - 2014)
  • Steering group member for a large academy trust chain
  • Secondment (0.4) to a teaching school alliance to support teaching school development
  • External examiner for school direct programmes; University of Greenwich
  • External Validation Panel Member; University of Derby, University of Greenwich
  • Presentation Panel Member - Southwark Diocese Headteacher Conference
  • Curriculum writer for examination group Edexcel Conference presentations: TEAN, Teacher Development Agency, CCCU, University of Bergen, BrewEd North London, Open University

Publications and research outputs

Carden.C (in production) Debates in Primary Leadership in Debates in Primary Education. Abingdon. Routledge 

Carden.C et al (2020) The Impact of Mentoring. Teach Primary. Expected April 2020

Carden.C & Bower.V (2020) The Importance of Teacher Development Teach Primary expected March 2020

Carden.C (2020) We Train Dogs, We Must Education Teachers (part 2). Bowden Education Blog 14 Jan 2020 

Carden.C (2019) Teacher wellbeing and work-life balance.  Podcast. 1 Dec 2019. 

Carden.C & Bower.V (2019) Un-Boot Camp. Bowden Education Blog 4 Nov 2019.

Carden.C & Bower.V (2019) The Importance and Values of Professional Learning and Development. Bowden Education Blog 16 Oct 2019 

Carden.C (2019) Is a Work-Life Balance Unattainable? Primary School Management 3.5 12 June 2019

Carden.C (2019) Are you a leader or a manager? Primary School Management 3.4 17 May 2019

Carden.C (2019) Leadership can be lonely. Primary School Management 3.3 April 2019 

Carden.C & Warnock.J (2019) Fight For Your Rights. Teach Primary. 4 March 2019

Carden.C & Warnock.J (2019) When the going gets tough. Primary School Management. 22 February 2019

Carden.C & Bower.V (2018) What is teaching? in Carden.C Ed (2018) Primary Teaching: learning and teaching in primary schools today. London. Learning Matters Sage.

Carden.C Ed (2018) Primary Teaching: learning and teaching in primary schools today. London. Learning Matters Sage

Carden.C (2013) Mum, What happens if I don't pass the test? Teach Primary 7:8

Carden.C (2013) We Train Dogs: We Must Educate Teachers. Considered. Available at: 9 May 2013

Carden.C (2009) Classroom Activities for GCSE Leisure and Tourism (Edexcel) Llandysul. Travel and Tourism Publishing

Carden.C (2009) Classroom Activities for GCSE Leisure and Tourism (AQA) Llandysul. Travel and Tourism Publishing

Carden.C (2009) Classroom Activities for GCSE Leisure and Tourism (OCR) Llandysul. Travel and Tourism Publishing


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Last edited: 29/01/2019 15:27:00