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Professor Catherine Reading

Professor, Director of CPD/Professional Development

Professor, Director of CPD/Professional Development in the School of Education+44 (0) 191 33 48318


As the Director of Professional Development, I lead the professional learning offer in the School of Education, working with national and international partners to support opportunities and deliver bespoke courses, both online and face-to-face.  As part of my role at Durham, I am involved with outreach and engagement with local schools, providing professional development courses in primary and secondary education and organising events to promote participation.

I graduated with a BSc(Hons) in Medicinal Chemistry at University College London in 1991 with an interest in neuropharmacology. As a Graduate Assistant, I continued this work by designing and synthesising 5-HT1A (Serotonin) receptor partial agonists. After completing the PGCE Science programme at Durham University in 1993, I taught and held leadership roles in London and North East schools before joining the School of Education in 2009. Over the past fifteen years, I have contributed to a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching as Module Convenor and in various leadership roles as PGCE Science Leader and Programme Director of the BA(Ed) Primary course. My Masters in Online and Distance Education developed a passion for technology-enhanced learning, evident in our Teacher Education offer and CPD courses.

From 2017 to 2023, I held the Director of Professional Programmes role and was responsible for delivering all teacher education in the School. This included several innovative routes into teaching and Masters level courses, including Undergraduate and Postgraduate routes for Core and School Direct provision, an International PGCE and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Theory for local and international partners.

Research interests

  • Communities of Practice
  • International and Comparative Education
  • Peer Review
  • Professional Learning and Development
  • Science Education

Esteem Indicators

  • 2000: Prizes and Awards: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, SFHEA, 2017

    Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching, HEA Award, LFHE, 2017

    Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award, Durham University, 2016

    Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award, 2016

    Chartered Science Teacher, CSci Teach, 2015

  • 2000: Professional Development Offer - International: Developing Pedagogic Knowledge through School Immersion

    Developing Pedagogic Knowledge and English Language through School Immersion

    An Immersion in the British School Context

    The Autonomous Teacher (online)

  • 2000: Internal Seminars and Workshops: Earth Sciences Department, Feb 2018. Observations in Earth Sciences; developing evaluative judgements.

    Learning and Teaching Network, April 2017.  Using Peer Review to develop evaluative judgements.

    Learning and Teaching Network, March 2017 Gaining an Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award.

    Learning and Teaching Network, Sept 2016 Gaining an Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award.

  • 2000: Conference Talks: International Assessment in Higher Education Conference, Manchester, June 2018. Developing as a peer reviewer: enhancing student graduate attributes.

    Durham Teaching and Learning Conference, September 2017. Transitions in a professional programme: scaffolding the development of an essential profesional attribute through peer review.

    TEAN conference, Aston University, May 2017. Using Peer Review to develop evaluative judgements.

  • 2000: Professional Memberships: Senior Fellow of the HEA

    Member UCET Management Forum

    Member Russell Group ITE

    Member of RSc (MRSC)

    Member of ASE Futures

    Vice-Chair ASE North