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Ms Sarah Stewart

Profile summary

Professional biography

Sarah Stewart (BA Hons; PGCE with QTS; MA Education) is a Senior Lecturer at The Open University in the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport.

Sarah is the Director of the PGCE programme in Wales which saw its first cohort of students graduate in 2022. This innovative new two year programme seeks to widen access to teaching and promote diversification of the education workforce in order to support Welsh Government’s national aspirations of reformed, high-quality initial teacher education (ITE).

Sarah has worked in Higher Education (HE) for over ten years, supporting educators in both formal and non-formal education settings, developing a wide expertise across  phases and sectors and drawing on a multi-disciplinary approach to her work. She has a particular interest in supporting initial teacher education and teacher education for practising teachers. Sarah is Chair of the OU ITE Partnership Committee which has strategic oversight of a pan-Wales school partnership of over three hundred Primary and Secondary schools. Sarah is a member of UCET Cymru which takes a particular interest in quality within initial teacher education in Wales. Sarah also supports the Tumble Family Centre as trustee in her role as community councillor and is a School Governor for a local Primary school. Sarah is also a member of the policy group for Children in Wales.

Prior to working in HE, Sarah was a practising secondary English school teacher and taught in rural Welsh medium schools, as well as an inner-city academy in England.

Research interests

Sarah’s broad research interests are best characterised by a focus on issues of social equity and justice within education and its role in supporting quality and innovation in teaching and learning. Sarah is particularly interested in research which takes a collaborative form. Sarah is commencing her final year of a taught Doctorate in Education which explores the conceptualisation of children’s rights within the Welsh context and in relation the new Curriculum for Wales framework which is due to begin in schools from September 2022.

As Chair of the OU ITE Partnership, she also has a keen interest in supporting the Welsh Government aim of increasing the research-capacity across the teaching workforce in Wales. Sarah  works closely with the programme’s Research Associate and Curriculum Tutors to oversee a transformative strategy aimed at building student teachers’, mentors’ and tutors’ engagement with educational research to support professional practice and to engage in close-to-practice research as a means of improving the quality of teaching and learning in schools.

Teaching interests

Sarah's teaching interests lay in bringing together her knowledge and expertise of effective pedagogy within different settings and across different phases and places a particular emphasis on the relational nature of good teaching. Sarah leads an academic team of ten Curriculum Tutors and is also an academic lead for the programme of professional learning for the community of Practice Tutors who support assessment of student teachers' practice learning. She is currently a co-researcher for a Praxis study which explores Practice Tutors' use of remote video observation as a tool to support  student teachers' reflective practice. 

Sarah is a co-author of the free bilingual Open Learn course Mentoring Mindsets which focuses on quality mentoring in the initial teacher education phase. She also contributed to the Future Learn course Becoming a Teacher

External collaborations

Sarah works closely with ITE leads across all Regional Consortia in Wales (middle-tier school improvement service) and relevant local authority leads. Sarah is a member of Welsh Government's Strategic Education Delivery Group. 

Sarah is an established External Examiner, currently working with University of West England, Bristol as examiner to the BA Education programme. During her HE career, Sarah has also participated in university validation events. 

Sarah was a co-researcher within an international Erasmus+ project focused on equity in education in which representatives from five countries across Europe participated. 

Sarah also works through the medium of Welsh and has authored two book chapters in a Welsh medium publication aimed at supporting Teaching Assistants in their school practice. 


Using video technology to support micro-teaching and reflection in Initial Teacher Education (2022-07-15)
Defis, Nerys; Glover, Alison; Jennings, Carys; Stewart, Sarah; Wallis, Rachel; Craggs, Ben; Hay, Ceris; Linton, Beth; Powell, Thomas and Williams, Amanda
Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 8(1)

Equity in Education: A New Definition from a European Perspective (2018)
Serarols, Jordi; Gonzalez, Jordi; Welton, Nicola; Stewart, Sarah; Pauwells, Ellen; Runfola, Caterina; Mara, Elena Lucia and Mara, Daniel
ACTA Universitatis Lucian Blaga, 2018(1) (pp. 224-232)

Pennod 8 - Tu Hwnt i’r Dosbarth (2018)
Stewart, Sarah and Ryder, Nanna
In: Ryder, Nanna ed. Cefnogi Pob Plentyn (pp. 68-78)
Publisher : Ganolfan Peniarth | Published : Carmarthen

Pennod 9 - Chwarae a Chreadigrwydd (2018)
Stewart, Sarah
In: Ryder, Nanna ed. Cefnogi Pob Plentyn (pp. 79-88)
Publisher : Ganolfan Peniarth | Published : Carmarthen

Supporting Opportunity in Schools: Promoting Educational Equity – A Report on the Second and Final Year of Project Outcomes (2019)
Stewart, Sarah
In : British Education Studies Conference 15th Annual International Conference 2019 (27-28 Jun 2019, Swansea)

International Perspectives on Equity (2018)
Stewart, Sarah
In : British Education Studies Association 14th Annual International Conference (27-29 Jun 2018, University of Bolton)

Scoping study for the evaluation of the curriculum and assessment reforms in Wales: final report (2022-07-13)
Duggan, Brett; Thomas, Hefin; Davies-Walker, Morgan; Sinnema, Claire; Stewart, Sarah; Cole Jones, Nia; Glover, Alison and Griffiths, Mike
Welsh Government, Cardiff, Wales.

Learning about Progression – Informing thinking about a Curriculum for Wales (2018-04)
Hayward, Louise; Jones, Dylan E.; Waters, Jane; Makara, Kara; Morrison-Love, David; Spencer, Ernest; Barnes, Janine; Davies, Heddwen; Hughes, Sioned; Jones, Christine; Nelson, Sam; Ryder, Nanna; Stacey, David; Wallis, Rachel; Baxter, Jayne; MacBride, George; Bendall, Rachel; Brooks, Siân; Cooze, Angella; Davies, Linda; Denny, Helen; Donaldson, Peter; Lewis, Ishmael; Lloyd, Peter; Maitra, Srabani; Morgan, Catherine; James, Sue Pellew; Samuel-Thomas, Shan; Sharpling, Elaine; Southern, Alex; Stewart, Sarah; Valdera-Gil, Francisco and Wardle, Georgina

Methodological framework and guide (2017)
Stewart, S. and Welton, N.