A Democratic View of Professional Development in HE

Rainford, Jon (2024). A Democratic View of Professional Development in HE. In: Hopkins, Neil and Thompson, Carol eds. Reflections on Identity: Narratives from Educators. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Cham, pp. 69–82.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-46794-3_7


I have worked in education for the past 13 years. My career began as a teaching assistant in a SEN school before training as an Art and Design teacher focused on 14–19 education. I worked in secondary schools until 2014 when I moved to higher education to focus on work supporting access to higher education. More recently I have worked supporting the use of digital learning before moving into my current role as a staff tutor at The Open University. I have also undertaken consultancy work across the sector facilitating training for universities, UniConnect consortia and NEON. My research focuses primarily upon the tensions between policy and practice in widening participation and how we can better support historically underserved groups in higher education. I have been published in journals such as Perspectives, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Power and Education, and Educational Review. I recently co-authored The business of widening participation: Policy, practice and culture with Colin McCaig and Ruth Squire.

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