Martin Illingworth

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Martin Illingworth BA (Hons), PGCE

Senior Lecturer in English Education


Course lead for Secondary English School Direct PGCE course


I am an English specialist with twenty-four years of teaching experience, both as classroom teacher and as College leader. At Sheffield Hallam, I have responsibility for the training of English teachers on PGCE, School Direct and have also worked on the Teach First training route.

I have delivered departmental training, as an external speaker, to schools in Special Measures, providing curriculum training.

I have delivered whole school training regarding literacy progress units, the plenary, working with and mentoring nqts, working with curriculum specifications and running successful teams of people. I have also delivered INSET training to staff from Derby City schools on A level teaching approaches.

It has been a real privilege to help a number of internationally educated teachers complete conversion courses with The University of Derby. I have a long association with AQA and the old London Board, as an examiner and more recently as a member of the AQA consultation panel for the new GCSE specifications in English.

Amongst a number of activities that I have co-ordinated to enrich the experiences of my pupils, I have organised a Gifted and Talented Scheme, collaborating with neighbouring schools and outside agencies, an American Studies Day for prospective University hopefuls, and I have acted as Lead teacher for a Buddy Reading Scheme with a partner Junior School, and four magnificent visits to the battlefields of the Western Front of World War One in Belgium and France.


Department of Teacher Education

College of Social Sciences and Arts

I travelled to Canada to look at the teacher training programmes at The University of Toronto. In Canada, teachers are trusted to deliver the curriculum, set the examinations and award the grades with which the students leave school. I am interested to see how the practicalities of such a system work and the impact that this has upon the make-up of initial teacher training. Clearly, the messages that we give to student teachers are vitally important. I am keen to contrast routes into teaching from the UK and Canadian perspectives. I have collated my findings into a short book Education in the age of the information super highway.

I have worked with schools and universities throughout the UK including recent appearances at The University of Nottingham, The Harris Academy in South London and at The National Primary Grammar Conference in Oxford (with David Crystal and Ronald Carter). I have recently returned from Cairo, Egypt where I delivered CPD at El Alsson School.


I have conducted research in Toronto, Canada into teacher training abroad. I collated my findings into a short book Education in the age of the information super highway (2011) and published in The Canadian Journal for Education.

In my new book, Think Before You Teach (2015), I asked teachers to reflect on why and how they intend to teach. ‘An education of hope’ is the offer that I extend, in inviting teachers to think about taking responsibility for what happens in their own classrooms.

I am also co-author of a book of ideas for teachers who wish to begin teaching A level Language, 16-19: Teaching A level English Language published by Routledge Books (2012). My most recent books are the co-authored Creative Approaches to Teaching Grammar (2015) (for teachers in Years 5, 6, 7 & 8) and There Is Another Way (2015).


In September 2012 Routledge books published my A level Language book Teaching A level Language 16 - 19. It is a book of pre-teaching thinking and ideas for teachers new to A level language teaching.

Other activities

I am a consultant teacher with NATE (National Association for the Teaching of English). This year I have delivered numerous training events and talks, including the National Grammar Conference in Oxford, alongside Professor David Crystal and Prof Ronald Carter.

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