Mark Barlow

Senior Lecturer

Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

After I completed my degree at Staffordshire University in 1994, I went on to conduct research towards a PhD, whilst tutoring Level 1 students and serving as the Academic Warden for the Leek Road Halls of Residence.

Following the completion of my PGCE in 1998, I enjoyed a successful career in schools in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, achieving the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers in 2007 and beginning my first headship in 2009.

From 2014 until 2019 I served as the Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent Headteachers’ Association and represented the views of schools on DfE Opportunity Area Panels, West Midlands PREVENT Panel, Stoke-on-Trent’s Patenting Strategy Group and the Local Authority Assistant Director’s Extended Management Team. My school leadership in England culminated in an Executive Headship in 2018.

In 2019, I secured an international position and went on to become Head of Primary for Wellington College, Hangzhou, returning to England in July, 2021 to take up my current position in the Institute of Education at Staffordshire University. I am passionate about developing teacher confidence, resilience and professionalism so that the challenges of teaching can be managed well by all colleagues.

Academic qualifications

B.Sc(Hons) Geography and Geology (Staffordshire University)

PGCE (Keele University)



My areas of expertise span all aspects of the primary phase but I have a particular interest in developing teacher confidence, professionalism and resilience. Having experience overseas, handling of multiple curricula and the requirements of local jurisdiction, are of significant interest, in particular when creating opportunities to develop pupil global competencies and international understanding.

Research interests

My current research is looking closely at the impact that mentors have on early career teachers and their retention within the profession. This is important as the recruitment and retention of teachers continues to face challenges.


My current responsibilities enable me to share my knowledge and develop student teacher confidence, resilience and professionalism, something that I am really passionate about. I have developed experiential and simulated learning across key aspects of school operation in risk assessment and school trip planning, tracking, monitoring and intervention identification and child protection- all delivered under our very own ‘virtual school’ (Staffordshire University Virtual Academy) Policies. This allows colleagues to develop key skills in a risk free environment, preparing them well for the world of teaching and providing an advantageous ‘edge’ when it comes to securing employment.


Walker, G. Pratts, D and Barlow, M. (1998) Risk, environment and land use planning: an evaluation of policy and practice in the UK. Environment, Planning and Land Use, Chapter 8, Routledge, 1998.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021