Julie Sutton

Primary Lead for School-Based Provision & Senior Lecturer in Primary Education

Primary Education

Contact Details

email: j.sutton@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 542085

Prior to joining the University as a sessional lecturer in 2005, Julie worked as a Primary school teacher, where she gained experience of teaching across the whole of the Primary age phase in a range of schools within Worcestershire. She quickly moved into management and held various leadership roles including senior teacher and acting deputy head teacher. In 2012, after several years combining working in schools and University, Julie made the transition to work permanently in HE as a Senior Lecturer in Education.

Her main subject specialism is Music and she has coordinated this subject in each of her teaching schools. She has led many music training sessions in Primary schools, pre-schools and nurseries as well as delivering lectures as part of the ECHO programme. In 1998 she formed her own music group for babies and toddlers and in 2003 the local Primary Inspectorate enrolled her to create a working party specifically to develop resources for Early Years settings. Following the successful launch of the National Singing programme, Julie was appointed as Vocal Force coordinator for the County, leading singing workshops in schools and other settings. She remains actively involved in different music organisations across the County as chairperson for the Worcestershire Music Education Hub Strategic Development Steering Group and the External Assessor for the Guildhall School of Music Certificate in Music Education programme at the Elgar School of Music. As a pianist, percussion player and singer, Julie has performed with orchestras and choirs across the UK. She sings regularly with The Elgar Chorale in Worcester.

Julie is currently the Primary Lead for School Based provision and teaches regularly on the Postgraduate Pedagogy and Professional Practice course. She is the Primary Music Lead for both the postgraduate and undergraduate programmes and has a keen interest in creative arts, having had responsibility for developing Foundation Subjects across the Primary centre for several years. Having been acting Primary Partnership manager and Placements Coordinator, she continues to play an active part in partnership.


  • MA (Merit) Education
  • B Ed (Hons) 2:1 Education and Music
  • PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • Key Stage 2 Music Continuing Professional Development Programme (Trinity Guildhall and OU)

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

  • Primary Music
  • Primary Music Research
  • Primary Pedagogy and Professional Practice
  • Primary Foundation Subjects

Research Interests

  • Primary Music Education
  • Creativity in Education
  • Developing teaching and learning

Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Member of NaPTEC
  • Member of Music Mark



Alexander, G. and Sutton, J. (2019) The Teacher’s Palette: ‘Creative and Holistic Learning Spaces’, in Ogier, S. (ed.) A Broad and Balanced Curriculum in Primary Schools London: Learning Matters/SAGE Publications

Alexander, G. and Sutton, J. (2018) ‘Thinking Outside the Box:  How can you maximize the potential of the learning and teaching environment?’, in Carden, C. (ed.) Primary Teaching: An exploration of learning and teaching in primary schools today. London: Learning Matters/SAGE Publications


Big Sing (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). For the past four years Julie, together with Severn Arts, has been involved in organising the Big Sing, a singing workshop involving over 2,000 children from local schools.

The Armed Man (2017, 2014). Music Lead for University singers involved in Performance of Armed Man with children from local high schools, held in Worcester Cathedral.

Conference Presentations

Payne, J. (2009) Continuing Professional Development in the Primary Classroom: Towards a broader way of working within the Arts, with a particular focus on Music. 5th Annual ESCalate ITE Conference, Glyndwr University, Wrexham: Initial Teacher Education towards a new era

Payne, J. (2009), New Approaches to Primary Music in ITE. UCET Annual Conference 2009: New & Continuing Perspectives in Teacher Education

McKerr, L & Payne, J. (2011) The Vital Role of the Arts in the Development of the Childs Learning, Thinking and Social Skills. NSEAD International Conference, University of Chester: The Centrality of Art, Design and Performing Arts to Education

Externally funded projects:

Current: Principal Lead for Music Education Research; an externally funded project with Severn Arts.

Payne, J. (2011), The use of e-portfolios in teaching music: a project with ITE students, Teaching Development Agency (TDA) TiLT Research grant (£5000)

Payne, J., Savage, M. and Robinson, C. Training and Development Agency (2011) Using ICT to support Music Education Research Grant: Primary Music:
Wider Opportunities

Robinson, C., Payne, J., and Savage, M. Training and Development Agency (2011) Using ICT to support Music Education Research Grant: Primary Music: Singing

External Roles

  • External Examiner and External Moderator for University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth
  • Chairperson of Worcestershire Music Education Hub Strategic Development Steering Group
  • External Assessor for Trinity Guildhall School of Music Certificate in Music Education
  • Governor for local school in Worcestershire
  • STEM ambassador