Head of the Department for Children and Families
Senior Leadership Team
tel: 01905 542060
Tom is the Head of the Department for Children and Families in the School of Education. The Department takes a wide-angle approach to issues affecting children, young people and families including Courses on the early childhood life phase, the early years, integrated working and safeguarding. In his role, Tom supports students in their ongoing course engagement and manages the Department response to the student voice; he also supports the staff team in the delivery and development of their Courses as meaningful and rich student experiences that lead to diverse career pathways in a number of sectors.
Tom has taught on a range of Courses in the Department, in Initial Teacher Education and, before moving to Higher Education, a range of Primary School settings across England and Wales. The learning and teaching process has been a key focus across his career and, as well as holding a position coordinating this aspect at School level, he is engaged in a range of research projects linked to the social psychology of education. In research terms, he would describe himself as a subjective, interpretative psychologist and his current PhD study focuses on the phenomenon of online teaching in Higher Education. Whilst this research is important in its own right, Tom believes it should also support our evolving understanding of the effective design, delivery and conceptualisation of day-to-day learning experiences.
If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the Department, joining one of our Courses or becoming involved in the wider work of the Department, such as the Steering Group, please contact Tom or the relevant Course Leader.
- Master of Arts in Education
- Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
- Post Graduate Certificate in Education (3 - 7)
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in European Philosophy and Literature & English Literature
Teaching & Research
Tom has taught on a range of Courses within the Department for Children and Families, including the Integrated Working with Children and Families Top Up Degree and the Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) undergraduate degree, at both St John’s campus, Halesowen College and online using our Flexible and Distributed course delivery. Tom has a practitioner background in Primary School teaching and this was his initial focus in Higher Education. However, since joining the Department for Children and Families at the University of Worcester he has enjoyed working within the wider context of the early childhood, young people and families sectors. As well as considering education, these Courses cover the wider aspects of, for example, social care, health care, safeguarding, child advocacy, integrating working, Social Pedagogy, an empathetic approach, working with child refugees, practitioner values and philosophy, and perspectives on effective leadership and management. Teaching on this range of Courses has helped Tom develop a more holistic approach to children, young people and families and he feels privileged to work with the vibrant students and staff within the Department.
Tom is a current part time PhD student at the University of Worcester studying the phenomenon of online teaching in Higher Education. This research is taking a phenomenographic approach to investigating the views and understanding of lecturers engaged in online teaching and aims to identify the range of qualitative experiences of this phenomenon. It is hoped that findings from this research could potentially help further develop our understanding of this phenomenon and to provide further insights into effective student engagement in online courses. Many of the staff in the Department for Children and Families already hold doctoral qualifications and act as supervisors to our current PhD students. Please get in touch if any aspects of early childhood, young people or families might be of interest to you in postgraduate, Masters or doctoral study. We also have a Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding Post Graduate Certificate which is a valuable option for Level 7 study.
Tom is committed to the highest quality of Higher Education teaching. In recognition of this he was awarded Fellowship status in the Higher Education Academy in 2017.
Tom holds Primary Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Weaver, T. (2020). Learning to master mathematics in the early years, In P. Jain & R. Hyde (Eds.) Myths and legends of mastery in the mathematics curriculum. Learning Matters.
Tom is the Head of Pedagogy for the SPICE English Language programme run by the Just Volunteers charity. This summer camp aims to make the learning of the English language fun and enjoyable for disadvantaged children in Hong Kong.