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Simon Butler

Senior Lecturer in Secondary Education & Course Co-ordinator for the Secondary History PGCE

Institute of Education

Contact Details


tel: 01905 855049


M.A. in Education awarded by the University of Worcester.

Post Graduate Certificate: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education awarded by the University of Worcester.

Post Graduate Certificate in Education awarded by the University of Oxford.

B.A. (Honours) Second Class in History and Sociology awarded by the University of London.

Football and Cricket Coaching Qualifications.

Simon completed his PGCE at Oxford University in 1988 and subsequently taught for the next fourteen years in secondary comprehensive schools in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire. He held a range of middle leadership posts including Head of History, Head of Year, Head of Humanities and Assistant Headteacher. Furthermore he was a subject mentor for trainee teachers from De Montford and Warwick Universities.   

In 2002 Simon’s career took a new direction as he moved to Devon to work as a Teaching and Learning Consultant for the Local Authority. He spent the next seven years working with colleagues in secondary schools developing teaching and learning with a particular focus on assessment for learning. In 2007-08 he returned to school for a year, taking on the role of acting Head of History, to cover a colleague on maternity leave.

Simon had always had an ambition to become an Initial Teacher Educator and was delighted to be appointed to the post of History PGCE Tutor at UW in November 2009. He is strongly committed to a curriculum and pedagogy that allows all young people to engage in legitimate and purposeful history. He has worked energetically to build relationships with partnership schools and local history heritage sites which reflect his long held interest in local history. He also leads the Citizenship Enhancement Activity on the Secondary PGCE course.

Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests   

Progression models in how children learn history from early years to adulthood? How can teachers build in opportunities for pupils to study local history in secondary school? How can we encourage history teachers to be more innovative and creative in their curriculum design and classroom practice? How can we use music to enhance pupils learning in history lessons? How we train history teachers to teach about sensitive and controversial topics, such as the Holocaust and modern day terrorism?

Research Interests   

What factors influence the development of beginning history teachers? How can teacher educators support the development of trainee history teachers? How we can use coaching and mentoring to improve the quality of self-reflection following lesson observations? How can we use history heritage sites to engage pupils in the past?

Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies

Member of the Historical Association



Butler, S. (2017) ‘Chronology’, in Davies, I. (ed.) Debates in History Teaching (2nd edition). London: Routledge, pp.155-166.

Butler, S. (2004) Question: When is a comment not worth the paper it’s written on? Answer: When it’s accompanied by a level, grade or mark!. Teaching History 115, Historical Association.

Butler, S. (2003) What’s that stuff you’re listening to Sir? Rock and pop music as a rich source for historical enquiry. Teaching History 111, Historical Association.

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities

Secondary School Governor