School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Lynne Kay

Senior Teacher


I joined Newcastle University in September 2016, having worked at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU), Lincoln, as Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development, with specific responsibilities for PGCE Modern Languages, School Direct Plus and Lead for Beyond-ITE provision.

In my capacity as Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development at BGU, I was the Lead for BGU’s new Secondary PGCE(M) in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in French, German and Spanish. I also led and managed the Secondary PGCE School Direct (Plus) Programme, which included tutoring the Secondary PGCE School Direct group. In addition to Secondary PGCE, I contributed to other routes, such as Assessment Only, the MA in Education, the MA TESOL and various Primary routes at both under-graduate and post-graduate level, including leading and delivering on the Subject Leadership Programme for Primary Languages, with recommendation for QTS. Driven by a commitment to support the continuing development of beginning teachers, another of my significant responsibilities was leading and managing a continuum of extensive Beyond-ITE provision, including devising a new NQT Support Programme.

Prior to joining BGU, I worked for a number of years at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, as Lecturer in Education and Subject Lead for PGCE Modern Foreign Languages. In addition to leading and delivering the PGCE(M) MFL course (French, German, Spanish), I also held a number of additional responsibilities at the UEA, including Assessment Coordinator, leading the M Level School Based Research Project and management of the external examination process. I was also responsible for organising and leading training events for school based mentors and ITT Coordinators. In addition to this, I contributed to the primary languages specialism on the primary PGCE course and in collaboration with the Association for Languages Learning, I worked as a Lead Practitioner, consulting on new curriculum developments in MFL for both primary and secondary teachers across Norwich, establishing language hubs across Norfolk.

At the UEA, I completed the MA in Higher Education Practice, and was awarded Teacher Fellowship status (FHEA) through the Higher Education Academy. For two consecutive years, I was nominated by both students and colleagues for the UEA's prestigious 'Excellence in Teaching' Award.

I have more recently been appointed as External Examiner for PGCE in Modern Languages at two UK universities.

Prior to working in Higher Education, I taught MFL at all levels in a variety of secondary schools in the Tyne & Wear area. As well as being Curriculum Leader and Head of a Modern Languages Department, I also had substantial experience of leadership and management of whole school issues, having held roles as staff governor, Assistant Headteacher and Leadership Team support. I also did outreach work in languages for local primary schools. Throughout my significant school teaching career, I worked for many years with trainees teachers and ran CPD for school-based mentors, in collaboration with Newcastle University and University of Northumbria (UNN).


At the UEA, I completed the MA in Higher Education Practice, and was awarded Teacher Fellowship status (FHEA) by the Higher Education Academy.

My research interests include exploring and developing school-based mentoring practices and researching the impact of induction (including mentoring) programs on beginning teachers’ professional identity, exploring links between resilience, reflection and retention. Given the climate of high attrition of early career teachers, and the multiple factors that in?uence teachers’ staying or leaving, I am interested in how mentoring practices can help nurture a sense of empowerment and agency for beginning teachers, and perhaps enhance their levels of resilience and ‘staying power’. It is of course important to acknowledge the relevance of contextual factors such as school ethos and socio-cultural contexts, and the extent of their impact on the development of ‘critical pedagogies’, ‘critical open spaces’, relational trust and empowerment.

I have conducted literature reviews and studies with different cohorts of PGCE trainees and NQTs, exploring their perceptions and experiences of school-based mentoring, in terms of affordances and constraints on their professional learning and wellbeing, and how to overcome barriers to personal and professional learning. In order to better understand Beginning Teachers’ challenges and needs and thus more crucially find increasingly more effective ways to train and retain them, I believe it is imperative that we seek to identify any tensions in Beginning Teachers’ professional identity development, accompanying feelings and coping strategies. We should thus be in a better position to evaluate empirical relationships between teachers’ resilience and reflection on practice and enhance our understanding staying and impact power.

Consultancy and Projects
In alliance with the Association for Language Learning, I have been Lead Practitioner for training KS2 and KS3 teachers across Norfolk on MFL Curriculum developments. I was also Primary Hub Coordinator for Primary Languages in Norwich. I have delivered training for a number of SCITTs, currently at Shotton Hall, and have also coached a number of under-performing colleagues in Secondary MFL departments.


I currently teach on the Secondary PGCE programme and am Subject Lead for Modern Languages (French, Spanish, German, Italian). I also contribute to other training routes, such as the Primary PGCE programme, with a focus on Primary Languages. 
My interests lie in all aspects of MFL Education, and also include:
  • Professional learning through observation, reflective practice and quality mentoring.
  • Active learning: e.g. developing personal learning & thinking skills (PLTS) and enquiry-based/collaborative approaches.
  • Assessment for Learning (AfL), developing students’ ‘metacognition’. 
  • Individual differences and factors affecting motivation and engagement, removing barriers to learning.
  • Pupil:Teacher Talk ratio, promoting more student talk.